Inside The Bills

Taylor’s rushing exploits a balancing act

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2015 – 2:45 pm

It was 3rd-and-6 at the Bills own 12-yard line and three of Buffalo’s last four possessions had not gone more than four plays. The Bills were clinging to a three-point lead (9-6). Tyrod Taylor finding no one open on a pass play bobbed and weaved his way through three defensive linemen and out ran another to reach the first down marker to keep the drive alive. As head coach Rex Ryan said it was a crucial play that helped them win the game, as the Bills would go on to score the game-clinching touchdown six plays later, but there’s a balance that Taylor must strike to preserve his body for the long haul.

Taylor has taken some monster shots this season. One led to a sprained MCL that forced him to miss two games. He again took some hard shots Sunday against the Cowboys, but dismissed the theory that he’s taking too much of a beating.

“It’s part of my game. Yes, I can get better at getting down sometimes and that’s something I’ll work on,” said Taylor. “Learning how to get down and protect my body more. Like I said it’s part of my game. I don’t play scared and I’m a tough guy so I can take those hits.”

Rex Ryan said he intends to have a face-to-face talk with Taylor about his quarterback being more mindful of getting down when defenders are closing in on him.

“I think we’ve got to balance that and Tyrod does take off for it and run for first downs and he’s got to protect himself too,” said Ryan. “If there’s anything that we can do it’s to get him to really to where you’ve got to protect yourself. That’s running out of bounds, sliding and all that. There are times where he wanted, you can tell, the competitor in him, he’s going to try to get the first down. He’s more valuable to us than that. I think he needs to understand that and I need to tell him.”

Ryan said it will have to be a balancing act moving forward on when Taylor must decide to run out of bounds or slide to preserve his body for the full 16-game season.

“We don’t want our quarterback to be our leading ball carrier. We get that, but at the same time you don’t want to limit him too much to where he’s not a threat to carry the football. You never want to take that out of his game. That will take away from some of the special things that he can do,” Ryan said. “I know how hard it is to defend against a running quarterback. I think you always want to have that ability, albeit we don’t want to run him as much as we ran him yesterday.

“We want him to be the long term solution at the spot so he’s got to learn to protect himself and understand that we need him to be that.”

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