Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan silenced all speculation over who would start at quarterback next season by announcing incumbent Tyrod Taylor will hold the spot, according to Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News.
Taylor surprised many with a breakout year in what was his fifth full season but first as a starter. He supplanted EJ Manuel in training camp and held the job the rest of the way, finishing with 3,035 passing yards and 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
The Bills finished a disappointing 8-8 and missed the playoffs, but with the Ryan-Taylor duo set for a full offseason together, they should continue to develop an offensive rapport and challenge the AFC East in 2016.
After all, they eliminated Ryan’s former New York Jets from playoff contention with a 22-17 victory in Week 17, a game in which Taylor was brilliant.
The quarterback hopes the team's heroics on Sunday will carry into next season and beyond, courtesy of the Bills:
Buffalo Bills @buffalobills
"We showed we can be special." Tyrod Taylor reflects on the 2015 season with @getjackblack: https://t.co/bvsGTnzARX https://t.co/EokKSqGY5j2016-1-4 20:19:03
Taylor entered training camp alongside Manuel and Matt Cassel—both of whom had established NFL experience—as a dark horse in the trio fighting to secure the starting job.
The prevailing thought after the Bills hired Ryan was that Manuel may finally live up to expectations in the new coach’s zone-read system. But Ryan was quick to seek other options and signed Taylor in March.
Taylor never had a chance to start during his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, as Joe Flacco was the established leader who anchored the team to a gutsy Super Bowl victory in 2012.
But Taylor earned every bit of respect this season by far and away exceeding expectations as the league’s surprise breakout under center.