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Bills notebook: Sean McDermott sticking with Tyrod Taylor, a plan to address penalties, run defense on point so far

So much for any quarterback controversy.

Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott shot that possibility down Friday afternoon, declaring that Tyrod Taylor will start in the team's third preseason game, and he expects him to do the same in Week One of the regular season.

"I have all the confidence in the world in Tyrod," McDermott said.

Taylor struggled mightily in the Bills' loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, going 8 of 18 for 53 yards and two interceptions. After the game, McDermott seemed to leave the door open for a quarterback change when he said "we're always going to evaluate everything and that goes for every position including the quarterback position. We're going to evaluate the film. I’m going to evaluate the job I did and then we evaluate the job that each of us and continue to get better as a unit."

 On Friday, McDermott said that was in no way meant to suggest he's considering a switch to rookie Nathan Peterman as the starting quarterback.

"Tyrod's going to start for us this week and I look forward to him getting back on track," the coach said. "There's plays that he wanted back from last night, among other players as well. That said, there were good moments in the game. So we continue to evolve as an offense. That's the second game. Keeping big-picture perspective in mind, we've got to do some things to get the offense on track, there's no doubt about it.

"We've got to move the ball, move the chains, convert third downs, which we didn't do a good job of. And then when we get into the red zone, which we did, we've got to score touchdowns. We had opportunities to put points on the board a couple of times last night, and either we took or sack and took ourselves out of field-goal range, or didn't put the ball in the zone when we had the opportunities."

Later during his press conference, McDermott was asked whether Peterman – who went 10 of 20 for 167 yards against the Eagles – might get any first-team snaps this week during practice.

"Well like I've always said, we always look at everything. And that goes for every position, not just the quarterback position, but every position," McDermott said. "Nate has certainly had a good preseason and training camp. He's going to continue to develop and get better. That said, Tyrod is going to start Saturday night and I expect him to play and play well."


McDermott did not have any injury updates to report Friday.

The Bills practiced without wide receivers Rod Streater (toe), Jordan Matthews (sternum), Jeremy Butler (concussion), offensive tackle Cordy Glenn (foot), Michael Ola (toe), linebacker Tanner Vallejo (undisclosed), safety Trae Elston (undisclosed) and safety Colt Anderson (foot).

"Rod, and really all the other injuries, there’s really no update," McDermott said. "We’re still collecting information with the MRIs that we’re doing. We’ll know a little bit more later on this afternoon and this evening."

The above injury list might not be complete – McDermott said "there’s a collection of them at this point, I don’t want to go into detail just so that I’m accurate for you guys."


Before starting his afternoon press conference, McDermott reviewed film of the Bills' penalties from Thursday. Hopefully he got some good rest and had a cup of coffee, because that likely took a while. The Bills were called for a whopping 21 penalties, 15 of which were accepted for 131 yards.

"I’ve gone back, before I came down here I was going through charting, every penalty and trying to put them in different categories – as you try and solve problems," he said. "You want to be able to say it’s all one area, and that’s not the case. There are some discipline in there, there’s concentration, there’s playing aggressive without hesitation so that we stay in good position, so we’re not in chase mode. There’s different buckets, if you will, that are factoring into the penalties, all of which are unacceptable.

"We need to continue to work at that, I am concerned about it, and we’re going to look into bringing officials into practice, to help us in that effort. We’ve got to get it corrected."


Through two games, the Bills are allowing a minuscule 2.8 yards per carry. Opponents have rushed 55 times for just 156 yards.

"We need to be about 2.5," McDermott joked. "No, but they’ve done some good things. I’d be lying if I sat up here and said I wasn’t happy with the run defense. I am. I’m extremely happy with the run defense. That said, just like our whole football team, we’ve got a lot of work to do and when you get comfortable is when things kind of get you. We’ve got to stay hungry and stay humble on our approach as a football team and as a defense in this particular case. I look forward to watching us develop in those areas this next week."

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