Second-year QB Josh Allen is looking build on what he did in 2018. In 11 starts as a rookie, Allen went 5-6, and while Allen’s numbers were not eye-popping(2074 yards, 10 TDs, 12 ints), he did demonstrate an ability to make things happen with his feet as he rushed for 631 yards, including eight touchdowns on the ground.
On Wednesday, Allen addressed the media and discussed the Miami Dolphins, 2019 Bills, Devin Singletary, scrambling, and more.
Q: How do you blend all that Adam Gase has done is Miami and convert that to what you believe you will see on Sunday?
A: You don’t really know until you get on the field and then make adjustments during the game. Like you said, a lot of unknowns as it comes to personnel. What we expect them to do versus what they actually do. They’re a very well coached team with a good offense. That means we have to do our part on our side, and their defense is no joke either. They’re going to be ready to play. I know Gregg Williams has been a longtime defensive coordinator in this league and he has the respect of a lot of players including myself, just as far as what he does and what he’s been able to do in his career. It’s a heavy matchup that we’re going against and we’re not taking them lightly at all.
Q: When you see on tape what Gregg Williams defenses have done in the past, what do you think?
A: We have to stick to our base rules and we have to see what we see. I have to make sure the protections are right and I know where my answers are. Odds are they’re going to come out and we’re going to see something that we haven’t seen from them. Like I said we’ll have to make adjustments in the game. As long as we’re sticking to the base rules, I know what our answers are, we’ll be okay in that aspect, but we have to be consistent with that and take care of the football. That’s something Gregg is known for, is being able to take the football away with his defenses. Like I said, it’s no easy task playing against a defense coached by him. We’re trying to prepare as much as we can.
Q: In the face of that pressure, where is the line for you to extend the play and look for receivers and just running the ball up field?
A: Really it’s just the smartest play is the best play. Especially against a defense that thrives on turnovers. They’re trying to get pressure to the quarterback. If there’s an option to get a back or a receiver quick underneath and make some plays, that’s what we’re going to try to do. That’s the job of the quarterback to get the ball to playmakers and let them make some plays. However we’re going to try to do that, we’re going to do that.
Q: What are the challenges of making quick adjustments knowing you may not have the best chemistry with how the offense has been changing?
A: I don’t think it’ll be a huge problem. We’ve got a lot of players on this team that are very smart, that communicate very well. That’s one of our point of emphasis when we install our offense. We try to communicate and be the best possible at communicating, so in game adjustments, we have some smart guys that do their job. I don’t expect any difficulties there. Once we make our decision to change something in the game we’re going to run with that and expect our guys to do their job.
Q: Sean McDermott said he was intrigued to see the identity of this team, how would you describe the identity of this year’s team?
A: I think there’s a lot to prove. The guys that we have on this team, we’re very hungry. We’re not going to talk a lot, we’re not going to be in the media a lot, we want to focus in and play the best football we can and win as many football games as we can. I appreciate all the guys and what we’re doing right now, and how hard we’re working, how hard we’re preparing. It’s a group of individuals that really care about each other that put the team first and they are true professionals on this team. Try to see us on Sunday, with the offensive side of the ball, defensive side of the ball and phase three special teams and see how we fare there.
Q: Sean McDermott said it doesn’t matter if they have to throw the ball 40 times or run the ball 40 times, you’ll do whatever you have to do to win. How much progress has been made on the offensive side of the football from last year to this year?
A: I think he’s very right there. I’m going to loop back there to we’re a group of selfless guys who really care about the team, and put the team first, and try to play complementary football as best we can. That’s offense trying to take care of the football and getting points on the board, and defense is try to get the ball back. As far as comparing it to last year, with the guys that we have in the building right now, how hard we’re preparing and the coaches that we’ve brought in, there’s nowhere to go but up in my opinion. There’s a lot to learn, there’s still a lot to learn that we’re going through. We’re going to make mistakes and we’re going to try to learn from them and we’re going to try to adapt and put that in our game plan.
Q: When the plays break down and you’re stuck trying to innovate, are there secondary routes you want your receivers to take?
A: Yeah, everybody’s got their own scramble rules. I really don’t know if they differ from team to team too much. You know, you see a quarterback scrambling, you try to run towards him, if there’s no one behind you then you run the opposite way. It’s nothing too difficult but the plan is to get the ball out quickly and if I have to improvise and make a couple plays on the run and that’s what is asked of me to do, then I’m going to try to do that.
Q: In practice, Duke Williams made a couple great catches, did you get to see any of them?
A: Yeah, I was sitting right there being able to watch it, it’s good to see him make that type of play. Obviously we’re happy to have him back here even though it’s as a practice squad, but keep making plays like that. We’ll see. He’s one of those guys that everybody kind of leans towards and brings a lot of juice to the guys and I appreciate what he does for us.
Q: You have to have more confidence in yourself then you did last year…
A: Yeah, I definitely have a lot of faith in the guys that we have out there. I’ll allude it to working hard, communicating well. You see a bunch of receivers over there getting extra work with the jugs, so we have guys that are hungry that just want to work, want to get a better, want to win footballs games, and I couldn’t be more proud of this group.
Q: Does this team sometimes want to pass to setup the run like you guys did in the first preseason game?
A: We’ll see. Every game is different, there’s no same situation in football. You can prepare for as many as you can but something will be different during that game. We’re just trying to prepare as much as possible, if we need to run it like I said, we’re going to run it. If we need to pass it, then we’ll pass it. We’ll play good complementary football.
Q: What do you think of Devin Singletary being thrown into the scene?
A: Motor is a good, smart kid. His vision is something that I love out of him. Just the things he can see, his body language in the passing game is very good, and he’s slippery to tackle. He’s going to be very good for us this year, and obviously we’ve increased the role that he’s going to have now and getting to learn behind Frank [Gore] and learn from T.J [Yeldon], he’s in a really good spot right now and I really appreciate how hard he’s been working.
Q: If you had to pick one guy to have a breakout season, who would it be?
A: It’s not going to go on the stat sheet, but Lee Smith. He’s one of those guys that he won’t probably get two or three catches every game, but he’s going to do his job and he’s going to do it well. He’s going to be talking, making sure we’re all on the same page and he’s someone that a lot of guys have a lot of faith in, including myself and he’s one of those vocal leaders that really not many people will know this season, but he’s going to have a huge impact for us.
Q: Speaking of continuity, how is it going to be to finally get that continuity on the offensive line?
A: It’s going to be awesome. Like I said, I love each and every one of the guys on our team, and appreciate how hard they’ve been working on the offense. It’s going to be fun to get out there and play some real football, and it means something. We’re all hungry, both teams – probably all 32 teams included – everybody wants to get out there and play some real football. It’s a good special group to be a part of here in Buffalo. I think if you ask any of these guys they would say the same thing.