1 - Nathan Peterman’s confidence high ahead of potential start.
Buffalo’s quarterback situation is in flux.
Rookie signal caller Josh Allen is sidelined with an elbow injury. Veteran quarterback Derek Anderson, who took the reins of the offense after Allen went down, currently finds himself in the concussion protocol.
Football, however, is a next man up game. If Anderson is unable to play in Buffalo’s Week 9 contest with the Bears, the Bills will likely turn to second-year man Nathan Peterman, who won the starting quarterback job in preseason. Despite his past regular season struggles, Peterman has received support from his coaches and teammates, something he is appreciative of.
“I’m thankful to be here as a Bill, for sure,” Peterman said. “Lot of great relationships in this building. I’m going to go out there and do my best to get us a win.”
Should his number be called this weekend, Peterman will be ready to play, as confidence is something that he has never lost throughout his career.
“There’s definitely a lot of resources in this building and I think we have a great support staff,” Peterman said. “I think it’s important, and as a professional athlete, you have to be able to move on and keep your confidence high, and especially as a quarterback. That’s the most valuable asset, I’d say as a quarterback, is confidence. It’s important to keep that high.”
2 - Zay Jones senses growing confidence in Peterman
Peterman thinks that the “most valuable asset” a quarterback can have is confidence. According to Zay Jones, Peterman has grown more comfortable within Buffalo’s offense as the season has progressed.
The sophomore, who currently leads the team in receiving yards with 281, has sensed a growing level of confidence in Peterman since the start of the 2018 campaign, specifically on the practice field.
“I believe I have,” Jones said. “But Nate’s kind of the same person, his personality and the things that he gives off never let you know if he’s down or high. He’s kind of even-keeled. But as far as the things he does on the field wise and in practice that I’ve seen, of course.”
3 - Matt Barkley talks preparing for former team
With two quarterbacks headlining the injury report, Matt Barkley may be forced to suit up for Buffalo on what would be just his fifth day with the team.
The sixth-year passer, who inked a one-year deal with the Bills on Wednesday, has already started studying the offensive playbook. Fortunately for the 28-year-old, he has some familiarity with the opposition, as he started six games for Chicago in the 2016 season.
“[It’s like cramming] for 20 finals, just because you have to not only learn a new offense but also realize what the Bears are doing,” Barkley said. “It helps having played there and against Vic [Fangio] that you kind of know what to expect a little bit. Obviously, things have changed over two years, but yeah, there’s a lot in a couple of days yet to learn. Just taking it one day at a time and trying to master what the install was today.”
4 - Terrelle Pryor not expecting to play QB in Buffalo
What Buffalo’s quarterback depth chart will look like on Sunday is currently unknown. There is, however, one certainty - Terrelle Pryor won’t be appearing on the list.
The wide receiver, who signed a one-year deal with Buffalo on Tuesday, has experience at the quarterback position. Pryor was a productive signal caller at Ohio State, throwing for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns throughout his three years as a Buckeye.
The 29-year-old transitioned to wideout at the professional level, and the move has paid off, as he has reeled in 113 passes for 1,546 yards over his six years in the NFL.
Now a proven receiver, Pryor isn’t expecting to play under center for the Bills, partly because of the Buffalo weather, but mostly because of his confidence in the team’s quarterback group.
“No, we have great quarterbacks,” Pryor said. “We’ve just got to pick them up. We’ve just got to practice hard and compete, I truly believe that. I think this weekend is going to be different, and I think that whoever’s behind the center, we’re going to have a great game.
“You guys know if you watch my film, I could throw some plays. But, through this wind, I won’t make it. You guys would run me out of Buffalo.”
5 - Lorenzo Alexander dubs Mitch Trubisky ‘a great athlete’
The Bills have faced off against some incredibly shifty quarterbacks in the 2018 season thus far, with Marcus Mariota, Deshaun Watson, and Aaron Rodgers topping the list.
In Week 9, however, they’ll go up against Mitchell Trubisky, who leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards this season (296).
While Trubisky isn’t necessarily known for his legs, his mobility is quickly becoming a key part of his game. The sophomore’s athleticism is something that Buffalo is accounting for in its game plan, according to veteran pass rusher Lorenzo Alexander.
“He’s out there running around,” Alexander said. “I’m watching film on him. Obviously, he’s a great athlete. If his options aren’t there, he’s not shy about pulling the ball down and running and trying to shake folks and extending some drives. That’s definitely something that we’ll have to have our eye out [for] this week, is him being a scrambler as we’re rushing the passer.”
6 - Jordan Poyer on the ‘confusion’ Tarik Cohen creates
The Bears’ offense is filled to the brim with versatile playmakers. Perhaps the most dangerous of them all is Tarik Cohen, who can perhaps best be described as the personification of The Flash.
Cohen, who also plays on special teams as a kick and punt returner, is an offensive weapon who Chicago deploys at running back and receiver. Through seven games this season, the second-year man has caught 30 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns. He has also rushed for 224 yards on 43 carries.
Safety Jordan Poyer knows that defending a player of Cohen’s caliber will be a challenge.
“It’s very difficult [to defend him],” Poyer said. “You’ve got a guy that plays running back, he comes in the slot, he goes outside and his route tree is pretty much every route in the route tree. You’ve got a guy like that, sometimes you don’t know whether to see him as a running back or a receiver, creates some confusion on the defensive side of the football. We’re going to have our hands full. He’s a great player, and we’ve got to be able to stop him.”