ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden had Nathan Peterman as part of his quarterback camp in April before the NFL Draft.
Gruden said at the time that he thought Peterman was "going to be a real good pro quarterback. I just have a real confidence in that."
On the day that Bills named Peterman as the starter to replace Tyrod Taylor, The Buffalo News checked in with Gruden for his thoughts on Peterman, the timing of the move and what to expect:
On what stands out about Peterman and what he brings to the Bills …
I like Peterman for a lot of reasons. I compare him to Andy Dalton and I consider that a great compliment. He’s intelligent. He’s football savvy. He’s more athletic than people think. He’s an accurate passer and he has toughness. Those are qualities I always looked for – athletic, accurate arm talent, plus some natural leadership skills. He’s got a lot of good stuff.
He came out of the huddle and played in two different systems. He graduated from college. I think he has multiple degrees. After working with him at QB Camp, I just felt I could give him the entire playbook, and I bet I could make 17 adjustments after the first three practices and it wouldn’t faze him a bit.
I watched him in the preseason. I pay a lot of attention to the rookies. I saw him against the Eagles and the Vikings and he had a heck of a preseason. I think that stuck in the minds of coach and the offensive staff. They remember what he did.
On the timing of this change …
Obviously, the Bills are coming off two tough losses, and the last one wasn’t very pretty. You have to remember, this is Coach McDermott’s first season with the Bills. The No. 1 thing everybody’s trying to do is get their quarterback situation right. He had a chance to study Tyrod Taylor for the first half of the season. He’s had a chance to watch Peterman in the preseason, offseason program, and on the practice field. They’ve acquired Kelvin Benjamin. Maybe they want to become more of a traditional ‘throw it’ type team. I saw Peterman thrive in cold weather at Pitt.
As the first-year head coach, I think he’s just trying to get his quarterback situation solved and he’s trying to jump-start this team. They are in a two-game losing streak and they haven’t played that well on offense.
On the benefit of naming Peterman the starter early in the week …
He probably did it for his team. I think he wants his team to rally around this kid. Tyrod is a heck of a kid, too. It’s going to be emotional for some people, perhaps not please everyone, but I give Coach McDermott a lot of credit for having the guts to change direction. The offense will change now. It won’t be like it was with Tyrod. It will be different. I think coach wants to let everyone know to get on board – we have work to do. McDermott and his staff have done a heck of a job in Buffalo so far. There have been a lot of positives.