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Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman knows a thing or two about playing winning football with a quarterback that, though unrefined as a passer, can make big plays with his legs. He enjoyed great success with Colin Kaepernick for three years in San Francisco, and now he's hoping for similar payoff with his new starting quarterback in Buffalo, Tyrod Taylor.
That's not to say that Taylor is Kaepernick's doppelgänger (or that Bills fans should be expecting 90-yard touchdown runs this year); they're both highly athletic, but Kaepernick packages his explosive running ability into a far more imposing package.
Taylor lacks Kaepernick's refinement as a passer. Both were 2011 NFL Draft classmates, but while Kaepernick is entering his fourth season as San Francisco's starter, Taylor has just earned his first starting job as a pro. Still, in his four years as a backup in Baltimore, Taylor occasionally made his mark, rushing 27 times for 136 yards and a touchdown. He separated himself in the Bills' quarterback competition in part with his legs this summer; in three preseason appearances, he ran the ball 11 times for 108 yards and a score.
In their four seasons working together (three, if you discount two kneel-downs in 2011), Kaepernick ran the football 259 times for 1,578 yards and 10 touchdowns running Roman's offense. That's an average of 526 yards and three scores on the ground, per year. Does anyone out there expect Taylor to approach those numbers in Roman's 2015 Bills offense? And if he does, will it make him a viable fantasy option?