ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s a big decision every player is making this season— whether or not they’re going to play this year due to COVID-19 health concerns.
Josh Allen is opting in and congratulations Bills fans, you’re a big reason why.
“My reason I’m opting in to play is that one, I love this game. Two, I think it’s a great opportunity to give this nation hope and allow them to see us go out there and do what we do,” says the Bills QB. “We know that Sunday is a very special day in the lives of a lot of people around the world, a lot of fans around the world. So one, it’s our jobs. Two, it’s my passion to play this game. There are obviously some things that we are sacrificing and risking, our health and whatnot, to do this. At the same time, we want to play football.”
Allen made sure to give a shout out to the Pegulas for doing everything they could to make him and his teammates feel safe at the team’s facilities.
“Everything’s been first class and they’ve made as many adjustments to the building and the facilities as they could,” says Allen. “Everything’s been smooth so far, we just gotta continue to wear masks.”
After days of COVID testing, the Bills were finally able to enter the facility on Saturday and hit the practice field for the first time today.
“Our guys did a great job in the offseason. One, making sure that their bodies were right. Two, mentally engaging in the playbook and understanding everything that’s going on there,” says Allen. “When they’ve stepped into our room and to our meetings and especially on the field today, they knew what they were doing. There wasn’t any time where we were wasting trying to figure out what went wrong during a play. We just went out there and played.”
Now begins the rushed process of creating chemistry with Stefon Diggs. Despite not having any official team workouts, they were able to throw together during the Allen-organized workout in Florida. That relationship is further along than you might think.
“We really didn’t see each other that much, but still got in some good reps in Florida. We talked to each other over the phone, we played video games with each other. I feel like I’ve known him for an extremely long time now,” says Allen. “He’s a guy that’s going to step in and be a huge addition to our offense.”
Earlier in the offseason, Allen said that one of his personal goals this season was to complete over 60% of his passes this year. However, he made it clear that he would not become “Captain Checkdown” to make that happen.
Today, he was singing a bit of a different tune, admitting that sometimes it’s those checkdowns that are necessary to keep drives alive.
“Personally, I want to be better at taking care of the football, making better decisions. Especially on the early-downs and not putting us in situations where it’s third and long. I know that we had a lot of success in third and long last year but it’s not a great way to make a living,” says Allen. “So, early-down success, finding the open receiver down low, finding my back more when I need it, and stop trying to force some balls downfield.”
Allen will continue to take what the defense gives him and hopefully, the addition of Diggs will elevate his game to the level of a franchise quarterback.
That’s something Bills fans can hope for, at least.