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Having offense ready for Week 1 the only concern for Taylor

Posted Aug 23, 2017

In the wake of significant change at the receiver position just a few weeks before the season opener, Tyrod Taylor isn't focusing on the players no longer on the roster. His main aim is to have the offense operating efficiently come Sept. 10th.


He relished having a dynamic number one target in Sammy Watkins. He had an enormous amount of respect for Anquan Boldin. Both of those players are no longer options for Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo’s passing game. Though disappointed by Boldin’s sudden retirement, Taylor respected his former teammate’s decision and quickly shifted his energy to getting the Bills passing attack ready for Week 1.

“You just have to continue to keep moving on,” said Taylor. “You can’t predict the things that happen, but as a team, and personally, you have to be able to adjust, and continue to keep the mind focused on the goal. Everything is still obtainable and we have to continue to keep chipping away one day at a time.”

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Job number one for Taylor is establishing a rapport with the receiver who is likely to hold the number one role going forward in Jordan Matthews, a player who took another step in returning to the practice field this week. They’ve essentially got two and a half weeks to build a foundation of trust in the passing game.

“It’s not the best scenario, but like I said, we have guys on our team right now,” said Taylor. “We still have a team full of playmakers. Just have to continue to keep chipping away one day at a time. Keeping our mindset, everything we have is still in front of us, all of our goals, we can still reach that. Just have to continue to do what we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks and keep our head forward.”

The task for Taylor and Matthews is aided by the fact that they are locker room neighbors.

“I don’t know if it was luck of the draw, but it’s a good person to have as a locker mate for sure,” Matthews said. “It’s been big, more so watching how he goes about his business. We talk about something that we both understand, which is football. Then I give him his space and let him do what he does and as I get back healthy we can continue to build that friendship and hopefully it turns into something good.”

The other receiving target upon whom Taylor will likely be relying on most is second-round pick Zay Jones, who seems destined for the primary outside role to serve as a number two alongside Matthews. It’s a lot to ask of a rookie, but Taylor sees a maturity in Jones and hopes the plays the wideout made at Philadelphia will give him confidence Saturday in Baltimore, the offense’s last big dress rehearsal.

“It’s definitely an important game, every time he gets a chance to go out there and create plays and make plays, it’s definitely important for him,” said Taylor of Jones. “A young guy in this league, getting confidence early on in the preseason is big. Like I told him, he’s kind of like a rookie and a vet in the same year. A lot has been thrown at him, and he’s taking it in stride. Challenging himself to be better each and every day.”

After last week’s preseason game in which the first team offense had some struggles, Taylor said there are no excuses, and that he and his offensive teammates have to do whatever it takes to have themselves in sync and ready for the start of the regular season.

“I just have to spend more time with the guys that we have here,” Taylor said. “We’ve been building a bond, and building a chemistry the whole time. Now, as the receiver room gets a little shorter in depth, I have to spend more time with those guys, and that’s what I’ve been doing. Talking to them daily, on the field and off the field.”

Entering his third year as a starter with the Bills, one would assume Taylor would be more comfortable than ever heading into the regular season. Changes to the coaching staff, the offensive scheme and the players around him however, have again put the onus on him to make it all work on game days.

As he said himself it’s not ideal, but Taylor has never been one to make excuses. His nose-to-the-grindstone mentality is what he’s come to rely on because it is what has helped him to adapt and perform despite what’s going on around him.

“All I can do is focus on myself and prepare each and every week,” he said. “That’s what my mindset has been since the day I’ve been fortunate enough to play in this league. There have been a lot of things that I’ve had to adjust to, and I’m going to continue to keep adjusting, and keeping my mind focused on my goals, and the goals we have as a team.

“It’s a challenge for all of us. It’s definitely a challenge for (the receivers) too, and we’ll see as the time goes on, how they respond to that challenge – I’m looking forward to seeing them respond in a great way, and I think they have the mindset as well to do the same.”

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