Tyrod Taylor May Be Chargers' Starting QB After Philip Rivers Exit, Says Lynn

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) jogs to the sideline after a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers starting quarterback job is up for grabs after the team parted ways with longtime starter Philip Rivers, but Tyrod Taylor could earn the role in 2020 after serving as a backup this past season.

"Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a quarterback," head coach Anthony Lynn told AM 570 L.A. Sports on Thursday, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN. "We couldn't have a better backup right now, and now he has an opportunity to maybe step up into a starting role. I've had Tyrod before [in Buffalo], and I know what this young man brings to the table, in the passing game and the running game."

Taylor signed a two-year, $11 million deal to back up Rivers before last season and only threw six total passes in 2019. However, he and 2019 fifth-round pick Easton Stick are now the only quarterbacks on the roster.

Los Angeles has the opportunity to find a replacement through free agency or the draft—the team has the No. 6 overall pick in April—but Taylor seemingly has an inside track for the job.

Lynn was the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2016, one of three seasons Taylor was the team's starting quarterback. He led the squad to a 22-20 record from 2015-17, totaling 51 touchdown passes to go with 14 rushing scores during that stretch.

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Perhaps most impressively, he only had 16 interceptions in 44 games and has never more than six in a single season.

"One of the things he does very well is take care of the football," Lynn said of Taylor. "I believe every year he's started in this league he's been the No. 1 quarterback in taking care of the football. I believe more games are lost than won. So if we can just take care of the football and take it away, we'll be OK."

This would certainly be a stark contrast to Rivers, who ranked third in the NFL with 20 interceptions in 2019 to go with his 23 touchdowns. His struggles likely contributed to the team's 5-11 finish one year after going 12-4.

If a low interception rate is important to the coaching staff, Taylor would be a shoo-in to be the starter in 2020.

Still, the Chargers will have to evaluate all options this offseason to replace a quarterback who made 224 straight starts for the franchise.