Tyrod Taylor is potentially entering the final three games of his Buffalo Bills career.
He has a contract option with life-changing money on the line and could be playing for his head coach’s job, too.
But you wouldn’t have known the pressure was building from Taylor’s weekly press conference. He was as calm and cool as ever Wednesday, a week after attracting headlines for letting a little frustration show through.
“I think I’ve done a good job with (the pressure),” Taylor said, while rocking a yellow Buffalo Sabres hat at a podium beside the Bills' indoor practice field. “We haven’t won as many games as I would’ve like to, or as we would’ve liked to as a team, but we still have the opportunity to win three and finish the season 9-7. That’s all my focus – that’s all my energy is going into, is finishing out the season strong.”
The Bills’ playoff odds are next to zero at 6-7. There are calls for a quarterback change, at least in part to assure Taylor doesn’t leave the field on a cart, since his contract is guaranteed for injury. The very first question Rex Ryan fielded Monday asked who would play quarterback Sunday against the Browns.
With those issues in mind, Taylor was asked if he feels he needs a good performance Sunday to keep his starting role.
“I feel that way each and every week,” he said. “I mean, I’ve been on the other side as far as the backups, so I don’t take my reps lightly. I like to compete and I want to continue to keep competing, so my job each and every week is to prepare as if I’m the starter.”
Taylor said the players don’t talk about reports that their coach could be fired – “It’s kind of just understood,” he said.
“As far as being on the hot seat, you never want to hear those rumors. But the guys in this locker room, the coaches, we sacrifice and put a lot of time into what we do on Sundays. So it’s about playing for the man beside you or the coach beside you,” Taylor said.
“Guys are definitely willingly going to do that. I mean it’s not just, like you said, the hot seat issues. It’s a bunch of personal things going on as well in the team. We have to go out there and play. Winning makes everyone feel good.”
The Bills haven’t done a ton of that lately, but they should have a good opportunity on their home field Sunday against the winless Browns. If not, subjecting Taylor to a potential injury will be even harder to justify.