ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Despite the progress and growth Josh Allen has shown heading into year three in the NFL and what his teammates and coaches have said about it, there’s still skeptics and doubters surrounding him.
Last week Bills head coach Sean McDermott responded to that and said “that’s understandable, until he silences that it’s gonna continue to come up.”
So far this summer, Allen looks on track to do just that.
“I have total confidence in him as a player and as a person. He just needs to keep grinding out, we all do keep grinding out, getting better, working with one another. Long way to go still but again the confidence that I have in Josh will never waver,” Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said on a Zoom call with reporters.
Allen has had a strong training camp and had a sharp outing in the Bills’ scrimmage Thursday where he threw for over 300 yards, two touchdowns, ran for one, and had an interception. Granted Allen went against the second-team defense, but his accuracy was on point and he didn’t make many mistakes.
“The decision-making is what you thought it would be going into his third season. He’s grown so much in that area protecting the football, and making good decisions whether to take the ball downfield or take a checkdown or should I throw it away versus taking the sack. I mean that’s a big part of quarterback play,” Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said on a zoom call with reporters.
“We’re trying so hard on defense to create negative plays and he’s making good decisions which makes it hard for us to create negative plays.”
The Bills are one of the teams that has the most continuity in the league. They return a lot of familiar faces on offense and the same goes for the coaching staff. That is key for sustaining success in the NFL, but you still need those pieces continuing to work well together year after year.
“Continuity is not as important as playing well and doing your job. You could be together for a long time and go out there and not play well or coach well or do things well and it really doesn’t matter. Our whole focus is taking each day as they come and really making the most out of them,” Daboll said.
“The more things you can do on a consistent basis you give yourself a better chance. It’s always important to have chemistry with, particularly in the passing game with the guys that you’re throwing the ball with and throwing to. There’s different body languages and different indicators on breaks so that’s really the important thing and the thing that we work on every day,” he adds.
Speaking of continuity, the Bills return all five starters on their offensive line this year, but they’ll be without right guard Jon Feliciano for a while as he’s out with a pec injury. Now the question is how the right side of the line will shake out?
McDermott said last week he wanted to make a decision within the next seven days (that was last Friday) but it seems they’re still looking at a couple different options.
“I think it’s important right now in training camp, we’re gonna mix and match people because you need flexibility in this line. It’s rare that you go a whole season where it’s just the same five guys. We’re still in a process of making sure we’re giving everybody an opportunity to go out there and put their best foot forward,” Daboll explained.
“Position flexibility is important for any team but particularly on the offensive line position. You just can’t have enough guys that can do multiple things so we’ll figure this thing out.”
The Bills did lock in left tackle Dion Dawkins signing him to a four-year contract extension that will have him protecting Allen’s blindside through 2024.
“Dion is another guy when I first got here, I think he’s grown so much as a young man but as a player for us and as a leader. He’s done a great job with his line teammates, with his offensive teammates and collectively with the entire team,” Daboll said.
“He’s very hungry, he’s driven, I’d say hungry is a really good word for him.”
With a lot of the same pieces back on the offensive line, new weapons for Allen (the biggest Stefon Diggs) and relying on young legs in the running game, this offense could be very dangerous this season if Allen carries over his strong play into the regular season.
“I have a lot of trust and faith in Josh,” Daboll said.