Say this for Sean McDermott: The Buffalo Bills’ rookie head coach has his players in perfect harmony, singing the same tune.
With McDermott waffling on his starting quarterback – announcing Wednesday that Tyrod Taylor would return to that role Sunday against Kansas City – players offered up the same variation of support for the move that they did when rookie Nathan Peterman took over the job.
“We have faith in our guys, man,” safety Micah Hyde said. “We stuck by the decision last week, we stick by this one.”
“Just supportive of coach’s decision,” left guard Richie Incognito said. “He made the decision to go with Nate and we supported that. Tyrod came back in the game and it was back to normal. We’re obviously comfortable with Tyrod in the huddle and we just kind of picked up where we left off.”
It would be a shock to hear a player openly question McDermott’s decision publicly, even in the wake of a historically bad performance by Peterman. That’s partially because there isn’t room for anyone else to talk. It would be one thing if the Bills’ three-game losing streak can be attributed to the quarterback only.
The Bills, however, have been deficient in just about every way.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” McDermott said. “A lot of work to do. We spent a lot of time the last couple of days looking at” the defensive “side of the ball, like we did the week before and seeing what we can do better. There’s a lot we can do better. That starts with me.”
“I don’t care who’s the quarterback or, what’s going on on the offensive side of the ball,” Hyde said. “Our defense has to step it up and we’ve just got to play better.”
Incognito was quick to point out that the Bills needed to block better for Peterman.
"It’s tough. I don’t think anybody saw it going that bad for Nate," he said. "It kind of just snowballed on him there. Some of those interceptions weren’t his fault. The team has to pick him up."
About the only thing Taylor’s offensive teammates would concede is that they have more chemistry with Taylor.
“He’s a veteran guy; he’s been around a little bit,” running back LeSean McCoy said. “Obviously right now, I think it’s best that he’s in here kind of getting it rolling for offense. More trust than anything. More trust.”
“I definitely have a comfort level with Tyrod. I’ve worked with him for a lot of games and a lot of us have,” center Eric Wood said. “There’s a comfort level there. That doesn’t mean I’m speaking against anything that went on last week. Definitely there is a comfort level there, for sure.”
Taylor’s interception total for the season, three, was matched by Peterman in the first quarter alone in Week 11, then surpassed in the second. That gave the Bills no chance to beat the Chargers. It’s a safe bet that Taylor will at the least limit mistakes Sunday against the Chiefs.
“I’ve just seen Tyrod in bad games he’s played or bad situations where he’s answered and you can count on him,” McCoy said. “Sometimes, man, myself, just plays where I might make a bad play, but you don’t want it to keep affecting your whole game. Turning the ball over last game was bad for us; you can’t win like that."
Both Peterman and Taylor spoke of putting the team first, which is what defensive tackle Kyle Williams said he expects.
“Those guys are mentally tough guys,” he said. “They’re guys that are willing to prepare and the team means the most to them. I think they’ll put that above anything else and they’ll go out and they’ll work and prepare to win.”