Ask the Panthers secondary what they thought of Josh Allen after two days of practicing against him and they all start in the same place.
“He’s got a strong arm.”
Beyond that, the Carolina defensive backs also see a quarterback that’s improving on the mental side. Maybe not a lot, but definitely heading in the right direction.
“You see a little less panic,” safety Tre Boston said. “First year, you can throw a ton of looks at him. This week, we threw a few at him. You get a little bit less time (before he) makes a decision.”
The Panthers saw Allen in the preseason opener last season. They can easily tell he’s different.
“He was pretty much just throwing deep balls (last year),” corner James Bradbury said. “Today, he was making a lot of checks at the line. I felt like there was some growth there.”
“He has better control of the offense now. More command of it,” corner and former Bill Ross Cockrell said. “He’s changing plays at the line of scrimmage. He’s trying to get his offense in the best position possible. I think he’s showing a lot of maturity.”
The only thing discussed more than the heat and humidity during the two days in Spartanburg, SC (both were in the 90’s again Wednesday) was whether Allen is comparable to Panthers star QB Cam Newton.
“I definitely see a little Cam in him because he’s mobile,” Bradbury said. “He has a big arm and he’s a big guy, so he’s hard to bring down.”
“I can see it,” Boston said. “Josh uses his feet very well and that doesn’t always show in practices. For him to go into games and be pivotal in the run game as well. (It) helps his team out. He’s a fighter.”
Cockrell doesn’t agree with the Newton comparison. He thinks Allen plays more like a different great quarterback. A quarterback who is also a former teammate with Cockrell.
“I don’t know if there’s any guys like Cam Newton. He’s special,” Cockrell said. “I would compare him to more like a Ben Roethlisberger. Somebody who can extend plays, get the ball down the field. If he has a successful career and wins some Super Bowls, wins some MVPs. He can be like Ben. He can be like Cam. “
Boston believes in Allen’s coaching to point him in the right direction. The Sean McDermott part of that belief is obvious–McDermott was Boston’s former defensive coordinator.
However, the veteran safety likes what Brian Daboll is doing for the second year quarterback, as well.
“You like his future,” Boston said of Allen.
Almost as much as they like his arm.