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Chargers' Tyrod Taylor wants to 'turn heads' as starter

The Los Angeles Chargers plan to ride Tyrod Taylor as their veteran option, likely paired with a rookie quarterback selected in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Despite the insistence from the organization that Taylor can be the starter, rumors and speculation continue to churn in the void.

With L.A. boasting a deep roster outside of the quarterback position, Taylor believes if he's given a chance to be the starter, the Chargers can make noise in the AFC West.

"We have a lot of talent on our team," Taylor told Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register. "If I am the guy that would be calling the shots, I know for sure that we'll go out and turn a lot of heads."

Through his first nine seasons, Taylor has mostly played a backup role or stand-in for a younger quarterback. His lone chance at a full-time starting gig came in Buffalo, where he started 43 games from 2015-2017. Even then, he had to go through multiple QB competitions to keep the job. It was during that stint in Buffalo that he impressed current Chargers coach Anthony Lynn.

Taylor isn't worried about L.A. adding competition, either with a veteran or a rookie in the draft.

"It's motivating just for the highs and lows of my career," Taylor said. "To be drafted in the sixth round, walking into my 10th year, there's definitely a lot of motivating factors in there being from my time when I was in Buffalo and when I played in Cleveland."

After the Chargers announced Philip Rivers would depart after 14 years as the starter, L.A. was in on the Tom Brady sweepstakes. When TB12 chose Tampa Bay, the Chargers immediately made it known they were comfortable with Taylor entering the season as the starter. With Lynn wanting to run the ball more in 2020, the mobile QB could fit the scheme perfectly. That hasn't stopped discussions about current free agent Cam Newton joining L.A., especially after the ex-Panthers QB was seen working out in Atlanta with Taylor.

"I think it's too early to start talking about it," Taylor said when asked if he sees himself as the Chargers' starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2020 season. "I've never been one to focus on things that I can't control. ... It starts with guys who (the Chargers) may sign whether it would be a veteran or whether it would be a rookie. I can't focus on that because I can't control it. So I feel like if I'm putting too much time into that then I'm not putting enough time into myself to be the best player ... I think I kind of done a good job of separating myself from the emotional side of things and just putting it aside and just strictly focusing on me being better, and going out and attacking each job with a starting mindset.

"I've done that since I stepped into this league as a sixth-round draft pick going to a team with an established quarterback (Joe Flacco). For myself ... mentally, I knew I had to walk into the building with a starting mindset, so I can be able to grow into the way I needed to grow, and I'm just trying to keep that mindset throughout the years. It has allowed me to be able to focus on what needs to be focused on for me to be able to go out and play ball at a high level."

The Chargers are likely to use their first-round pick to select a quarterback of the future as they open a new stadium in L.A. Whether they make a move to try to swipe Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa or sit and grab whichever young signal-caller lands in their lap at No. 6 is one of the biggest questions as we press toward the draft.

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