Peterman is Bills’ starting quarterback ahead of Allen
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer
Monday, September 3
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Quarterback Nathan Peterman never lost faith in himself following the most difficult moment of his young NFL career. What’s more important, neither did Bills coach Sean McDermott.
In 10 months, Peterman has gone from throwing five interceptions in the first half of his first career start, to being chosen Monday as Buffalo’s season-opening starter. Though the job is his until rookie first-round pick Josh Allen is deemed ready, Peterman’s ascension from being counted out to being counted on is a testament to the second-year player’s perseverance.
“I believe he’s a resilient young man. He’s certainly come through some times of adversity throughout his career,” McDermott said shortly the Bills announced Peterman would be their starter at Baltimore on Sunday. “Usually, if you go through some adversity early in life, you’re that much more prepared for it when it comes around later.”
Peterman is aware of the critics he attracted following a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 19 in which McDermott’s decision to start him ahead of Tyrod Taylor backfired. And Peterman was grateful for the opportunity to prove himself during a three-way competition that was trimmed to two once AJ McCarron was traded to Oakland last weekend.
“It means a lot. I’m thankful for the people that stood by my side through hard times,” Peterman said.
“When you have obstacles, hard things in your life, that doesn’t mean you should quit,” he added. “Maybe that’s the way some people think, but that’s not the way I think. For me, it just amps me up even more and gives me a lot of desire and drive to go accomplish those goals.”
McDermott based his decision on how the Peterman handled himself upon arriving at the team’s facility in April, and his steady performance in three preseason appearances.
Peterman put up the best passing numbers during the preseason, 33 of 41 for 432 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
In the meantime, the start of the Allen era is on hold after the strong-armed but raw quarterback showed he requires more development.
Allen went 24 of 44 for 210 yards and two touchdowns in three preseason appearances, and particularly struggled in a 26-13 loss to Cincinnati on Aug. 26 in his only preseason start. The 22-year old managed three first downs on seven-plus series while getting little protection from a patchwork offensive line and being sacked five times for 39 yards.
“As a competitor, you want to play,” Allen said. “To not play, that’s going to hurt anybody’s feelings, but at the end of the day, it’s football. We’re part of the team. I can’t say anything bad about the decision. Nate played well in the preseason. Now I’m here to help him in any way possible.”
The Bills traded up five spots to select the Wyoming product seventh overall — the highest draft position Buffalo has ever selected a quarterback.
McDermott declined to get drawn into making comparisons between the two quarterbacks. He described Allen’s development as being on schedule and said the rookie can learn plenty from watching regular-season games from the sideline.
“I expect Josh will be ready to go when his number’s called, whenever it is called. And that’s his focus now,” McDermott said.
The Bills are starting over at what’s been an unsettled position since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly retired after the 1996 season. Peterman will become the 11th quarterback to start a season, including Matt Cassel, who took the first snap in 2015.
Peterman has a track record of bouncing back from adversity.
In his first college start at Tennessee, Peterman had a hand in four turnovers — two interceptions, a fumble while being sacked and a botched handoff — before being pulled during a 31-17 loss at Florida as a redshirt freshman in 2013.
He then transferred to Pittsburgh following his sophomore year and excelled in his final two seasons. At Pitt, Peterman completed 378 of 619 attempts for 5,142 yards with 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 26 games, which led Buffalo to select him in the fifth round of the draft.
Peterman doesn’t look toward starting against Baltimore as a chance to ease the memories of what happened against Los Angeles.
“Every time I’ve gotten back on the field it’s a new opportunity,” he said. “You’re not tied to your past failures.”
He’s also not looking beyond this weekend, when reminded the Bills’ home-opener is against the Chargers on Sept. 16.
“Yeah, that’s two weeks away. And like I say, it’s day to day,” Peterman said. “It’s about the Ravens.”
NOTES: McDermott said Ryan Groy has earned the starting spot at center. … DT Kyle Williams (right knee) practiced, though he’s not sure he’ll be ready to play Sunday. … The Bills filled out their 10-player practice squad by signing offensive lineman Ruben Holcomb and defensive tackle Robert Thomas.
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Opinion: Equality in Sports Should Be on the Women’s Equality Agenda
By Stephen F. Gambescia
August 26 was National Women’s Equality Day. It is the day back in 1920 when the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, became law in the United States. There were commentaries, articles and speeches celebrating how far women have come and diatribes about how in some areas they are “still being kept back.”
Here is one novel equality idea that is surprisingly contentious, even among the staunchest women’s rights activists: Men and women should compete together in non-contact sports — at least at the elite level.
Regardless of what the sports, social-cultural, political and business commentators say about a woman’s athletic accomplishment, there will always be one stark qualifier to her performance: It was a women’s event. It’s time we question why elite athletes in non-contact sports are divided.
In everyday life, divisions between men and women based on antiquated concepts of performance capabilities are breaking down. We are at a remarkable time of erasing the male/female divide for performance capabilities in this country. A striking change has been our military’s combat units opening up for women to join.
While women have always played a significant role in the workplace, they have now encroached to all occupations from astronaut to welder. Why should sports be any different?
Naturally, we all understand there are anatomical differences between men and women. However, when comparing abilities, especially at the elite sports level, we are talking about matters of degree of performance, not matters of principle in gender. For example, a 6-foot-6 person (male or female) would easily outperform a 5-foot-5 person (male or female) in dunking a basketball. The reason is simply a matter of degree of performance capability, not a matter of principle of being male or female.
We know it is not true that any man can beat any women in a sport. Human performance is measured for all on a continuum of performance, not as it relates to one’s sex.
The difference between male or female has no significant bearing for how one will perform in most non-contact sports. Is there a gender difference in principle for how one performs in archery, badminton, canoeing, sharp shooting, diving, equestrian or fencing? The list could go on! Why do men and women continue to compete separately in such events?
One could argue that socio-cultural constructs have historically favored men in certain sports. But arguments made along characteristics other than gender for who performs well in a sport have proven to be weak. For example, the notion that African-Americans “don’t play golf” or African-Americans “are not good at” ice hockey have proven to be nonsense. Most field hockey players in the United States are women; most field hockey players in India are men. This is a result of a social-cultural construct.
Even if socio-cultural forces are strong for some sports, have we not advanced enough to look past stereotypes? Let’s take a close look at the real gender segregation in sport. The arguments for separate competition for men and women in sports are a contradiction to the “no significant difference” rationale that has allowed women to erase any dividing lines in capabilities in life.
Those who argue to keep the competition separate validate a pervasive binary belief structure that ostensibly those fighting for women’s equality are against; and it undermines a fundamental concept that athletic performance among all people occurs along a continuum. If we continue to segregate men and women in sports, we de facto support the social, political and economic practice that women inherently are disadvantaged; and, therefore, “separate but equal” is just fine.
There should be no dividing of men and women for where and what they do at home and at work. Let’s add play to this list. This is a novel call for this National Women’s Equality Day. In the future, we should be wishing elite athletes well with: “And may the best person win!”
ABOUT THE WRITER
Stephen F. Gambescia is professor of health services administration at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.