QB Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills’ offense started slowly against the Jets on Sunday, and at one point, the Bills were down 16-0 in the third quarter. One of the Jets’ touchdowns was a pick-6 by C.J. Mosley in the first quarter. However, things got better in the fourth quarter for the Bills’ offense, as Allen was able to lead the Bills on two touchdown scoring drives to help Buffalo defeat the Jets 17-16 at MetLife Stadium.
Allen finished the game 24/37 for 254 yards, 1 TD, 2 ints, despite Allen’s struggles, Bills’ OC Brian Daboll continued to have confidence in his quarterback.
“I’ve said this before; I have a lot of confidence in Josh,” Daboll said on Monday. “Again, he hasn’t even started a full season. But he’s a grinder. He’s a competitor. He’s smart. He’s tough. And I got a lot of faith in him. So, we started out the game in no huddle to spread [the Jets] out. Sometimes you start games, you pass to set up the run or you run to set up the pass. Each week is a little bit unique. This is what we felt was best going into this game. Unfortunately we had some turnovers, but again, you don’t pull the plug on that. You take a look at why, and we have enough confidence in him and the rest of the guys to keep going in that no huddle and throwing the ball around a little bit.”
The Bills’ offense turned the ball over four times on Sunday, which, according to Daboll, was one of the reasons they were not able to have success early in the contest.
“Well, we were moving the ball. We had four turnovers,” Daboll said. “It’s well documented, right? Two tipped balls, a fumbled snap, and then we lose one in the pocket on the opening drive. So you have turnovers, that stops drives. Now, if you weren’t moving the ball, then you’re going to have to figure out how to do something else. But we felt like we were moving the ball, and we had turnovers.
“Did we change a whole bunch at halftime? No. I mean we had four drives in the second half minus the four-minute. We had one safety back there backed up. And then we had a drive for three points and two drives at the end. So we had four drives. And give credit to the players. That’s who I give credit to. They went out and executed and made some good plays when they had to make them. You talk about Josh or Smoke (John Brown) or really, I’d say the whole group; that we’re far from where we need to be. But they played the best when it counted the most, and that’s resiliency. That’s mental toughness. You have to string them together and have a good week of preparation this week. Really, what you did last week means nothing in this business. But I’m proud of the way they competed and fought.”
While Allen did his job in the fourth quarter, the credit definitely goes to the Bills’ defense, who kept the team in the game despite the four turnovers. Buffalo escaped with a victory on Sunday, but they have to play better moving forward if they want to have success this season.
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.
The expectations are much higher for second-year Bills QB Josh Allen in 2019. Last season, Allen was 5-6 in 11 starts with the team and showed a lot of promise with his arm and legs. Fortunately for Allen, things will be very familiar to him. He will have the same offensive coordinator in Brian Daboll, which Allen believes will give him a significant advantage in 2019.
“As far as knowing the playbook, I would say I’m leaps and bounds ahead,” Allen said on Monday during the first day of OTAs. “Having that year under my belt in the same system is huge, for a young quarterback especially. You look at some of the better quarterbacks in the league, they’ve been under their offensive coordinator for a few years. That helps, just knowing what’s going on, you don’t really have to think about it; you just play football.”
In the offseason, the Bills strengthened the wide receiver position with the additions of Cole Beasley, Andre Roberts, and John Brown to go along with they had at the position in Zay Jones and Robert Foster, which should help Allen. However, for those guys to be effective, Allen must be a more accurate quarterback in 2019. Last season, Allen had a 52% completion percentage. According to Allen, improving his accuracy is one of the things he worked on in the offseason.
“Ball placement is huge, especially in this league,” Allen said. “The type of concepts that we have, trying to get the ball to our playmakers where that can make some plays. That was a huge emphasis; we’re still working it. That is something that will never change; you always want to try to work on ball placement. Every day you come out, it’s kind of a new thing, and sometimes the ball comes out of your hand a little bit differently. You have to make adjustments and understand what your body is trying to tell you and try to go with it. Like I said, just trying to get the ball to the playmakers because we can’t do anything if they don’t have the ball in their hands.”
The Bills are depending on Allen to have a big 2019 season, and if he delivers, happy times will be in Western New York again!
Former Oklahoma OT Cody Ford is happy to be in Buffalo. Ford, who was selected in the second round by Bills after Buffalo moved up two spots(traded a second and fifth round pick to Raiders), was excited to hear the Bills call his name.
“One of the local reporters came up to me, and he was asking me about the process and things,” Ford said at a press conference on Saturday. “He asked which team I thought would be the best fit and where I wanted to play. I told him, I was like, “I really want to go to Buffalo.” And he was like, “Nobody wants to go to Buffalo.” And I was like, I was just feeling it right now. Me and the O-line coach [Bobby Johnson] really hit it off. We had multiple meetings between the combine and pro day. It was just a great interaction with him. I could just see that this program is headed in the right direction.”
Ford cites his relationship with Bills OL coach Bobby Johnson as one of the reasons he wanted to be with the Bills.
“Mainly, his coaching style kind of resembles the coaching style I’ve been used to,” Ford said about Johnson. “And what he expects from his players is kind of what I bring to the table. And just the family atmosphere here is kind of what really made me be like I want to go to Buffalo.”
At 6-3 and 329 pounds, Ford is a load, and before last season, Ford was a guard, and some believe he is better suited to play that position on the next level, but according to Ford, he believes he can play on the outside in the NFL.
“For me, it’s all about proving myself and proving to people what I can do,” Ford said. “For Buffalo allowing me to start out at right tackle, giving me a chance to prove my myself and prove my athleticism and everything I can prove at the tackle position to everybody else is a great honor. And then if need be, if they need me inside then I’ll move inside because I’m here to win football games.”
And Bills GM Brandon Beane agrees with Ford, he thinks Ford belongs on the outside.
I would say position one for us right now would be right tackle, but we do like the versatility to go inside,” Beane said during a conference call on Friday. “He’s smart and physical and would be fine in there.”
In 2018, Ford started 14 games for Oklahoma, and was a third-team All-American.
It’s not every day that players want to be in Buffalo, but the Bills seem to be moving in the right direction, and Cody Ford hopes to keep it going in that direction.
The Buffalo Bills grabbed a solid prospect in round 3 when they selected Florida Atlantic RB Devin Singletary, and according to the NFL Network, the 5-9, 200-pound back, is a “mini LeSean McCoy” because of his running style. At some point, the Bills will have to replace the 30-year-old McCoy, and maybe Singletary is the answer.
In three seasons at Florida Atlantic, Singletary ran for over 4000 yards with 66 rushing touchdowns.
Bills GM Brandon Beane explained why the team chose Singletary.
“As I said earlier, we followed the board, and he was sticking out,” Beane said on Friday night. “We felt like he was the best player on the board and you’ve got to follow that. We know we’ve got some age there too, so to add a young guy, we felt was a smart move not only for this year but for the future. Again, Sean [McDermott] said it, we believe in competition. LeSean McCoy is still here. Before you ask that question, he’s still the starter. We roll the ball out; there’s no questions about that. Devin [Singletary], just like we said about Cody [Ford] and Ed [Oliver], he’ll come in here and compete. Wherever he slots when we get ready to play games is where it’ll end up being.”
With the addition of veteran RB Frank Gore, 35, the Bills are a little old at the running back position, and at some point, they need to find a replacement for their top back, McCoy, and as we know about the NFL, it’s about getting younger and cheaper, and Singletary is more youthful and less expensive. Also, the Bills signed former Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon thIs offseason, which adds depth to the running back position. It should be interesting to see what role Singletary will have with the Bills in 2019.
The Buffalo Bills may have gotten the most dominant defensive player in the draft when they grabbed former University of Houston DT Ed Oliver with the ninth pick in the first round on Thursday night. With Oliver, the Bills may have found their replacement for the recently retired DT Kyle Williams.
Oliver finished his career at Houston with 192 total tackles and 13.5 sacks. He was dominant in college, and for Bills fans, hopefully, he can be dominant in the NFL.
On Friday, Oliver met the Buffalo media. Here is what he had to say:
Q: What are your first thoughts on the building and what you’ve seen so far today?
A: I’m just so excited to be here. It’s everything that I thought it was going to be, plus more. I’ve met everybody. I’ve met the Pegula’s. Great people in this building – defensive coordinator, head coach, defensive line coach, I met everybody today. Again, it’s everything I expected.
Q: Ed, you talked about yesterday that you prayed to be a Buffalo Bill, but it still took eight picks. When the Jets, when the Giants, when the Lions, the Jags were on the board, were you hoping that your phone wasn’t going to ring?
A: I mean, nobody hopes that. It was just… I knew if I was on the board and I got to the Bills, I pretty much knew they were going to take me. I pretty much knew that’s where I was going to go. It was just a waiting game. Just pick by pick, I just had to wait.
Q: Talk about how prepared you feel to make this next step and compete at this level.
A: I feel like it’s a long time coming. I feel like I could have played in the league after my freshman year. It is just another waiting game. I had to play two more years before I was able to come out. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for two years to actually get a chance to step on an NFL field and play and compete. I’m just ready to go.
Q: I heard a lot last night about how they think you’re going to fit into the system in the three-technique. Let’s hear it from your end – how do you think you’re going to fit into the defense based on what you know of it so far?
A: I just want to come in and compete and earn trust from the guys around me and earn my coaches’ trust. I haven’t set any real goals or expectations. I just want to come in and compete and ultimately help the team win.
Q: Ed, a lot of us in the media has looked at this pick as sort of a way of replacing Kyle Williams for the Bills. I would imagine that that puts some pressure on you. What do you think when you hear that – that you are Kyle Williams’ replacement?
A: What do I think when I hear that I’m Kyle Williams’ replacement? I think that Kyle Williams is a great player. I think Kyle Williams will wear a gold jacket one day. I just want to come in and compete and help the team in any way possible. I don’t even think about that. Kyle Williams is in a league of his own that I haven’t even come close to touching. I just want to come in and compete.
Q: Does it put an extra layer of pressure on you at all?
A: No sir.
Q: I’m sure you received a lot of congratulatory messages on social media, but have any of your teammates reached out to you so far personally? Have you spoken to any of them so far?
A: Actually, Kyle Williams hit me up last night and was basically letting me know that everything was going to be all right and if I needed anything, to hit him up. I told him that I wanted to pick his brain a little bit, see what kept him around for so long, see if he has anything he can teach me.
Q: Kyle is a legend here. How much does that mean to you to have him be that first person to extend that hand?
A: It’s great. There’s not much more to say about it. He’s gold in his own right. Just him taking the time out of his day, he didn’t have to do that. It’s an honor.
Q: Ed, how did Kyle get ahold of you?
A: I’m not sure how he got my number, but he got it, and that’s all that matters.
Q: There’s been a lot of talk about your weight and playing light, playing heavy. What would you like to play at in the NFL? Where would you like to be?
A: I just want to play. I don’t think weight is going to make a difference. I just want to play the game and help out in any way possible.
Q: You’ve had a lot of fans excited about this pick due to the fact that you fell to the Bills at no. 9. What is your message to Bills Mafia and Bills fans here?
A: I can’t wait to see them in action. I’ve heard about how crazy they can get and how fired up they can get. I just want to see it for myself and be influenced by it.
Q: You talked about how Kyle Williams is in another league. When did you develop that sort of humility in terms of guys who have been there and done that? Learned from them, maybe absorbed something from them?
A: You get the humility when the guy has been in the league for 13 years, when guys become the face of their organization. In no way possible am I Kyle Williams. He is great in his own right. I just want to come in and compete.
Q: What is your sense of this franchise? It went through a tough stretch in 17 years without making the playoffs, but they made it two years ago and are rebuilding through youth. What is your sense of what the Bills stand for to you before compared to now that you are here?
A: Before I got here, really before getting drafted, I really didn’t watch NFL football. But now that I’m learning a little bit of history, learning about what the guys have been through and things like that, I feel like they have a good thing going here. I know they had the #2 defense last year. Hopefully, I can just fit in in any way possible and help out.
Q: Sean [McDermott] said that he plans to use you differently here versus how he used you in Houston. Have you guys talked a little bit more about that in terms of what your role is going to be?
A: Not in depth, besides the fact that I won’t be playing nose guard. I’ll be playing three-technique or wherever he feels comfortable. I know it won’t be nose guard.
Q: What you think, from a technique standpoint, from a strengths-of-your-game standpoint, what you bring to the table and how you might fit in this defense?
A: Probably explosiveness, athleticism, something you can’t find in every defensive tackle. I feel like my skillset is rare. It’s a rare combination of size and speed. I feel I can help the guys rushing outside by getting pressure up the middle and helping the guys outside get sacks. Help out the team. You get sacks, you win games.
Q: Everybody that has seen you play extensively, one thing that keeps coming up is ‘motor.’ ‘He’s got a relentless motor. He never stops’ Where does that relentless work ethic come from?
A: It dates back from high school. For me to get on the field, I played in Texas high school football, and if you don’t know, it’s relentless. For you to get on the field, you have to be special in your own right. What I could do better than everybody else was run around and play as hard as possible. That’s one thing that just stuck with me.
Q: I’ve heard a lot of people comparing you to Aaron Donald, some comparing you to John Randall. Is there somebody that you model your game after that you’ve really watched?
A: I mean, I watch every defensive lineman. When I turn on a game, it’s hard for me to watch any DB’s [defensive backs] or anything like that. All I want to do is watch the D-line. It doesn’t matter who it is: if you’re playing good football and the moves you use are working, I’ll steal from you and try to use it in my game.
Q: You look a lot like Aaron Donald: your body, your size, your weight. Have you looked at him a little bit, studied his game tape, and compared yourself to him at all?
A: Of course. Everybody watches Aaron Donald. But I’m not going to say I’m going to circle my life around Aaron Donald. I’m pretty sure Aaron Donald gets some of his stuff from other guys. You have to be versatile in who you’re watching and you can’t just focus on one player and try to emulate him.
Q: How eager are you looking forward to lining up against men for the first time in pads to see where you stand? Is there any anxiousness or eagerness?
A: Like I said, I’ve been waiting since after my freshman year in college. Everybody talks about how I went to [the University of] Houston and is not a good talent, so I just want to see, ‘Was it true? Were the guys I was playing against not good?’ I just want to see.
Q: You’ve got a couple of those guys here on your team that you played against. Dion Dawkins from Temple, Zay Jones from East Carolina. Now, you’re joining them. What does it say about the American Athletic Conference?
A: It says that we’re taking steps in the right way and we should be a power-six conference. We played against good competition, so that’s why I’m just ready to play against guys who went to SEC schools, BIG 12 schools, wherever they went. There’s no hiding in the NFL. Everybody is in the same league. I just want to know what they’re going to say after.
Q: You had two seasons to play alongside your oldest brother, Marcus. What was that experience like in getting to call him a teammate at the college level? How did he impact your development? What type of role did he have?
A: As an older brother, he went to school first. I just picked his brain about everything to expect. That’s kind of how I was able to come in so fast and be so productive so early was because I knew what was expected of me. Basically, I had the cheat code, so all I had to do was come in and do what was expected.
Q: You’re going to be playing in front of Tremaine Edmunds, who is twenty-years-old. Have you had a chance to watch him at all on film? What have you seen of Tremaine?
A: I haven’t gotten a chance to watch him on film, but I’ve heard he’s a dog.
Q: Ed, how do you handle the doubters so far in this process? People who call you undersized and not the typical size for a defensive lineman, how do you use that as a chip moving forward as your NFL career begins?
A: I’ve had to deal with that since high school, coming out: ‘He’s a bit small.’ I never leave the house without the chip on my shoulder. It’s something that I walk around with every day. I know as quickly as it is given to you, the quicker it can be taken away in terms of your status on the football field. I go hard every time I touch the field.
Q: Coming to the AFC East, you’re going to be going up against the Patriots twice per year. What do you make of trying to get after a guy like Tom Brady in those games?
A: It’s an honor to even be on the same playing field as someone who is going to wear a gold jacket. I just want to play.
Q: What led you to Houston? What led you to a school that was maybe not one of the so-called ‘big schools?’
A: Ultimately, my brother being there. Just as simple as that. In its simplest form, just my brother being there.
Q: Ed, are you happy that this whole Draft process is over? What’s it been like over these past few months wondering, going on visits, things like that that now you know where you are going to be?
A: It’s just like I found my home. Or my home found me, rather. I got the call last night, I didn’t get to call them. I just found my home.
Q: When was the first time that it went through your mind that you wanted to stand on your horse?
A: Probably about five seconds before I stood on the horse.
Q: Why did you want to do that?
A: Because it’s different. Anybody could take a picture on a horse, but when you stand up on a horse, you must know what you’re doing. A horse-whisperer.
Q: What do you make of the new facilities that they have made here? The new training center, the new weight room?
A: It’s absolutely awesome. Top-notch. It’s better than probably 99 percent of colleges, and that’s how colleges recruit. I had no idea why it was so nice, honestly, but it’s amazing.
Q: If you haven’t been able to tell already, it seems like your selection was very popular among Bills fans. It seems like you wanted this just as much. That’s something that is important to a lot of fans. Is it safe to say you wanted to be here as part of this organization, part of this city?
A: I’m just happy that they were happy with me. I’ve seen some picks where guys get booed. When I heard the cheering before I walked through the tunnel, I could hear it when they called my name, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ It had me pumped up. I was just happy to walk out there and have people cheer for me.
Q: A lot has been written about your love of horses. When you think about what that has done for you over time, your love for animals, I know you have a dog…
A: You know what’s crazy? I got on my horse the day of the Draft. That morning, I wanted to go ride horses because it just eased my nerves. That whole day, I was relaxed. I wanted to go ride horses a little bit in the morning time, kind of get away a little bit. But when I came back to the Draft, I was fine. Got dressed, went out there. I wasn’t nervous one bit.
Q: Where were you able to find a horse in Nashville?
A: KB Ranch. It’s a ranch out there in Tennessee. It’s where I did the commercial for ESPN.
Q: Ed, is it more exciting joining an unproven team knowing you could play a big part in helping them reach that next level as opposed to joining a veteran team that is kind of already at that next level? Is it more exciting knowing that you have that opportunity?
A: It’s exciting just being here. Whether proven or unproven, it’s a blessing. I’m honored to be here.
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.
In 2018, the Buffalo Bills may have found something they have been looking for a while, and that is a franchise quarterback. Since Jim Kelly retired in 1996, the Bills have tried with many different guys, but they could not find that quarterback that could lead the franchise. However, there might be a new day in Buffalo.
Quarterback Josh Allen showed a lot of things last season that should excite Bills fans. The number seven overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft showed an ability to not only use his arm, but use his feet as well. Allen rushed for 631 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and he also improved as a passer as the year went on. In his first six games, Allen threw only two touchdown passes, but in his last six games, he threw eight touchdown passes, which makes Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander very optimistic about 22-year-old’s future in Buffalo.
“He’s a playmaker,” Alexander recently told Paul Gant and the Go4it podcast. “I think we got to see that… I did not give Josh as much credit as far as his athleticism, his ability to make plays with his legs.
“Obviously, from a quarterback standpoint, this offseason I know he’s going to focus on continuing to understand how to play quarterback at a high level, that football IQ, recognizing defenses, understanding matchups with his guys, and accuracy through working through his fundamentals and footwork, and all those little details that make you a great quarterback. And if he has that jump as I believe he will because of the character he has shown me over the course of last season, he’s definitely going to be an improved player.”
Some may argue that Allen needs to be smarter in terms of when to use his legs, but Alexander believes that is not a big issue at this point.
“He’s still young, he can take some punishment,” Alexander said. “He’s a big kid… I never want to handcuff his ability to make plays, so he has to be smart toward the end of those runs that he makes.”
Allen does need to become a better passer moving forward(10 TDs/12 interceptions last season). As for now, he seems to have the ability to be the franchise guy the Bills have wanted for years. If Allen continues to develop, the future could be very bright in Buffalo!
Listen below as Alexander talks Josh Allen at the 06:50 mark:
We will be talking sports and having fun doing it! We will be joined Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander who will discuss re-signing with Bills, the future of Josh Allen in Buffalo, Nathan Peterman, his thoughts on Championship Weekend in the NFL, Super Bowl 53, Tom Brady, and “The Walter Payton Man of the Year” award.
Show starts today at 1 PMET