McDermott on Tyrod: He embodies this team (video)
By: Nick Wojton
ORCHARD PARK — Love him or hate him, give credit where credit is due.
From being benched to snapping a 17-year playoff drought, Buffalo Bills (9-7) quarterback Tyrod Taylor has had a helluva past few weeks.
At the time, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said that he was doing what was “best for the team” when he benched Taylor prior to their Week 11 54-25 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Rookie Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions that day and back to Taylor the Bills and McDermott went. On Monday following a 22-16 win over the Miami Dolphins and after clinching their playoff spot in the AFC, McDermott praised Taylor.
“Well, I think just like our entire football team, we are a work in progress, in terms of we’re not finished – we continue to grow and learn. I think Tyrod really embodies that. He’s been told that he hasn’t been ‘x’ or he hasn’t been ‘y’, but he goes back out there and – he led this football team. I thought he did a phenomenal job, and he continues to. The quarterback play is so important in this league, right? I thought he played a good, solid game yesterday. There’s a lot we can improve on as a team, and in his case, no different. We’re just going to continue to grow, continue to embrace that mindset. We’ve done that every week so far,” McDermott said.
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison also dished his thoughts on Taylor, saying through the highs and lows of Taylor’s season, the quarterback always seemed to remain the same.
“I think, I’ve always thought that he believes in himself. He prepares very, very well. Works hard, he’s got the same attitude every day. Always looking for something else to get better at. I didn’t have any problem with how he would respond. I think he’s done a very good job obviously, and his skill set makes it easy for him to make some plays when they’re not right there so I think that’s what he’s done. Obviously, he continues to do that. We all know that,” Taylor said.
In terms of the man himself, Taylor acknowledged the difficulties of the past year, but following Sunday’s win over the Dolphins and discovery of the team’s postseason berth, Taylor was already ready for the Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) and Wild Card weekend.
“The season has been a bunch of ups and downs. I’ve said this before, all that I’ve been through makes me who I am, so I wouldn’t change it. I embrace those opportunities to grow as a person, to grow as a player and I’m still going to continue to keep growing. I’m looking forward to seeing what this team does in the playoffs. We have a bunch of talented players, a bunch of people who love each other, who play for one another and we’re excited about the opportunity. Back to work,” Taylor said.
On the year in 14-and-a-half games player, Taylor finished with a 62.6 completion percent, 2,799 passing yards (career-low as starter), 14 pass TDs, four INTs, 46 sacks (career-high), 427 rushing yards (career-low), and four rushing TDs.
The Bills and Jags will kickoff at 1 p.m. from Jacksonville on Sunday. For more from McDermott, see highlights of his Monday press conference at the attached video below: