Here's the Bills news of note for March 13th.
**1 - Pro Bowl week a factor in Tyrod's affinity for new staff
**In the wake of Buffalo's decision to keep QB Tyrod Taylor on the roster, Taylor outlined how his time around the new coaching staff at One Bills Drive while he rehabbed from groin surgery helped him feel good about his potential future in Buffalo. There was also some other exposure that Taylor had to Bills quarterbacks coach David Culley that proved valuable.
When Taylor went to the Pro Bowl in 2016, Andy Reid's Kansas City staff was coaching one of the two squads for the Pro Bowl. Taylor wound up on the team coached by Reid's staff, which included Culley.
"Getting a chance to work with (quarterbacks) coach (David) Culley at the Pro Bowl, that was a quick week, but just being around those guys helped," said Taylor.
Taylor naturally had some casual conversations at One Bills Drive and other members of the offensive staff during his rehab period in January and February, but seeing how Culley operated as a coach during a "game" week at the Pro Bowl provided him with more insight as to what things would be like during the regular season. It only helped to convince Taylor that if something could be worked out between him and Buffalo concerning his contract that it would be beneficial.
"This is the place to be," he said. "Like I've said from day one, my commitment is to this team, to this community, to do whatever it takes to get a winning tradition back and I'm still committed to doing that each and every day."
2 - Explaining the two fullback signingsSeeing the Bills sign a pair of fullbacks early in the free agency period had some Bills fans scratching their heads. Why two?
Head coach Sean McDermott provided an explanation for such an approach.
"Fullback is a big part of this offense, and let's say this: it's not limited to playing the fullback position," said McDermott in reference to Pat DiMarco and Mike Tolbert. "There's versatility within that position, and I had the chance to be around Mike for a number of years in Carolina and I know what he brings to the table in terms of leadership, intangibles again, and what happens in that locker room on Monday through Saturday. So that's a big part of it, and then Mike's versatility on the field with the ability to play fullback, line up at fullback and then also transition to the halfback position and carry the football, and he's done that extremely well. I had a front-row seat to observe what Mike's skill set is, both on and off the field, and that was key for us. You're talking about a guy that's been to a Pro Bowl, and that's really no different to [Patrick] DiMarco, in this case."
DiMarco has a strong resume as a blocking back, but also has some reception numbers in his career. Tolbert has experience as a goal line and short yardage back. Both fullbacks also have Pro Bowls on their resume, with DiMarco going to each of the last two Pro Bowls.
3 - Pivoting at receiverAs free agency opened the Bills made a handful of acquisitions, but they also saw some players from their roster sign elsewhere. On offense Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin signed with west coast clubs. While it further depleted Buffalo's ranks at the receiver position, Tyrod Taylor and head coach Sean McDermott believe they will have viable answers for the position when all is said and done this offseason.
"This is a tough time of year, as far as that goes," McDermott said. "This is a time of year where you're going to lose some players, and those are good players. We wish them the best, in terms of their careers. We're going to do everything in our power to continue to add pieces to this roster in guys that fit the DNA that we're looking for, and add competition and depth at every position. That's really what our mission is at this time."
"Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, definitely very good players and definitely deserve the contracts that they got," Taylor said. "As far as what else is out there for us to pick up and to bring in for free agency, I'm not sure right now, but I definitely have faith in our management and coach McDermott to bring in talent that's definitely going to help this team."