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'Playing free' the key for Tyrod Taylor, team, McDermott says

New system. New receiving corps. Same Tyrod Taylor.

Well, sort of.

One of the Bills quarterback’s best attributes is his dedication, according to head coach Sean McDermott. That hasn’t changed. But now, Taylor is playing “more free” within their new offense. And that modification is the key to not only his success but the team’s as well.

“For our players, I want them to know that playing free is powerful,” McDermott said before Thursday’s practice. “There’s power in that. We're not going out there to think. I’m the one who’s got to think. Thank God I don’t have to play. … You tend to put on display the best version of yourself when you play free and play aggressive.”

Taylor certainly didn’t display the “best version” of himself in last week’s 20-16 loss in Philly. He finished with a quarterback rating of 12.0 and two interceptions — one of which was snagged by cornerback Ronald Darby, whom the Bills traded to the Eagles six days prior.

In the aftermath of the Bills’ preseason loss, Taylor downplayed the Bills’ roster overhaul and the challenge of jelling with a new group of receivers. On Thursday, McDermott noted that Taylor has been more “decisive” and loose during this week’s preparation for Saturday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.

“The first thing I noticed was his leadership, and it hasn’t changed,” McDermott said of his seventh-year quarterback. “He’s just about the first one in the building and one of the last to leave. So from a head coach’s standpoint, I appreciate that. I know his teammates appreciate that about him.

“I feel like he’s more decisive and playing more free within the offense. He’s developing some continuity and chemistry with his receivers, and even though Jordan at this point is probably not going to play Saturday night, you’re seeing that develop through practice reps together. So that’s been good to watch.”

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