Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Tyrod Taylor Effect
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported in October that Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, whom the Eagles will face this Sunday, wanted a chance to prove himself in Chip Kelly’s offense this offseason.
Instead, Kelly gave a training camp spot to Tim Tebow, who is now out of the league while Taylor is thriving with Buffalo as the fourth-highest-rated quarterback in the NFL.
Former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was asked if Taylor would have fit in the Eagles’ offense, and McCoy — while slightly biased as he’s talking about the man handing him the ball each Sunday — was clear in his evaluation.
“He would kill it,” McCoy said.
Taylor, an ultra-athletic quarterback who Rex Ryan called the fastest quarterback in the NFL yesterday, has piled up impressive numbers, including six wins in 10 starts. He has completed 64.9 percent of his passes, thrown 17 touchdowns to four interceptions, and is averaging 12.3 yards per completion.
Taylor has also run the ball 63 times, averaging five yards per carry, and has rushed for three touchdowns.
“He’s got the combination that you look for with an athletic quarterback, a guy that clearly, being the fourth-rated quarterback, will tell you that he can throw the football, but he can also bring more to the table,” his head coach said yesterday.
DeMeco Ryans echoed Ryan’s sentiments.
“[The Bills] have a few quarterback runs in [their offense] that allow [Taylor] to run the ball a little bit, and he’s a guy that has the ability to scramble and get first downs,” Ryans said. “We’re going to have to keep our eyes on him inside as well, get a good pass rush up inside.”
On top of his running ability, Taylor’s been impressing both his teammates and opponents with plenty of deep balls to his favorite downfield threat, Sammy Watkins.
Taylor has completed 14 passes of at least 30 yards this season, five of which have gone for touchdowns.
“[Taylor]’s very impressive with his deep ball,” Billy Davis said Tuesday. “He’s throwing one of the more catchable deep balls that I’ve seen in a while. They’re asking him – he’s not [trying to do] too much and he’s not making any bad decisions.”
So the question becomes, how do you defend against a fast quarterback with a good arm, a pretty deep ball, and a penchant for avoiding interceptions? The man who decided against offering Taylor a contract this offseason tackled that yesterday.
“It’s a different dynamic, and it’s similar to playing — not that he’s the same player as [Cam Newton] because Cam is obviously a different body type and whatever, but when that quarterback has the ability to run, it’s different,” Kelly said.
“They do have some designed quarterback runs similar — not similar, but it’s like facing Carolina because they have designed quarterback runs. He’ll run some zone read, where you now have to — do you tackle the back? if you tackle the back, the quarterback is a threat on the perimeter.”
If those sound like qualities a Kelly-orchestrated offense would greatly value, that’s because they are. Those descriptors could be copied and pasted from a scouting report of Marcus Mariota, the quarterback Kelly reportedly offered the kingdom for in May.
When Taylor and the Bills take the field against the Eagles this Sunday, McCoy’s payback game will the primary storyline, and rightfully so. But Taylor may want to put on a show for Kelly, who is still figuring out whether his own (extremely expensive) quarterback is worth bringing back next season and beyond — and, if not, what to do at the most important position on his roster.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Video: Herm Edwards went on a noteworthy rant yesterday about Shady’s comments.
“We’re not shaking no hands.” LeSean McCoy’s reunion with Chip Kelly will be a contentious one.
Chip met with DeMarco Murray because of the running back’s recent frustrations.
“That’s how it worked in Dallas. It is not how it works in Philadelphia.” What they’re saying.
Josh examines whether Chip’s culture emphasis finally paid off during Sunday’s win.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The Eagles used DeMarco Murray like their No. 4 running back against New England, writes Mike Sielski, because that’s how he’s played this season.
Had the Eagles not signed Murray out of sheer impulsiveness once Frank Gore decided to spurn them for the Indianapolis Colts, had they considered acquiring Murray from the beginning of free agency, they might have been more knowledgeable about these idiosyncrasies. They might have been better prepared to judge whether he was a suitable replacement for McCoy.
Instead, they handed him a contract whose salary-cap implications make it all but impossible for them to cut him anytime soon, and as it stands now, the decision to trade McCoy to the Bills and bring in Murray has flopped for the most ironic of reasons.
Jimmy Kempski asked Darren Sproles if he has ever complained about touches.
Asked if he complained to Chip Kelly or Jeffrey Lurie about his lack of touches, Sproles replied, “Nope.”
When asked if he ever thought of going to Kelly or Lurie to complain about playing time, Sproles replied, “Nope.”
When asked why not, Sproles replied, “Nope.”
When another reporter entered the conversation late, Sproles was asked again (but more specifically) if he ever complained to the owner of the team on an airplane about his lack of carries, Sproles said, “No I haven’t.”
Chip Kelly will address the media at 11:45 a.m.