Talk to people who have worked with Tyrod Taylor, and they’ll say the new Texans quarterback doesn’t do much talking himself. When things get uncomfortable, Taylor prefers not to make waves.
In Week 11 of the 2017 season, when Buffalo benched Taylor for fifth-round rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, Taylor said he was “obviously disappointed” but had to move forward. “I got voted captain for a reason,” he told reporters. “Guys are going to look to me to see how I respond.”
After Peterman threw five interceptions that week, Taylor returned to the starting role and ignored potential awkwardness. According to teammates, Taylor didn’t address the locker room or bemoan that the Bills were never committed to him, having also benched him for a game during the previous season, under another front office, to avoid triggering an injury guarantee in a contract extension he signed earlier that year.
“There were a lot of grumblings on the team, but Tyrod stayed consistent,” said Richie Incognito, a Bills offensive lineman at the time. And by consistent, Incognito meant consistently mild-mannered to the point that “when Tyrod would yell to get lined up, you’re like, ‘Oh, he means it.’”
Buffalo went on to clinch its first playoff berth in 18 years during that 2017 season. Lorenzo Alexander, who played 13 NFL seasons as an outside linebacker, credits Taylor’s attitude after being benched for Peterman — or lack thereof — for the success.
“That can tear a team apart,” Alexander said, adding it can lead players to “choose sides and not be as productive during the week. … Him playing it down in a lot of ways and it not being as big of a deal as it was to him personally, it allowed us to take our time, go back to him and find our way into the playoffs.”