The Bills' new offense this season under Rick Dennison expects different things from its quarterback than the scheme the Bills ran the last two years under Greg Roman and Anthony Lynn.
There is a sense that the new offense wants Tyrod Taylor to be more of a pocket passer and has been less willing to adjust to Taylor's strengths as a runner. Bills center Eric Wood was asked about that idea in a radio appearance Monday, and he discussed the ways Taylor has been asked to change this year.
Here's the exchange Wood had on WGR-550 during "Schopp and the Bulldog." The audio is below.
Question to Wood: "There has been this sense with the fans this year that they're trying to force Taylor, whose strengths of course include running the ball, that the Bills are trying to force him, so to speak, into an offense where he does that less often. And I wonder if you could speak to that, is there a concerted effort in the coaching meetings, on the team, to have Taylor be more of the dropback passer that the organization might want in the future, might prefer, as has been speculated in the public for much of the season?
Wood: "Yeah, I mean, when plays break down or nobody's open, we obviously want Tyrod to make plays with his legs. This year we've made more of an effort, you're right, to not run it as much in the run game for us. So less 'read' plays – you know, last year, almost anything in the shotgun that we were running it would have an option of him running it as well. We still do some of that of stuff, but it's tough on those guys to take a bunch of shots. And I know that's, you know, running the ball a bunch with the quarterback isn't necessarily the Rick Dennison/Shanahan offense, it's more, 'get under center, run the ball, dropback, play-action types,' as opposed to last year we did a little more quarterback-movement stuff."
The question starts at about the 5:55 mark in the audio.
Taylor's completion percentage is up this year in Dennison's offense, though his yards per attempt, yards per game and quarterback rating is down. He is also rushing slightly less than any of his other years in Buffalo, down 0.5 carries per game from last year, but his effectiveness has declined sharply, down from 6.1 yards per rush last year to 4.8 this year.