Former Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman’s NFL career got off to a rocky start last season, as he infamously threw five interceptions in the first half of his first career start for the Buffalo Bills last November. He wouldn’t get a second chance in 2017, as Bills head coach Sean McDermott handed the reins back to Tyrod Taylor the following week. But he may well see action in 2018.
On Thursday, Sal Capaccio of Buffalo’s WGR 550 noted that Peterman was the only Bills quarterback seeing regular first-team reps during organized team activities. He had also been the only first-team signal-caller under center during the media’s viewing session on May 24, although offseason acquisition A.J. McCarron got all the first-team reps on May 31.
In the media-allowed viewing sessions of Bills OTAs over the past three weeks (1 day per week), there has been one QB taking the starters' reps each of those days:— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) June 7, 2018
May 24 - Nathan Peterman
May 31 - AJ McCarron
June 7 - Nathan Peterman
It also sounds as if Peterman made the most of his opportunity to impress the Bills coaching staff, as ESPN’s Mike Rodak noted the second-year quarterback connected with tight end Nick O’Leary and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley for first downs during simulated two-minute drills on Thursday.
Nathan Peterman just led the Bills' first-team offense in Thursday's OTA in a two-minute, field goal to win situation. Peterman hit TE Nick O'Leary and twice hit WR Jeremy Kerley for first downs before Stephen Hauschka converted the 37-yard field goal. https://t.co/WaAyslegTS— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) June 7, 2018
All of this comes after an offseason full of change at the quarterback position for the franchise, which traded longtime starter Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns in March; signed McCarron to a two-year, $10 million contract in April; and traded up to select former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen seventh overall in the 2018 NFL draft, most of which did not bode well for Peterman.
However, Bills general manager Brandon Beane noted shortly after the draft that, despite the excitement around Allen, he would start out as the team’s third-string quarterback, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. Beane added that Allen would be given the chance to compete with Peterman and McCarron for the starting role, though. So little is particularly clear-cut yet.
What is clear-cut, at least for the time being, is that first-team reps are being split between Peterman and McCarron in OTAs, according to Howard Simon and Jeremy White of WGR 550, and the Pitt product addressed the competition in an interview with them on Tuesday.
“You’re always competing, no matter who they say the starter is,” Peterman said. “I think that’s the best approach you can have. Just day by day, rep by rep. It’s more of a competition against yourself than anything, and against the standard of excellence that you have for yourself.”
At the least, all this means that the Pitt product has not been written off despite an inauspicious start to his pro career last season and a slew of ominous quarterback-related moves by the Bills front office. And that much is good news for Peterman’s supporters in and of itself. However, whether or not he’s able to take advantage of this apparent second chance remains to be seen.