INDIANAPOLIS -- With 10 days left before the deadline to make a decision on Tyrod Taylor, the Buffalo Bills are still "going through the process."
That was the word from Sean McDermott Wednesday, during his first comments to the media since being introduced as the Bills' head coach on Jan. 13.
Asked during a news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine if he wanted to retain Taylor as the Bills' quarterback, McDermott was careful not to tip his hand. He also didn't seize the opportunity to express any sort of desire for Taylor to remain in Buffalo.
"We're going through that process right now," McDermott said. "And the thing about all of our players, and Tyrod's no different, is we're going to go through the process. We're going to exhaust every ounce of time, look at it from every angle.
"I think the thing you'll find out about me is I'm pretty methodical in my approach. And so it takes time and that's what's in front of us right now."
The "process," McDermott pointed out, covers everything from "critical factors at the position" to comparing Taylor with other veteran quarterbacks who might be available.
The Bills have until March 11 to decide if they want to pick up the option on a contract extension, thus triggering a guaranteed payment of $30.75 million to Taylor.
Considering McDermott has been on the job for a month and a half, it would seem reasonable to think he has had ample time to form an opinion about Taylor based on studying videotape of his 29 career starts with the Bills the past two seasons. After all, the coach, along with coordinator Rick Dennison and the rest of the offensive coaching staff, have finished watching video (mostly from practice) of Cardale Jones enough to conclude they're "excited about working with" him "just like we are the rest of the players on the roster."
"Part of it is my nature; that's how I'm wired," McDermott later said during a sit-down with Buffalo News reporters. "I'm a calculated guy and so we want to make the right decision and that takes time. Look, this would be super easy if Tyrod hadn't already done what he's done for this organization. So, having said that, I know that we're talking about a good football player.
"And when you look at the way that I've gotten to know Tyrod over the last month and a half, I've enjoyed that process and getting to know him as a person and also really getting an appreciation for his work ethic. A guy that's worked his way back to being healthy, it's outstanding."
In his session with The News, McDermott pointed out that Taylor's performance and hard work weren't all that are going into his thoughts about the quarterback's future with the team.
Asked if Taylor's contract, and the Bills trying to convince him to take a pay cut, is also contributing to the length it is taking to decide, McDermott said, "There's a lot of factors. And yet it's more about looking at this from all different angles, exhausting all the time that we have available to us and the resources -- having meetings; we've only been here a month and a half. And by the time we got the staff together and everything, just the meetings that we have to have, the communication is vital in making the right decision."
The coach said he would not rule out taking the decision right up to the deadline.
"If that's what it takes, yes, if that's what it takes," he said. "We're going to be methodical in all of the decisions. This position is critical. The quarterback position in the league is critical to the success of a football team and so we're going to take all the time necessary to make the right decision for this organization, both in the short and the long-term."
McDermott said he and General Manager Doug Whaley would make the decision together.
"Doug and I are going to work on that together, as well as our teams -- my coaching staff, the scouting staff," the coach said. "And, ultimately, that will be a decision made by Doug and myself."