NFL

NFL AM: Tyrod Taylor Puts Claim On Bills Starting Job

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Tyrod’s Job To Lose?

New Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan has apparently been enamored with the talent of former Baltimore Ravens, now Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

According to a report by NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Ryan even pursued a trade of Taylor when he was the head coach of the New York Jets.

Taylor has been labeled an “athlete playing quarterback,” and if he can become a more accurate passer, he has the physical skills to be one of the NFL’s 32 starting signal callers.

Ryan has been so smitten with Taylor, that Breer tweeted this Thursday afternoon.

Taylor certainly didn’t do anything to lose the starting quarterback job during the Bills 11-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, as he completed seven of his 10 throws for 65 yards, and also ran four times for 41 yards.  Taylor led the team on 16-play, 6-play and 7-play drives in his three opportunities.

“We did some good things,” Taylor said in a halftime interview.  “Of course we would have preferred to come out with seven points on a couple of those drives.  But we were able to move the ball up and down the field.”

Taylor showed an ability to be calm under pressure, he threw the ball accurately and made plays with his feet.  He did it while facing the Cleveland starters and he didn’t have his top five running backs and top three receivers.

Meanwhile, on the opposite sideline….

The Cleveland Browns are trying to convince anyone with ears that they don’t have a quarterback controversy and free agent signee Josh McCown is the No. 1 guy.

The Browns have a history with getting things wrong and it’s more likely than not that second-year pro Johnny Manziel is not the answer.  With that said, Manziel looked considerably better than McCown Thursday night.

Here’s McCown’s stat-line:  7 for 10, 57 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s, 3 sacks; QB rating of 44.6.

Manziel finished 10 for 18, 118 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s, 1 sack; QB rating of 94.2.

“I thought he made strides….I like the progress he’s making in this offense,” former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden said of Manziel on ESPN.

This decision shouldn’t be made with one game or even one preseason in mind.  McCown lined up against the Bills starters and Manziel didn’t.  It’s about the future and McCown has proven what he is in this league; a nice backup quarterback.  Manziel might be worse than McCown, but he could also be better.  The team invested a first-round pick in him and it makes sense to find out what you have, especially when the guy who was basically handed the starting job isn’t good enough to navigate the team out of last place.

RG3 Leaves With A Possible Concussion

The Washington Redskins have some major issues on their offensive line that need to be corrected in the next three weeks.

That was proven true on Thursday evening as starting quarterback and current (but maybe not long-term) “Face of the Franchise” Robert Griffin, III was hit on six of his eight drop backs against the Detroit Lions.  Griffin took some vicious shots and ultimately was forced to leave after fumbling the football and then getting what’s being reported (by the Redskins) as a shoulder stinger and possible concussion in the pileup.

Griffin finished 2 of 5 passing, for 8 yards with 3 sacks.  His quarterback rating was 47.9.

Although RG3 needs more reps from the pocket, he doesn’t need them when he’s under the duress he felt on Thursday night.

Head coach Jay Gruden has to be more cognizant of his starting quarterback’s injury history, despite their personal differences.

The Redskins improved to 2-0 with their 21-17 victory over the Lions.

Is Benjamin’s Replacement On The Panthers Roster?

When Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin went down holding his knee after Wednesday’s practice, the team’s worst fears came to reality.  Benjamin would be lost for the season with a torn ACL.

While rumors about the team signing guys like Reggie Wayne or Wes Welker made their way through the internet, head coach Ron Rivera squashed those on Thursday.

“We feel real good about who we have right now. We really do. We’ll see. We’ve got plenty of time. We’ve just got to be patient with them.”

It may be just “coach-speak,” but the Panthers do have some talent on the roster.  Rookie tight end/wide receiver Devin Funchess is a talented player who made a lot of plays at the University of Michigan.

“We drafted Devin for a reason,” Rivera said. “You want to have a big, quality receiver, and Devin gives us that still.

“We’ve got to find answers for that, whether it’s a player stepping up or it’s by committee. But we’ve got to find the solution, and we will because we’ve got plenty of time right now.’’

The team doesn’t have a red zone replacement on the roster for Benjamin, but few teams do.  They still have the aforementioned Funchess to go along with Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen.  Add in veteran receivers Ted Ginn, Jr. and Jericho Cotchery, along with youngsters Brenton Bersin, Jarrett Boykin and “Philly” Brown and the team has far from a bare cupboard at the position.

The absence of Benjamin may lead to a little more of Cam Newton running, which has always been successful for the Panthers offense.

Don’t expect just one player to pick up the slack from their missing former first-round pick.  The Panthers have a lot of guys who have been starving for a greater role and this will be their big opportunity.

 

 

 

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.