Rick Dennison connection led T.J. Yates to Buffalo

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Before the Bills worked out a revised deal with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, they were making noise about going with Cardale Jones as the 2017 starter. Now, Jones will have to fend off a backup who has far more knowledge of the new offense than Jones does.

“[Bills] coordinator Rick Dennison was my offensive coordinator for my first three years in Houston under Gary Kubiak,” T.J. Yates said Monday, according to a transcript distributed by the team. “I’ve been keeping up with Rico quite a bit this offseason and being comfortable with him, comfortable with his offense I ran for so long, it’s definitely a good thing for me and hopefully for the team.”

Yates knows he won’t be the competing to be the starter, but that he will be pushing for the primary backup job.

“Yeah, that was one thing that was expressed to me, that no matter what, there’s going to be competition in the quarterback room and whoever it may be, I’m here to compete and raise the level of play in the quarterback room,” Yates said. “Competition is something that I welcome, that I’ve been a part of my entire career and it makes everybody better. The more competition the better.”

Ideally, Yates will help teach Tyrod Taylor the offense while also pushing him to be as good as he can be by constantly providing an example at practice as to how the offense should be run. And if the offense is run properly, it can be very effective.

“It all starts with the ground game and establishing the ground game,” Yates said. “A lot of the offense plays off of that. I think it’s going to be a great fit for us here with the running game and the running backs that we have because everything works off of that. The type of outside of the pocket stuff that is in this offense, I think, will be tremendous for Tyrod in how athletic he is and how versatile he is. [It’s a] very explosive offense, and we have a lot of explosive players on this offense so I think it’s going to be a great fit.”

The better the fit that Yates is, the more likely the possibility that Jones ends up being the odd man out, a year after he was a late-round draft pick.