Not even a full day removed from the Buffalo Bills' second preseason game, Friday's press conference with head coach Sean McDermott revolved heavily around the starting job of quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
After Taylor's rough two-interception outing against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 20-16 loss, McDermott was asked about the potential for the starting quarterback job being up for grabs, to which the head coach gave a lukewarm response that created some talk that the team could be considering rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman:
"We're always going to evaluate everything and that goes for every position, including the quarterback position," McDermott told reporters on Thursday night. "I thought Tyrod's done some good things. Last week he moved the offense and we had some penalties. We're going to evaluate the film. I have to evaluate the job I did tonight and then we can evaluate the job that each of us did and continue to get better as a unit."
Later on that evening, the head coach and the team clarified that they were not considering a change from Tyrod Taylor at starting quarterback. The Bills head coach once again echoed that statement, affirming to reporters that he envisions the quarterback being the starter heading into their Week One tilt against the New York Jets.
"I have all the confidence in the world in Tyrod," McDermott said on Monday, while also saying that Taylor would be the only quarterback to work with the first-team offense during the team's next preseason game in Baltimore.
Although, when pressed on the topic of the rookie Peterman potentially getting some first-team reps in practice -- not the game -- McDermott didn't answer the question directly, which technically doesn't rule it out despite Taylor getting all the time in the upcoming Ravens game.
Joe B's Take
- The Bills are in a delicate position at the moment even with the team. Following the two blockbuster trades that sent wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby packing for two inferior players and high round draft picks, the Bills are still preparing for 2017 with the intent to be competitive and to try and win some games.
So, when it comes to the starting quarterback of the team, the potential of Tyrod Taylor -- a two-year starting quarterback in the NFL -- not being the starter in Buffalo, and in favor of a rookie no less, it likely would not go over well within the locker room. Taylor is well-liked by his teammates and there is a belief by the veterans on the team that Taylor can help them get to victories.
With the rookie Nathan Peterman making two solid impressions on Bills fans though, it just creates a bit of a pressurized keg that could explode if Taylor keeps up with less-than-impressive performances.
From my perspective, it makes little sense to force-feed Peterman into the starting lineup at this point in his career. Let's not forget, the guy has been working with the second-team offense for all of five days and asking him to make the meteoric jump ahead of the guy they've been looking to be the starter all offseason long would be putting too much on the rookie, in my opinion.
While Peterman showed flashes of life and some ability within the pocket, it's not as though his first two performances have been so good that it's forcing the hand of the coaching staff to make it into more of a competition. Should Taylor struggle at the beginning of the season and the Bills find themselves in an early hole, perhaps then it would be time for them to see what Peterman can do.
However, they owe it to themselves to see if Taylor can operate within the new offense -- one that we haven't seen the true identity of in a preseason game, mind you -- to make the determination on whether or not he can be that franchise player at quarterback for them. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work -- it's as simple as that. Taylor, with all the work they've put into him through the offseason, just simply isn't going to be thrown to the wayside due to one down performance in the preseason.
My advice to Bills fans champing at the bit for Peterman to jump Taylor: let it breathe. The Bills aren't ready to move on just yet.