As he stepped away from the podium Wednesday following his press conference, Tyrod Taylor declared to nobody in particular, “I’m done talking.”
Whether the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback meant for the day, the season or the rest of his life is unclear. But one conclusion can be drawn: Taylor is unnerved at the moment.
After a poor showing in Oakland, Taylor has come under the most intense scrutiny of his two-year career in Buffalo. He maintains that he’s unaware of that.
“I don’t have Instagram on my phone. Twitter. Don’t watch TV, so don’t see it, don’t hear it,” he told reporters during a testy 10-minute press conference. “Continue to keep pounding away. We’re still in it, last time I checked.”
Asked whether he felt time was running out to prove to the Bills that they should pick up the contract option that would pay him $27.5 million in March, Taylor responded simply: “We’re still in it.”
When an explanation was requested, he said, “In this league, you get judged on wins and losses, and we still have a chance to get to where we set our goal, (which) was to get to the playoffs at the beginning of the year. We still have a realistic chance of getting there, so whatever it takes to get there, that’s what I’m on board for.”
Taylor was clearly irritable about the line of questioning, interrupting a reporter who started to ask a question about what could happen if the Bills were to miss the playoffs with these instructions: “This week, fellas. This week. Talk about this week.”
Against Oakland, Taylor went 18 of 35 for 181 yards and an interception, compiling a quarterback rating of 55.8. After starting the game 8 of 9 for 102 yards in the first quarter, he went just 10 of 26 for 89 yards the rest of the way.
“Definitely left some plays out there on the field,” he said. “Could have been some better balls thrown, we could have made some plays in the air. There was definitely a collective effort that wasn’t good enough. There’s no finger pointing.
“I mean, we just have to learn from it, and I think we did watching that film and breaking it down, and just talking man to man throughout the offense, just where we can get better in. I think we definitely have the right mindset moving forward.”
Fair or not, as the quarterback, Taylor will naturally draw the most scrutiny.
“I’ve taken everything that y’all have stood up here and asked me right on the chest,” he said. “It doesn’t affect me emotionally or physically. I take it every week, so whatever y’all want to blame, I’ll take that. Like I said, my job is to get the team into a position where we can win on Sundays. Can I be better, yes. But it doesn’t just take me, it’s a collective effort out there on the field each and every Sunday.”
Other topics Taylor addressed Wednesday:
• On whether he’s been unfairly judged because of the injuries at wide receiver: “Critics are going to critique. It’s in their job title. I mean, whether it’s unfair or not, it’s going to happen. Just have to deal with it, ignore it, continue to keep playing football. I don’t let those things affect me. Whether I think it’s fair or not, it’s going to happen.”
• On whether those injuries have prevented him from showing what he can truly do: “I’ve never complained. We’ve never complained as a team. We’ve found a way to put ourselves in the position that we are now, which is a realistic goal of getting to the playoffs. Playing important football in December. After the year we can talk about injuries and all that, but right now we’re focusing on the Pittsburgh Steelers and what it takes to win this week.”
• On why he prefers not to talk about his future in Buffalo: “Because my future in Buffalo is this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s what matters the most. I don’t feel like talking about my contract right now. We still have games to play.”