During OTA’s, Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator Rick Dennison had some nice things to say about working with Tyrod Taylor so far.
Rick Dennison and Tyrod Taylor are no strangers to each other and it is likely a big reason the quarterback and the Buffalo Bills worked out a restructured contract this offseason.
A quick recap. When the offseason began, the Buffalo Bills had plenty of holes to fill — and as the offseason went on, it turned out that every hole needed to be filled. Two of those big holes were quarterback and the offensive coordinator — the two most important pieces to an NFL offense.
First, the team hired Rick Dennison to replace Anthony Lynn, who is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Once that was in place, it was time to decide what to do at quarterback. Not only was there the Tyrod Taylor contract situation, but the Buffalo Bills had the 10th overall pick in the NFL Draft and could’ve selected a QB there.
Ultimately, the Bills and Taylor agreed to a restructured contract that acted as a $10 million pay-cut. A big reason the two sides were able to agree on that was the familiarity between Taylor and Dennison.
Now that Dennison and Taylor are getting some valuable work done, optimism is starting to grow around the Bills’ quarterback situation. On Thursday, with OTA’s in full bloom, fans heard from both Taylor and Dennison — each had plenty of positive things to say.
For Rick Dennison, he’s excited to see the progress Taylor has made.
"“He’s doing what I expected when I worked with him in Baltimore,” he said. “I think he knows what he’s doing, he knows where everybody is; he’s a good leader in the huddle. I think he’s doing a good job. Obviously, his work habits are just as great as they were back then. I mean, he’s working his tail off at it. He’s watching film, he’s doing work outside of the building.”"
And for everyone that are questioning whether Taylor is a fit in Buffalo or not, Dennison had this to say:
"“Right fit or not fit, he’s a good player,” Dennison said. “He throws the ball well and he’s athletic, so he can do some of the stuff that we want to do wen we move him out of the pocket. But I’ve had quarterbacks that aren’t as gifted that can still get that done because they have to defend the run. Obviously with the guys we have up front and LeSean McCoy, I think we can run the ball pretty dog-gone good. They will have to defend a lot of the field.”"
As for T-Mobile, the optimism was mutual:
"“[W]hen me and Coach Dennison were together, my reps, as far as actually starting and playing in the NFL were very few, so he’s had time to watch me for two years and try to build something around that, as well as me adjusting to his system. Like I said, just the reps that I’m getting here [are] definitely key to my success and I’m taking each one very seriously, even the ones that I’m not on the field, just trying to better myself as a whole, as a player, and being a better teammate and leader and everything.”"
Taylor also mentioned that he feels ready to take his game up a notch this season:
"“I definitely think I can take it to the next level,” Taylor told reporters on Thursday, “it’s something that I’ve focused on throughout this offseason, which is to continue to keep digesting the offense and trying to be better at it each day. Like I said, this offense allows us to spread the ball around, allows me to get on the edge with the keepers, and matching up with the run game that we’re doing. I’m excited about the week that we’ve had thus far, just got to continue to keep building throughout OTA’s and minicamp moving into training camp.”"
They spent two years together while Dennison was the quarterbacks coach with the Baltimore Ravens. There, Tyrod Taylor was the Ravens’ backup QB behind Joe Flacco. Although Taylor didn’t see much of any time on the field, Rick Dennison got a good idea of what he was capable of as a young quarterback.
Now several years later — and two years into Taylor’s career as a starter — Dennison is reunited with someone actively trying to prove that he can be this franchise’s quarterback for years to come.
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Dennison might be the bridge to making that happen.
Personally, I think Anthony Lynn’s offense brought out the best to Taylor’s running ability, but not his passing ability. On the flip side, I think Dennison’s offense will bring out the best to Taylor’s passing ability. If Taylor can combine that with what he learned under Anthony Lynn, then that next level isn’t too far away.
I expect Tyrod Taylor to have a very efficient and productive season for the Buffalo Bills, regaining whatever doubt the fans had in him. I also think a lot of that doubt came at the hands of the local media, which wasn’t exactly justified.
One thing’s for sure, the Buffalo Bills will need to keep a healthy offensive line and receiving corps to make that happen.
What do you expect from Tyrod Taylor this season? Leave your thoughts below!