Second-year QB Josh Allen is hoping to build on the success that he had in 2018. Allen started 11 games last season for the Bills and was 5-6 in those starts. While his numbers were not eye-popping,(2074 yards, 10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions) Allen did have two fourth-quarter comebacks last season, and he showed the ability to make plays with his legs(631 yards, 8 rushing touchdowns), which has Bills fans excited about the possibilities.
Today, Allen addressed the media as the team began offseason workouts.
Here is what Allen had to say:
Q: The running joke around the league is that you had everybody in the league’s phone number because you reached out to all of them. You called them, you texted them, ‘Welcome to Buffalo.’ What was that all like for you in getting in touch with guys? How important was it for you to do that?
A: It doesn’t take a lot to do that. Just reaching out to someone, asking for the phone number, letting them know that I’m excited for them to be with us and be a part of this wonderful franchise and start trying to set that culture of where we want to be.
Q: What does it mean to you that most of these free agent signing are on your side of the ball and conceivably giving you a whole bunch of new starters?
A: It means we’ve got a lot of work to do. A lot of different new minds trying to work with each other now, trying to build that camaraderie, especially using this time to develop that team chemistry. There’s a lot of new guys trying to come into a new system. It’s not going to be perfect right away, and we don’t expect it to be perfect, but starting that communication now so we can get on the same page with everything.
Q: Obviously, you were following along because we heard you had texted people, but were you almost shocked by the way [Brandon] Beane attacked it? It seemed like there were signings every five minutes, and they were almost all offensive guys. Were you kind of surprised by how it all played out?
A: Well, it’s my first offseason, so I don’t really know how things work. This is all new to me. Whether it was seeing Twitter updates or getting a call from (our Director of Communications) Kevin (Kearns)…it was just good to see that. Mostly Twitter updates was where I got most of my information from, but reaching out to them. It was a fun time for me.
Q: What prompted you or put it in your head to reach out to these guys to say, ‘Welcome to Buffalo?’
A: Nothing really. Like I said, it didn’t take a whole lot of effort to do it. I just wanted them to know that I was following and trying to stay up to date on everything that was going on, trying to let them know that I was happy that they are with us. Trying to reach out, get my foot in the door and start that relationship as quickly as possible.
Q: And that GIF that you sent to Brandon [Beane]?
A: Next question (laughs).
Q: Josh, the leadership role that you have at the position of quarterback is obvious. But you’re not the rookie anymore. How do you see your leadership role growing, advancing, and maturing?
A: Obviously, being in year two and being with the same staff now, understanding the offense, having Matt [Barkley] and DA [Derek Anderson] in the quarterback room, it’s very familiar now. Obviously, a new coach with Coach [Ken] Dorsey, started to develop that relationship, as well. You know, using that first year and all that experience that I had last year and bringing it into this year. Obviously, there’s going to be some stuff that I haven’t seen, but throughout this OTA process, trusting on the guys that have been here before like Lorenzo Alexander and LeSean [McCoy] and just understand what’s going on. This is still new to me. I’m still trying to figure it out, whether it’s scheduling or what to do on the weekends, what we do after 12:00 PM when we’re not supposed to be here. But I’m looking forward to it, looking forward to meeting especially the new guys and continuing the relationships with the guys that have been here off the field whether it be hanging out and having fun.
Q: Is there a comfort level to that leadership this year? I mean, you don’t want to overstep as a rookie even if you are the quarterback. Year two, is there a different comfort level? A sort of ‘been here’?
A: I want to improve. I want to win football games. The quarterback’s job is to put the ball in the end zone and lead a group of guys. But it takes all 11, so we’re going to continue to do that and continue to grow as an offense. Myself personally, I’m going to get bigger, faster, stronger. Try to gain more depth inside the playbook and try to get inside Coach Daboll’s mind and understand what he’s trying to do when he calls a certain play. I know we’re a long way out from football games, but ultimately, that’s our goal. We want to be on the field together and start winning football games and doing that.
Q: When we spoke with you at the end of last season, you had reflected upon last offseason in how your body changed due to your training and how that helped your running ability and athleticism. Did you maintain that type of training? Was it the same kind of thing because you saw, ‘Wow, look what I can do’ because you weren’t going through the Combine stuff?
A: I feel like I’m in a good place right now. Obviously, wasn’t as aggressive as last year in not having the Combine and Pro Day and having to be in tip-top physical shape. This is the point now where we start ramping it up and start getting back into playing shape. When you get into June and July, that’s when you still want to stay aggressive and try to peak at the right time.
Q: Beyond what you said about the work that needs to be done in terms of chemistry with your teammates, do you comprehend the statement that was made by accumulating all of these offensive guys and possibly two new starting receivers, possibly an entirely new starting offensive line, a new starting tight end… do you comprehend that all of these new pieces tie into what you have to be able to do to make it all work? Did that hit you at any point?
A: At the same time, I know that we’ve got a long time to go before we step foot on the field. Nothing is set in stone. So yeah, I just want to get to know these guys and start working with them and trying to understand how they think and what they want to accomplish as a team. We want to be on the same path and start having the same mindset toward things. From what I’ve seen and talked to the guys so far, it’s really good. I appreciate having all these guys here.
Q: Is it exciting?
A: Oh, absolutely it’s exciting. Again, I’m new to this. It’s my first OTA’s, first free agency period. This’ll be my first time as part of a team in going through the Draft process, too. I’m excited to see what happens and how it unravels. It’s definitely a fun process to be a part of.
Q: Do you have perspective on how important a really productive slot receiver can be to an offense? I’m not sure if you had one at Wyoming, but you see it in the NFL – these guys can really be difference makers. It looks like you guys have got one. Can you give some perspective on that?
A: Cole Beasley’s been doing it for a long time now. He’s been one of the most productive slot guys dating back to the last five or six years. It’s going to be fun working with him, understanding what he thinks, starting to communicate and getting on the field whenever we can. I still don’t even know when we can start doing that. But it’s very helpful for an offense when you know that he’s not a safety valve, but he’s going to be there and you can trust on him to win. It’s going to take practice, a lot of repetition so that I’m on the same page as him and vice versa. Know that whenever he gets to a certain depth, he’s going to break it off or if there’s certain leverage that he likes…Like I said, that’s going to take repetition and I’m looking forward to starting to do that with him.
Q: How have you developed a relationship with Mitch Morse, knowing he is signed for the next four years and you’ll be working with him during that time?
A: Mitch is a great dude. I’ve spent some time being back here a little early. He was here a little early. I took him to Bar-Bill (Tavern). He’s not a big hot wing guy. He struggles with the hot sauce. Honey butter barbecue Cajun, he can do that all day, but hot is not his thing. I’ve been developing a relationship with him already. He’s a great guy.
Q: I went to a banquet with [Patrick] Mahomes and he said he is not happy that you got Mitch Morse and he doesn’t.
A: Well, I am very happy.
Q: Hey Josh, is the elbow injury totally in the past? Did you have to take any precautions once you first got into the offseason? Is it a consideration of any sort right now?
A: No, no consideration. Obviously in the offseason, I met with PT and go over everything because it compounds throughout the season. Every player has those types of feels that after the season, you want to let your body rest and recover and do some physical therapy. I did some therapy on it for the first couple weeks, and after that I started throwing. No problems at all.