Since before Tyrod Taylor won the starting job, Buffalo Bills observers have been criticizing Taylor's supposed flaws in an effort to build a case against the quarterback. The most-noted defect Taylor possesses is his physical stature, which has him several inches short of being able to see over the offensive line, and several pounds light to take the beating to play a 16-game season.
People always make a big point about short quarterbacks having a hard time seeing over the line, but if you have a 6'4 quarterback and a 6'5 lineman, he can't see over it either, so you find ways to throw in-between lanes," typed Taylor in response to a fan asking how hard it was to see over linemen. "You gotta find passing lines as far as stepping up and moving the pocket, but height has never hindered me as far as seeing down the field. And I'm not the shortest quarterback in the league.
For the record, that quarterback is 5'11" Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. Drew Brees is also listed at 6'0" along with Taylor, as is Michael Vick, who had some pretty good seasons in the past. (Note: the Bills list Taylor at 6'1", but he's actually a quarter-inch shy of that mark.)
The concerns about Taylor's height go back to his college scouting report, as his physical stature was part of what caused his fall to the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. His mobility is an asset, but his slight frame is an injury liability, as was evidenced in 2015. (Taylor says that an illegal play was the cause of his injury, and shouldn't be held against him.)
"Before giving him the long-term deal, I'd like to see more," analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Green told The Buffalo News. "I think this past year, he showed great signs that's a real possibility. He has the arm strength. He has the mobility. I think dealing with some of the health issues he did during the season, you just want to see more of it before you give him that big deal."
He went on to invoke fellow Virginia Tech alum Vick in his comments: "The durability factor is a major thing if you're going to make that type of financial commitment. I know Tyrod's not as big as Michael Vick was in Vick's heyday. There's some concern with that, yeah."
Those aren't the only concerns being hurled Taylor's way, though. Also during Super Bowl week, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer was asked if Taylor was a "franchise quarterback." While he said he "liked" Taylor, and that the Bills don't need to draft a quarterback because of him, he added this nugget:
"We forget these coaches are supposed to be teachers," Dilfer said. "And when they're not, it affects the players. And unfortunately, the NFL doesn't have all good teachers. There are a lot of guys who have coached and have ‘OC' by their name; it doesn't mean they can teach. Usually you can tell if a quarterback's being developed right by what his eyes and feet are doing. That offense doesn't have a real flow to the passing game. The feet and the eyes don't always match what's going on downfield. That's not a Tyrod Taylor issue. That's a coaching issue."
Saying he would "detail up" the passing game, not "open up," Dilfer thinks the Bills need to do more to support Taylor as he takes the reins through a full offseason.