How Nate Peterman earned the starting QB job

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There is a lot that head coach Sean McDermott demands of his players. A commitment to the process, dedication to the task at hand and always striving to improve one's game. However, the overriding principle for all of those things is something McDermott covets in his players more than anything else. 

Consistency.

And when it came to consistency, day in and day out, no one embodied that more Nate Peterman. 

That's why McDermott made the announcement six days before the season opener that the second-year quarterback would be his starter against Baltimore on Sunday.

Peterman was the most consistent quarterback in the spring during OTA and minicamp practices, and he was by far the most consistent quarterback in training camp and the preseason.

In his three preseason appearances alone, Peterman far outpaced the field of AJ McCarron, since traded to Oakland, and rookie Josh Allen.

In his first outing with the starting unit in the first preseason game, Peterman was 9-10 passing for 118 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He followed that up with an 8-10 passing performance for 113 yards and a touchdown working with the third string in Cleveland.

Then in his third and final preseason appearance, Peterman went 16-21 for 200 yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati.

By the time the preseason was over, Peterman's completion percentage was an astounding 80.5 percent. Neither Allen nor McCarron eclipsed the 55 percent threshold for completion percentage.

Perhaps most impressive about Peterman's accuracy was his ability to consistently place the ball in either an area where only his receiving target could make a play on the ball or put the ball in a spot where his target could make a play after the reception.

"I think he's been accurate. We noticed that in college as well, but he gives the guys a chance to run after the catch, which is important," said McDermott.

In addition to his rhythm passing in which he gets the ball out quickly, Peterman also demonstrated an improved ability to push the ball downfield. Peterman averaged a gaudy 10.5 yards per attempt in the preseason. A figure of eight or higher is considered very good.

Peterman also took the fewest sacks (2) among the three quarterbacks and had the highest touchdown percentage.

"When you look across all the games, including practice, he has shown that consistency, which is good to see," said McDermott late last month. "A young player just in the start of his second season who has shown some poise and some understanding of how the NFL works in terms of defensive schemes. So I've watched him grow and develop, which is good to see. Still more work to do, but I think he has been consistent, which is important at the quarterback position."

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