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Doug Whaley: Tyrod Taylor better this season

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Buffalo Bills yells to his team during the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills have won three straight games to turn the narrative of their season around after they looked bad in their first two games of the year.

That change in fortunes makes it likelier that the Bills will keep coach Rex Ryan and General Manager Doug Whaley beyond this season and that they will be involved in the decision to keep quarterback Tyrod Taylor for $27.5 million in salary and bonus next year. Taylor’s numbers in the first five weeks are down in most categories compared to last season, but Whaley said Friday that Taylor has been better than he was in 2015.

“I think he’s better,” Whaley said on WGR 550, via “The one thing you can definitely hang your hat on is he does not turn the ball over. The other thing that we’re seeing now is like I said, he’s doing whatever it takes to get this team to put points on the board. That’s what it takes. Until they change the rules, if we score more points than the other team, let’s just figure out a way to do that. So I think he’s just continuing to get better and better.”

Whaley noted Taylor’s ability to make plays with his legs, something that was on display on a touchdown pass to Justin Hunter in Los Angeles last Sunday, while saying he’s seen progress in the passing game as well. Taylor isn’t helped by the absence of wide receiver Sammy Watkins in that regard, but he’s found ways to succeed each week without the eye-popping numbers some other quarterbacks might put up.

If the Bills defense continues to play as well as it has the last few weeks, that should be enough to keep the Bills from slipping back to where they were in their first two games. That would also seem to help Taylor’s chances of sticking with the team beyond this season.

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17 Responses to “Doug Whaley: Tyrod Taylor better this season”
  1. toocoofoo84 says: Oct 14, 2016 12:33 PM

    He doesn’t seem as accurate to me this year but he does keep drives alive with his feet and outs points on the board. Bills have scored 30+ points in 3 out of 5 games

  2. zeuslizard says: Oct 14, 2016 12:38 PM

    Shady has carried the Bills to this point. Tyrod’s best asset has been not turning the ball over. He needs to continue to improve his passing though to stick with the team moving forward…

  3. eustus says: Oct 14, 2016 12:43 PM

    Winning 3 games in a row means that Whaley and Rex won’t be turfed mid-season.

    The Bills have 11 games left on their schedule. They have a long way to go to living up to Rex’s pre-season Superbowl or bust talk. Like every other bubble team, they are a couple of injuries away from finish 6-10. Get back to me in December when you want to talk about Rex and Doug in Buffalo next season.

  4. bobthebillsfan says: Oct 14, 2016 12:57 PM

    Go Bills!

  5. frencha2384 says: Oct 14, 2016 12:58 PM

    eustus, rex didnt mention the super bowl once this year dont know where you got that.

  6. dohczeppelin says: Oct 14, 2016 12:59 PM

    He’s not great, but he’s serviceable. As mentioned, the lack of turnovers is the key. Continuing that is crucial.

    For those criticizing him, what is the alternative? Trade a high draft pick for Cutler or Romo? Try to weasel AJ out from under the Bengals or Jimmy G. away from the Pats? Please. As it stands right now Taylor is a below average passer but an elite runner with great ball security. On net, that makes him an average starting NFL quarterback. As a Bills fan, I’ll take that. Throw in the fact that our receiving corp. is well below average without Watkins and you can see where there is room for improvement even if Taylor is already at his own personal ceiling.

    The fact of the matter is there is no one better available right now. I’m all for drafting a QB high next year and seeing what happens but for now, keep him. Maybe Cardale Jones will pan out over time, I don’t know. But I do know that Taylor could be a lot worse.

  7. weepingjebus says: Oct 14, 2016 1:09 PM

    Please pummel the Noners. This is the first time I have ever rooted for Rex Ryan so don’t make me regret it.

  8. billsfan says: Oct 14, 2016 1:10 PM

    Of course you think he’s better, Doug. Any and all measurement says he isn’t. But, who cares about stats. Genius!

    Just like everyone else thought EJ was worth a sixth round shot. Not you. The “best” QB in the draft and worth #16, according to you. Genius!

    Everyone had doubts about a Cardale Jones, who lost his starting job in college. Not you. Genius!

    Despite what others know, you know better. So, 3-2 is really 5-0 by your calculations. And, the Bills are the #32 ranked team in receiving yards. That’s out of 32 teams, for all you dummies! Genius!

    Doug “knows” him some QBs…forget what others think they “know”. We are in the midst of genius!

  9. dohczeppelin says: Oct 14, 2016 1:11 PM

    eustus says:
    Oct 14, 2016 12:43 PM
    Winning 3 games in a row means that Whaley and Rex won’t be turfed mid-season.

    The Bills have 11 games left on their schedule. They have a long way to go to living up to Rex’s pre-season Superbowl or bust talk. Like every other bubble team, they are a couple of injuries away from finish 6-10. Get back to me in December when you want to talk about Rex and Doug in Buffalo next season.

    I can agree with that but let’s be honest, almost every team in the NFL is a “bubble team”, at least in that regard. There are only a single digit number of teams that could sustain a couple of key injuries and still be relevant. That’s why it’s so shocking what the Vikings have accomplished. Almost every team in the NFL would be doomed if they lost 2 of their best players.

  10. rabidbillsfan says: Oct 14, 2016 1:30 PM

    Well, we haven’t really had/been able to see the Tyrod of last year. Word on the street has been it was Roman who was handcuffing him early, and there is literally no need for him to sling it during the 3 game streak with how great the D has been playing, and the Travtor Trailer sized holes the backs have. He still struggles with that intermediate accuracy, but the guys he’s targeting with those passes haven’t really helped them. Getting Clay involved will help, and obviously getting Sammy back. I don’t want my QB to have to throw 30 passes a game. I don’t need him to throw for 300 and 3 TD’s. I need them to take care of the football, and make plays. Tyrod Taylor has done both exceptionally well.

  11. brian55906 says: Oct 14, 2016 1:54 PM

    (I am a Bills fan who watches Tyrod every week)

    He is a game manager who does not turn the ball over much. In many of his games, he doesn’t even reach 200 yards passing.

    $27.5 million guaranteed seems like a steep price for that. I hope they draft a QB in the 1st round next year.

  12. bufbillsball says: Oct 14, 2016 2:36 PM

    27.5 Million would be overpaying for Tyrod. Unfortunately, there are no real alternatives. I don’t want some aging castoff either. He is who we will have to work with until Cardale proves his worth or we draft another QB

  13. tacowrecker says: Oct 14, 2016 4:23 PM

    I’m a big fan of Tyrod Taylor and am thrilled to see him get a shot as a starter. That said, Doug Whaley is a bum. Every word that comes out of his mouth concerning his players is a puff-piece intended to cast his terrible track record as GM in a positive light. Until the Bills have a competent GM in place who can build a strong roster, it will be tough to compete in the division, whoever the coach/QB etc. is. Just look at Indy: Luck is great but Grigson’s a joke, so the team stinks regardless.

  14. joetoronto says: Oct 14, 2016 4:39 PM

    What color a QB is doesn’t matter with NFL GM’s anymore and rightfully so, except for Doug Whaley.

  15. buffalowned says: Oct 14, 2016 5:52 PM

    Yes his stats might be down, but look at the receiving core. 1,000 of the 3,000 yards he threw for last year were to Sammy Watkins. Aside from Robert Woods (who is better suited as a 2nd or 3rd receiver), the receiving core is made up of fringe NFL roster players. For that reason, what he’s done the last 3 weeks is even more impressive to me than what he did last year. As some of these comments and Whaley have noted, he keeps drives alive and keeps the offense moving. His accuracy was off the first two weeks but I think these last 3 weeks he’s been much better. He has missed a couple deep balls, but not by much.

    And if people don’t think he’s worth that salary next year (which is really a 16-17 mil cap hit despite the 27 mil salary), who are you going to get that’s better? We’ve seen the last 17 years how hard it is to find a QB that you can win with. We’re not going to be drafting in the top 10, and the best options in FA might be Kaepernick or Cutler. The cap hits for Tyrod’s contract are about average for NFL starters. And in my opinion, he’s been no worse than average. Barring a bad stretch the rest of the season, I’m all in on picking up that option.

  16. george1859 says: Oct 14, 2016 9:01 PM

    Leave it’s to joe to be consistently stupid.

  17. cantescapekarma says: Oct 15, 2016 4:19 PM

    I’m happy the Bills are winning, I’m just worried it’s not a sustainable way to win. I guess we will see… But It would sure be nice to know that we had a QB who could throw for 300yds when needed.
    I also don’t get why Tyrod seems to be struggling so much with accuracy this year, when he was so much better with it last year.

    As far as the people talking about $27.5M to Tyrod next year – that is not his cap hit. Not even close. His cap hit is only $15M (at most, it might only be $12M but I’m not sure. It’s one or the other).

    The $27.5M number aside, it’s really a good, fair contract for a starting QB in the NFL. His cap hit will be toward the lower end of NFL starters. The team can live with it.
    And hopefully he continues to get better as he gets more time under center. People keep saying – “he’s a 5 year NFL veteran. He’s not getting any better than he is now”, I don’t buy that. He threw a total of like 35 passes in his first 4 years in the NFL. He hardly ever saw the field. You can’t learn to read NFL defenses from the sidelines…
    He has started just barely over 1 full season of NFL games. The more time under center in live game action, the better he will get at reading defenses and finding his open receivers. At least that’s the hope…

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