Likely Starter: Tyrod Taylor
Potential Backups: T.J. Yates, Nathan Peterman
There is no question that Tyrod Taylor is the Bills starting quarterback. For this year. His contract, and his last two years as starter, don’t really guarantee anything beyond that. With no better options, and an unwillingness to rebuild with a rookie, Sean McDermott had no choice but to bring back Taylor. Tyrod will have the benefit of a new offense built by coordinator Rick Dennison, who coached him in Baltimore and wanted to bring him to Denver. Dennison knows that Taylor’s running ability and deep ball throwing ability are among the best in the NFL. But the offense needs to position Tyrod to improve his completion percentage, utilize the entire field, and anticipate receivers. I need to see Taylor lead more game-deciding or game-clinching 4th quarter drives before I’m convinced he’s the QB who can get the Bills to the playoffs.
The backup spots are all set, thanks to the recent trade of Cardale Jones. GM Brandon Beane has said the team will not bring in another quarterback. There may still be a battle between T.J. Yates and Nathan Peterman to see who’s #2, but I don’t think so. It seems that Yates’ experience and familiarity with Dennison’s offense from his days in Houston make him the perfect backup. You want a solid veteran who understands his role and will help the starter. That’s Yates. Peterman is smart, heady and understands NFL offenses. But he’s still a rookie, and his lack of arm strength makes me wonder if he’ll ever be any more than a backup. He went in the 5th round for a reason.
Overall, the Bills are solid at the position. Is solid good enough? Maybe, if the run game continues to shine and the defense consistently keeps opponents under 24 points. At some point this season, the Bills will need their quarterback to just go out and win a few games. That’s what good teams and great QB’s do. I won’t be a believer in Tyrod Taylor until he does that.