"Win, loss or draw, make sure you learn from it."
That was Tyrod Taylor's advice to rookie Davis Mills.
Mills won't get the start on Sunday when the Houston Texans kick off in Miami. With Taylor returning from a hamstring injury, Mills will be a backup once again, but in his six starts, Mills has made big plays, mistakes and gotten real-time game reps that can't be replicated off the field.
"It's been an invaluable experience for him," Head Coach David Culley said Wednesday. "He's grown from it. He's going to be better for it, and it's going to help him in his future having gone through what he's gone through."
Mills made his NFL debut in Week 2 at Cleveland after Taylor exited the game at halftime. He threw for 102 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the 31-21 loss to the Browns. Three weeks later, he put up his best performance to date. Against the New England Patriots, Mills threw for 312 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 141.7 passer rating.
"He's made some good decisions; he's made some good throws," Texans GM Nick Caserio said. "Other times, he's probably made some sort of ill-advised plays or throws. Anyway, you go through the league, I would say specific to the rookie class, he's probably been, other than Mac (Jones), as competitive as the rest of them. Again, he's got a lot of work to do. He's got a lot of progress in front of him. He's made some progress in some areas. There are certainly some areas he can improve, and he's certainly committed to doing that."
Drafted by the Texans in the third round (67th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft, Mills also benefitted "tremendously" from Taylor's presence, according to Culley. Even while the 11-year veteran was on IR, he continued to travel to road games and was on the sidelines for Mills.
"We talked about coverages, talked about certain things we were seeing in the game, film study, just tried to help him as much as possible," Taylor said. "Obviously, sometimes the best experience is actually going through it, so some things you have to learn from and that was more so my message to him."
Mills completed 67.0 percent of his passes for 1,357 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games with six starts.
With Taylor's return, the Texans hope to snap their seven-game losing streak when they play the Dolphins on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out some photos from today's practice.