Tyrod Taylor's long-term future with the Buffalo Bills remains the biggest unknown on the team.
He effectively has one season to prove to a new coach, Sean McDermott, and a new general manager, Brandon Beane, he's worthy of being the starting quarterback in 2018 and beyond.
In the meantime, Taylor is able to do what he can to make a favorable impression that can at least serve as a foundation for the larger case he must build in the coming months.
Through the offseason workouts that ended last Thursday, he seemed to do more to win over decision-makers with his demeanor and presence on the field than with his performance, which had been mostly forgettable until the final session.
"I’ve really been impressed with the leadership," Taylor displayed, "the intangible qualities that are inherent or must be inherent to that quarterback position," McDermott told reporters during last week's mandatory minicamp. "I’ve watched him develop in those areas and that’s important as we look to move forward. There’s leadership qualities at that quarterback position that are important to winning football games, and I think he’s done a nice job in that area."
As Taylor told reporters, the compliment "means a lot."
First of all, any positive feedback from the head coach carries tremendous weight. Secondly, Taylor's leadership skills have often been questioned since he became the Bills' starter in 2015.
He has never been particularly vocal, on or off the field. He has preferred to mainly lean on his actions to command the attention and respect of his teammates, who see him as a tremendously hard worker who is usually the first one in the weight room in the morning and one of the last to leave the practice facility at night.
Taylor has been content to allow his play to do most of his talking for him, but he's aware that the quarterback must do more than that. The position requires him to be more assertive, which is what McDermott noticed Taylor showing during offseason practices and wants to see increase.
"Me and Coach McDermott have been talking since day one, as far as just stretching myself and just being more of a vocal leader, and that’s something that wasn’t always natural for me," Taylor said. "I’ve always been a lead-by-example guy, (but it’s) my third year here, seventh in the league.
"Guys look to me and guys look for veterans for that vocal leadership. And that’s why I have to step in and go out there and display it every day, not only be verbal with it, but also show it in my approach and what I do each and every day."