Tyrod Taylor addressed the media about 90 minutes after the surprising decision Wednesday that rookie Nathan Peterman would be the starter on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. He admitted he was shocked, but the third-year starter handled the situation about as good as possible.
"Definitely disappointed," Taylor said. "Ultimately coach McDermott has a vision for this team and what he feels is best for the team, as well as the owners and GM. I have to move forward and continue to be the teammate and leader that I am from a different role."
Taylor is still one of the team's five captains. Though he's playing back-up to Peterman, he's pledged to do his best to help the team and still serve as a leader.
"Vocally, I still have to go out there and lead the guys. I got voted captain for a reason," he said. "Those attributes are things that come with me being the quarterback of this team. That doesn't necessarily fade away. I'm that same person. I have to show that leadership. I think now guys are going to look at me even more to see how I respond in this situation."
This isn't the first time Taylor's faced adversity in his career. He served as a backup in Baltimore for four years before coming to Buffalo. Just last season Taylor was put on the bench for the last game of the season. He noted this scenario is different, but the impact on him is similar.
"Whenever you take someone off the field and stop them from competing it's definitely a tough feeling to go through," he said. "I think last year's situation was a little bit different. Some of the same feelings are there."
Regardless of the decision, Taylor is a significant reason the team's 5-4 and right in the playoff picture. He'll continue preparing the same, in case he's called upon to step back into the lineup.
"We still have the season ahead of us and things can happen," he said. "I have to continue to be in it mentally and prepare my body physically for when the opportunity presents itself, if it does."
Taylor has started 38 games as Buffalo's quarterback. He's broken numerous records in the process. Most rushing yards (1,385) by a Bills QB in a career and lowest interception percentage (1.40%) in team history are just a couple.
But, again, coach McDermott maintains it was a team decision more than an individual one.
"It's about becoming a better team. That's what we're here for," McDermott said. "We are 5-4. I understand that, and we are in the playoff hunt at this point. It is always, and will [be] for the time that I'm here, be about becoming the best team that we can possibly become. We are made for more than 5-4 and I've come here to be more than 5-4."
Now that the decision has been made, all eyes will be on Peterman. Sunday will mark his first NFL start, and Taylor will be there for support every step of the way.
"Nate is a great guy. Of course he's still learning, but he's very talented," Taylor said. "Moving forward I have to be able to help him in any way, shape, or form. I want to see this team do well. I have to be there for him for support."