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Quick Hits: Tyrod still the starter

Posted Nov 13, 2017

Head coach Sean McDermott is supporting his starting QB, urging a big picture perspective and re-committing his staff to teaching fundamentals.

1 – Tyrod still the starter
Tyrod Taylor was the first to admit that he was a part of Buffalo’s failures in their 37-point loss to the Saints on Sunday. But he was far from the only player who struggled on either side of the ball. Head coach Sean McDermott was asked about both Nathan Peterman’s and Taylor’s performance and why he wouldn’t make a change, after saying Sunday postgame that Taylor would remain the starter.

“Because I believe in Tyrod,” said McDermott. “Tyrod is our starter. That’s what I said (Sunday). I know what Tyrod has done and I also know what Nate has done. Tyrod is our starter.”

When asked if Taylor is too conservative with his decisions in the passing game, McDermott explained that the offensive issues were broader than just his quarterback’s play and decision making. He also feels over the course of the season Taylor has made strides with his game, Sunday’s performance notwithstanding.

“There are times when you have to check the ball down based on where the reads take you or the smart play,” he said. “This is a league of contested balls. That’s how this league works, so there’s a give and take there as we all know. I’ve seen Tyrod grow and do some things better this year than he did last year and that’s part of his growth process and our team’s growth process as well.”

2 – Big picture perspective
After a pair of humbling losses in which the Bills couldn’t keep pace with their opponents, the natural feeling is that the sky is falling. But head coach Sean McDermott believes when a team is tested is when they need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

“We’re 5-4 and big picture perspective says we’re in the playoff hunt,” said McDermott. “Right now I’m not concerned about that at all. I believe in the men in that locker room and I’m excited about where we’re going. This is our first year together so you have to keep things in perspective.

“We build on what we did well and we correct what we didn’t do well. These are the growing pains that you go through when you come in and try to get things going the right way. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy in the first year.

“Right now we had two games that weren’t up to our standards and sometimes that happens as you’re going through this process. There’s pain in the process also and that doesn’t make it easy. It just means you have to work through it.

“The five wins didn’t happen by mistake. Obviously, the last couple of games we haven’t played our best football. But that tends to happen, when you look around the league and that tends to happen. Can you hang together? Can you handle the downturns, and manage the downturns that come up every once in a while during a season and get the thing going in the right direction?

“So, we’re making sure we’re learning from the mistakes. Making sure we’re learning from the lessons that have occurred in the past couple of weeks.”

3 – Run ‘D’ fix is in the fundamentals
Buffalo’s run defense in the words of Lorenzo Alexander “took a whupping.” The 298 yards they allowed on the ground far surpassed what was the previous high permitted just a week ago against the Jets (194). Again the Bills head coach emphasized getting back to mastering the basics.

“We’ve got to look at it and own what we did do well and didn’t do well,” said McDermott. “A lot of it we didn’t do well. That starts with gap integrity and fundamentals and technique in taking on blocks and staying in our gaps. That’s where we have to improve.”

McDermott also dismissed the perception that the run defense problems coincided with the trade of Marcell Dareus.

“No, we played good run defense even when Marcell (Dareus) was in the building and not on the field,” he said. “We’ve played good run defense and I expect us to do that going forward.”

At no point did McDermott feel his defensive unit’s effort was lacking, though he did admit his players got worn down knowing they spent better than 41 of the game’s 60 minutes on the field.

Most important for he and his coaching staff is that what needs to be fixed in Buffalo’s run front is correctable.

“I’m of the belief that it’s easier to fix fundamentals and technique (than effort), but that’s not easy either because it takes work,” McDermott said. “Everything you do in life takes work and in this case no different.”