Dennison: Tyrod will 'have enough freedom to make plays'

May 19, 2017 - 11:59 am
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Tyrod Taylor is gearing up for his third season with the Buffalo Bills after the team restructured his contract during the offseason. The seventh-year quarterback is coming off a season where he stepped back in production from his first year throwing for 3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a completion percentage just below 62-percent.

While Taylor was the starting quarterback of the Bills under Rex Ryan, he may have to prove once again that he can be the starting quarterback under new head coach Sean McDermott.

The Bills still have Cardale Jones on the roster at quarterback while they added T.J. Yates in free agency and drafted Nathan Peterman in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Who he's competing with may swing the decision in his favor at the time being, but all things could change come the start of the season.

Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison joined Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Friday morning to discuss the future of his quarterback with the team.

Dennison and Taylor have spent time together before when Dennison was with the Baltimore Ravens as the team's quarterbacks coach in the 2014 season. While it was Joe Flacco who was the starter with the Ravens, Dennison always believed that Taylor could have a future in the NFL.

"I always thought he had a lot of talent when we had him in Baltimore," said Dennison on WGR. "I knew he had a chance to be a really good player in the NFL, and I'm just looking forward to working with him right now."

"He and Joe had a great relationship. They studied, they worked at practice. All the individual stuff meant something to him to make sure he got the techniques and got everything. He was prepared to play as a starter with Joe right there. And the same is true now. His work ethic has been tremendous, he puts a lot of hours in, he studies tape on his own, and he's really trying to get to where he needs to get to to run this offense."

While Dennison comes from a background working with offensive line players, he has had some recent success with quarterbacks such as Flacco in Baltimore, Peyton Manning in Denver, and even Trevor Siemian last season with the Broncos. Dennison knows what kind of talent Taylor is, and he feels confident that he can trust him to go out and make plays for his offense.

"Certainly he's a skilled athlete," Dennison said. "It doesn't take that long to figure that one out. He can run, he can do all those things... He's a good thrower, has a good arm. He moves around really well, but the biggest thing is he works at it."

"He'll get us in the right play in certain situations and we'll trust him with the ball. We don't ask the quarterback to do a great deal at the line of scrimmage. We feel like his read will take the ball to the right person so we don't have to change very many things. But there are some instances, in particular, with the run game to get us in the right play and we'll work from there. He'll have enough freedom to make plays."

There are issues with Taylor's game that may raise some concerns such as his inaccuracy, the inability to find open receivers, and the pace at which he gets rid of the football. During these early stages of OTAs, Dennison is working on trying to get Taylor to be quicker with getting rid of the football.

"I don't know what he was coached, and I don't really want to know what he was coached, but the biggest thing is that he needs to get the ball out in more of a timely fashion. He went down too many times in sacks for his skill level and what they have up front. That was the biggest discussion."

One way Dennison has been trying to help improve Tyrod's timing is by improving his footwork.

"He'll time it up with his feet. Without getting too much into it, he'll be all timed up with his feet and his feet will tell him when the ball is supposed to be gone. We've been working on that."

You can hear his entire interview with Howard and Jeremy below: