To a man the players in Buffalo's locker room felt they could win with any of the three men in the team's quarterback competition. With Rex Ryan confirming Tyrod Taylor as the choice for starting quarterback Monday, his teammates were excited about the prospects for Buffalo's offense in 2015.
"He's going to be tremendous for this team," said Percy Harvin. "With the weapons that we already have I think teams have to worry about that, but now they have to worry about his legs too with the 4.4 speed he puts on the field I think is going to be tremendously dangerous for opponents to prepare for us."
Taylor's athleticism was well documented, but if there was anything eye-opening about the fifth-year quarterback's game it was his ability to make plays from the pocket and his consistent ball location no matter what kind of pass he was throwing.
"You guys have seen over the course of training camp all offseason long he's a dual threat quarterback, but he's very good with throwing the ball, very accurate, can extend plays and you could see it over the last couple of games," said Marcus Easley. "We're all happy for Tyrod. It's a big day for him so congrats to him."
In his time on the field with the starting unit, Taylor went 19-23 passing (82.6%) for 187 yards (8.13 yds/att) and a passer rating of 100.5. Not counting a one-play kneel down possession at the end of the half against Cleveland, Taylor led the offense to points on six of his nine series in the preseason with four touchdowns and a pair of field goals. One of those touchdowns was a 20-yard run by Taylor himself this past Saturday against the Steelers.
"He didn't surprise me," said Harvin. "I've been watching T-Rod since we were growing up back in Virginia. So I've known what he's been able to do. I followed him when he was at Baltimore so I was looking forward to him getting the opportunity and for everybody else, the rest of the team see what he can do as far as arm strength-wise and his accuracy. I think people are now starting to see his accuracy, his ability to read coverages and just his craftiness of just knowing the game."
For a fellow former sixth-round pick like Boobie Dixon, who has had to wait his turn to get playing opportunities, he was glad to see Taylor get his shot.
"I was definitely happy for him because he's been the underdog coming into it," said Dixon. "Me that's what I'm about, my whole career I've been an underdog so to see him through and grind like he did and win the position, we were all happy for him. I told him, 'Keep it going man, now it's time to run with it.'"
And that kind of support is the same in the quarterback room where the three men in the competition handled the situation with mutual respect and class. Now that a decision has been made, though the decision by Ryan and his staff isn't what they wanted, Taylor is confident he has the backing of the other quarterbacks in the room.
"There's always been a strong bond between us," said Taylor. "We play the game, know the nature of the game and knew it was a competition, but as far as our friendship off the field it's always been strong. I've talked to both of those guys and even talked to (Matt) Simms. And we want to continue to be friends moving forward. This is a team and for everything to work the way we want to make it work we're going to have to be teammates. We're going to bounce ideas off each other and continue to move forward."
Even the men on Buffalo's defense are encouraged by what they saw from Taylor in the preseason and look for the other side of the ball to put points on the board.
"You can't help but be impressed with the things that he can do from the pocket and outside of it," said Kyle Williams. "I'm excited to see him play and excited that he's my quarterback and don't have to prepare for him to be honest with you. So we'll go forward and expect big things from everybody."
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor