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Batted-down passes a problem for Bills' quarterbacks

For now, the biggest issue facing the Buffalo Bills' quarterbacks is that most of them are dealing with concussions.

That shouldn't overshadow another problem that surfaced with all three of the team's QBs during Saturday night's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens:

Passes batted down at the line.

It happened to Tyrod Taylor in the first two series before a sack that caused him to fall hard on the back of his head and leave the game with a concussion.

It happened to rookie Nathan Peterman, after he took over for Taylor and played into the third quarter. And it happened to T.J. Yates, after he replaced Peterman in the third quarter and later also suffered a concussion.

Coach Sean McDermott said the blame for defenders being able to deflect passes at the line goes beyond the quarterbacks. He put some of it on the offensive linemen as well.

"There’s a lot of hands in that jar," McDermott said. "There’s things, in terms of getting the ball out on time, in terms of how we play with our technique upfront, there’s a lot of things that go into it."

At 6-foot-1, Taylor is one of the shorter quarterbacks in the NFL, and no doubt that was a factor. But Peterman is 6-2 and Yates is 6-4.

McDermott's points about the timing of the release of the ball and blocking technique would seem to speak to the fact the Bills are still in the process of learning the new offensive scheme of coordinator Rick Dennison.

McDermott also credited the Ravens' defense for its efforts in knocking down the passes.

"They did a nice job, that’s a good defense," the coach said. "I think they’ve given 10 points up total in two games, and they did a nice job, give them a lot of credit for knocking those balls down and doing some good things defensively.

"I thought we did some good things offensively as well at times, and had some moments. We need more consistency overall."

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