For the first time in more than a decade, the Los Angeles Chargers are without a starting quarterback.
Head coach Anthony Lynn, however, may not have to look far to find his replacement for Philip Rivers — who organization parted ways with this month after 16 years together.
“Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a quarterback,” Lynn said on AM 570 LA Sports on Thursday, via 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.”
Rivers became the Chargers’ starting quarterback in 2006, and reached eight Pro Bowls while becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the league despite never leading them to a Super Bowl. His last year with the franchise, however, wasn’t as great. The 38-year-old turned the ball over 23 times last year while leading them to just a 5-11 finish. Nine of those losses were by a single score, too.
Taylor joined the Chargers last season and served as Rivers’ backup after he signed a two-year, $11 million deal. He appeared in eight games, but threw the ball only six times for 33 yards and one touchdown.
Now, it’s still incredibly early to be naming a starting quarterback for next season. It’s only February after all, and the Chargers could easily land a quarterback in free agency or pick up a rookie in the draft in April. The job isn’t Taylor’s by any means.
He does, though, have history with Lynn, who was Taylor’s offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills for two seasons. Taylor was a starter there for three years from 2015-2017 while completing better than 62 percent of his passes and racking up nearly 9,000 yards, and left a good impression on Lynn.
Come fall, that could make all the difference.
“One of the things [Taylor] does very well is take care of the football,” Lynn said on AM 570 LA Sports, via ESPN. “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.”
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