1 - Derek Anderson: ‘I’m fully committed to it’
The Buffalo Bills’ quarterback carousel continues to turn, and it’s now Derek Anderson’s turn to hop on.
An elbow injury will prevent rookie signal-caller Josh Allen from playing in the team’s Week 7 matchup with the Colts, and Anderson, a 14-year veteran, will start in his place. Anderson, who signed a one-year deal with the Bills last week, will be Buffalo’s third starting quarterback of the 2018 season.
Though it’s been a crazy stretch of days for Anderson, being prepared to serve his role, whatever that may be, is a promise that the 35-year-old made to Sean McDermott.
“It’s not exactly how I saw it happening, I’m not going to lie to you,” Anderson said. “I talked with my friends, my wife. I was like ‘Hey, do you want to do this? Do you really want to do this?’ I told coach [McDermott], I said, ‘If I’m going to do it, I’m going to be fully committed to it.’ And that’s why I came here.”
2 - Nathan Peterman on learning from Anderson
Anderson got the starting nod over sophomore Nathan Peterman, who closed out the team’s Week 6 contest with the Houston Texans. Though disappointed to not get the start, Peterman is eager to learn from a quarterback with a resumé as impressive as Anderson’s.
“I think [with] Derek, it’s been great just to watch him work,” Peterman said. “Today, to see him take control. Fourteen years of experience, you’ve got to try to get everything you can from that. It’s been great watching him.”
Peterman, who will be the second quarterback on Buffalo’s depth chart on Sunday, will be ready to go if his number is called.
“I respect the decision,” Peterman said. “Obviously I’m going to be ready this week and keep being ready to help the team out however I can.”
3 - LeSean McCoy wants offense to ‘help [Anderson] out’
Though Anderson is a 14-year NFL veteran, he’ll be just 12 days into his Buffalo tenure when he lines up under center for the team in Week 7. While the quarterback is working toward mastering the offensive system, expecting him to know the playbook like the back of his hand in less than two weeks is simply unrealistic.
Running back LeSean McCoy, who is coming off a 16-carry, 73-yard Week 6 outing, expects the team to lean on the ground game this weekend.
“Yeah I think so,” McCoy said. “It’s still only Wednesday and we’re putting the whole game plan together. I would think so because he’s new to this offense, but he’s very intelligent. He’s been in here extra hours learning the offense so we’ll see.”
Though McCoy may be the focus of the Bills’ offense in Week 7, the 30-year-old has confidence in the team’s new starting quarterback.
“Just take the next man up mentality,” McCoy said. “He’s a veteran. He’s used to this, stepping in and playing. We’ve just got to help him out at the skill positions, run the ball well, play good defense, good special teams. He’s new here so we’ve just got to help him out.”
4 - Kelvin Benjamin: ‘He can just go out and play ball’
Though Buffalo’s offense is new to Anderson, he does have some familiarity with one of the unit’s top weapons. A former Carolina Panther, Anderson has experience with Kelvin Benjamin, a wideout who the Panthers traded to the Bills midway through the 2017 season.
Benjamin has enjoyed reconnecting with Anderson over the past number of days.
“It’s cool seeing [Derek Anderson],” Benjamin said. “You can tell he’s having fun, he’s pumped up, he’s energized, you can tell he’s ready to go. He’s like an old Mustang right now. He’s ready to go. It’s exciting. It’s exciting for him and I can’t wait to see.”
Benjamin is incredibly confident in Anderson’s ability to lead an offense.
“His experience, he can go out and pick a defense apart,” Benjamin said. “His poise, he’s been in so many different situations. He can just go out and play ball. He just needs us to go play fast and be where we’re supposed to be for him.”
5 - Micah Hyde talks about preparing for Andrew Luck
While the Bills await the return of their franchise quarterback, they’re set to go up against a team that just got their franchise signal-caller back.
Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury, has been productive thus far in his return. Through the first six games of the 2018 season, Luck has completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 1,792 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Buffalo will face off against Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday. Bills safety Micah Hyde knows that going up against a quarterback with an elite skillset won’t be an easy task.
“Balls getting out,” Hyde said. "Can still put the ball on point. He kind of gets guys to show their disguise and get you in the defense, and he knows what you’re in on every single play. One of those intelligent quarterbacks, and that’s one of the things that we’ll deal with this week is disguising and making sure that he doesn’t know what we’re doing on the back end.”