Both the Buffalo Bills' head coach and general manager say they are committed to Tyrod Taylor as their quarterback at least into next season.
At his Wednesday news conference, Rex Ryan offered strong support for the Bills starter. And in a MMQB story, Doug Whaley said "He’s shown us enough that we can obviously keep trying with him. But it won’t preclude us from going out and protecting ourselves (in case) he’s not.”
Through his 11 starts, Taylor has completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,439 yards, 18 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 100.9 passer rating. He has also rushed for 371 yards on 71 attempts (5.2 avg.) and three scores. By playing more than half of his snaps, the third year of Taylor's deal is voided so he'll now be entering a contract year into 2016.
The Bills seem committed to sticking with Taylor as the starter right now.
Asked if Taylor exceeded his expectations, Ryan said he never envisioned Taylor being "the fifth-rated quarterback."
"I think he's doing an outstanding job," Ryan said. "I think just do his thing. I feel good about him being our quarterback moving forward. I don't know what else he has to prove. Would we like to get more wins? One-hundred percent, yes. But it doesn't just fall on the quarterback. But I think that's probably what's missing, maybe the fourth-quarter comebacks. Something like that. He's had a couple. I can tell you this: I'm happy he's our quarterback."
While Taylor rallied Buffalo to a 14-13 win at Tennessee and then pulled ahead of Houston two weeks ago, he struggled in the fourth quarters of losses to New England, Kansas City and Philadelphia. So that's where Ryan would like to see some progress. Former NFL MVP Rich Gannon, for one, said the next step in Taylor's development is taking charge as more of a vocal leader. Now that he's been around for a while, Taylor has seemed more comfortable in speaking up.
A lot can happen, of course. It's only Dec. 16. Still, starting-caliber quarterbacks very rarely ever hit unrestricted free agency and possibly the Bills' front office chooses to address other areas of need in the first or second round of the draft. Ryan will seeking pieces for his defense.
And while a veteran could always, suddenly, become available in the off-season with teams trying to kickstart a rebuild, the Bills are pleased with Taylor's growth.
Ryan dismissed the notion that Taylor reads only half the field. They see a player who can go through his necessary progressions.
"I think he sees the field pretty good. He's able to read coverages. I don't think he locks onto half field or first guy's not there, second guy's not there, take off. That's not his game. He's a complete quarterback. Sometimes, I'd like to see him run more. But I think he scans the field pretty good."