Allen: Competition is something that drives me

The Bills' rookie quarterback joined Howard and Jeremy at training camp on Wednesday

Howard & Jeremy | Weekdays 6a-10a
August 01, 2018 - 10:14 am

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the first few days of Buffalo Bills training camp, the loudest cheers could be heard after Josh Allen completed a pass.

The rookie quarterback has received the majority of fan attention after being selected seventh overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen is seen as the Bills’ franchise quarterback after general manager Brandon Beane traded up twice to get him, giving up left tackle Cordy Glenn, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks to get to seventh overall.

Many fans would prefer Allen to start over A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman, neither of whom have much starting experience in the NFL, and both were fifth-round picks. McCarron has been in the league the longest, but has seen little playing time in three seasons as a backup for Andy Dalton. Peterman was thrust into action too early as a rookie last season, throwing five interceptions in his first half of game action.

Despite Allen’s lack of production against lackluster competition in college, he has one of the strongest arms NFL evaluators have ever seen. In the buildup to the draft, Allen’s measurables were touted as “prototypical” for a quarterback. Allen has the raw talent to be a great quarterback, but he must learn the playbook and win the starting job before he gets the chance.

Allen had the chance to sit down with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Wednesday before a morning practice at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. He feels that the first few practices at camp have fared pretty well for himself.

“Things are going well,” Allen said. “Just getting back into the swing of things with football, diving into the playbook and going out there and executing plays…we’re dormed up so to get to know teammates on a deeper level and develop those relationships I think is going to help us on the field.”

So far through camp, Allen has been working primarily with the third-team offense, while also getting some reps with the first-team unit. Peterman and McCarron have been splitting duties with the first- and second-team units through camp, but each quarterback in this group knows what kind of work they will get before each practice.

“I know that I’m getting one period of reps with the ones and then the rest I’ll be with the threes,” Allen explained. “But we do get the same amount of reps throughout the quarterbacks, so nobody is getting an advantage in that situation.”

After an entire year being evaluated in the build-up to the draft, Allen is still under the microscope as fans and coaches alike take stock of him. Allen says he is unfazed by the attention.

“Competition is something that I invite, it’s something that drives me,” he said. “Competition is my favorite thing, growing up all I can remember is me and my brother competing at everything we did. To come out here and compete day-in and day-out and then get to go play games and compete with other teams is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Despite the three-way battle for the starting job at quarterback, Allen has gotten along very well with McCarron and Peterman.

“I think it’s a special room. Me and AJ kind of have the same personality, Nate’s one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met…he’s definitely the nicest one in the room, me and AJ get after it a little bit,” Allen said.

The quarterback competition will reach its first benchmark next week when the Bills play their first preseason game on August 9 against the Carolina Panthers.

You can listen to Allen's entire interview with Howard and Jeremy below:

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