One by one, everyone continues to throw their support behind quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
His general manager. His head coach. Teammates. Now, offensive coordinator Greg Roman has joined the party.
How comfortable is he going forward with Taylor as his quarterback? Very.
“I feel really comfortable going into any game with Tyrod,” Roman said. “He doesn’t get a lot of attention because he doesn’t bring a lot of attention to himself. But when you really look at this production, it ranks up there at the top of the National Football League and I think he does things, certain things at a very elite level.
“He’s a first-year starter and he’s got some things we got to work on through the offseason I’m sure. But up until this point I have a lot of admiration for how he approaches his job everyday as a professional and I really couldn’t be happier with him.”
Through his 13 starts this season, Taylor has completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 2,853 yards and 20 touchdowns with six interceptions. He also set the team record for rushing yards by a quarterback last week, albeit while taking some wincing shots.
Taylor’s speed has been an asset. He has 517 rushing yards on 94 carries with three scores.
As Roman noted, Taylor is seeing many things on the field for the first time. He even noted that the last game Taylor started was the Orange Bowl in college, back on Jan. 3, 2011.
“But really and truly there’s a big difference between practice from the scout team,” Roman said, “and actually getting into a game and doing it week in and week out throughout the entire season. And he’s done a very nice job of that and I really think there’s a lot that he can draw on from Year 1 to Year 2 and that’s really how I look at it.
“He’s got a tremendous approach, tremendous intangibles and really good leadership ability. And he knows how to win a football game too. So it’s really encouraging.”
Earlier this week, Rex Ryan took what he thought was a playful jab at East Carolina University. Speaking about the New York Jets, he said that “I don’t care if we’re playing East Carolina, you want to get a win, there’s no question about it.”
Well, one prominent school supporter wasn’t laughing. Carl Davis, the former chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association, wrote to Ryan and noted that his father, Buddy Ryan, also took a shot in 1989.
In the letter, posted by North Carolina TV station WNCN, Davis wrote that the only time he found Ryan playing East Carolina was in 1997.
“You were the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati and lost to a 5-7 East Carolina team, 14-7,” Davis wrote. “Maybe you forgot about your only actual experience with East Carolina?”
On Thursday, Ryan responded with a laugh.
“I’m still scarred by it, obviously! You know what? I remember that. I think we won nine or 10 games that year, but we lost to East Carolina in a driving rainstorm. We were struggling that day offensively, but our best chance was our punt returner, because we had broken the record for punt returns – that was something I was actually in charge of, just throwing that out there by happenstance. Tinker Keck was the kid’s name.
“They punt it to us late, the guy ran it all the way to the 10 and we couldn’t knock it in from there. But I remember that.”
In the letter, Davis also cites Ryan’s poor winning percentage as a head coach and Buffalo’s postseason drought.
Ryan said he didn’t mean to offend East Carolina at all. He actually references random teams often.
“As you guys know, I’ve used the Toronto Argonauts before, I’ve used Orchard Park, Summit High School, all the high schools,” he said. “Oklahoma, Southwest. I’ve used them all. So I certainly didn’t mean anything by it.”
Left tackle Cordy Glenn missed Thursday’s practice with an illness but Ryan is hopeful he’ll be ready to go on Sunday.
“I hope,” Ryan said. “I guess there’s a chance but all the encouragement in the world it’s going to be hard for him not to play.”
Cyrus Kouandjio lined up with the first-team offense in Glenn’s place. Linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle) and running back LeSean McCoy (knee) also did not practice for the Bills. Cornerback Ronald Darby (groin), guard John Miller (ankle), safety Bacarri Rambo (knee, shoulder), quarterback Tyrod Taylor (right shoulder) and end Mario Williams (hand) were all limited.