Allen 'understands' the expectations heading into Year 2

The Bills quarterback spoke about a number of things following the first practice of training camp on Thursday

Jon Simon
July 25, 2019 - 6:24 pm

Photo: Mark Konezny - USA TODAY Sports

Of the many storylines and question marks heading into Buffalo Bills training camp and the 2019 season, the progression of quarterback Josh Allen is likely the one most crucial to the teams’ success. 

The Bills made a number of moves this past offseason, re-tooling their offense in hopes of providing Allen with a better supporting cast for his sophomore campaign. Wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley, two of those new additions to the offense, took the majority of first team reps with Allen on Thursday, along with a new-look offensive line.

Despite working with a new group, expectations from coaches, the front office, and fans are still high for Allen. The second-year play caller is well aware of the expectations and understands what position he’s in.

“This comes with a territory, I understand that,” Allen said following the first practice at St. John Fisher College. “Listen, I love football, I love what this game entails, I love everything about it. I love being a Buffalo Bill, I love being here in Buffalo. I love this team and I love being a part of this team so that pressure doesn’t really seem so heavy when you think about it that way. When you have guys around you that are going to do their job and that’s where the communication and the comradery and everything that we worked on in OTA kind of applies to camp and we continue to build on that and get into season, it’s very fluid and we got a good thing going here.”

Coming into the season as the definite starting quarterback may or may not change Allen’s approach to training camp compared to last summer. However, getting those first team reps from the start of camp all the way to the end is something Allen didn’t get to do his first go-around. This year, working with the ones for the full duration of camp, is huge for Allen’s development. 

“It’s extremely different, knowing that I’m getting in the number one reps,” Allen said. “Whenever the ones are out there, those are my reps. Going back to last year, I don’t know, maybe I was getting a couple threes or twos here and there, maybe switched into the ones for a play or two, here and there. Just the feel of the whole thing, knowing that getting those reps are extremely crucial for a quarterback.”

The constant reps with the starters will give Allen more time to develop chemistry with all the new names on the offensive side of the ball. While it’ll probably take some time to develop a strong connection with his new receivers, it took just one practice for Allen to notice what one of his new targets, Brown, brings to the offense.

“I would say everybody knows he’s a speedster, but he’s very smooth,” Allen added when talking about Brown. “Smooth and very fast, especially when it comes to down in the red zone, being able to get in and out of cuts. He’s been doing a really good job with that and that’s something he’s been continuing to work on. He’s a vet, he’s a very smart kid, he wants to learn…I shouldn’t have said kid, he’s older than me (laughs) but he’s a smart guy and I really appreciate having him and his curiosity to learn our playbook and get in and dive in and work with me before and after practice.”

Amongst all the expectations and excitement surrounding the Bills heading into the new season, Allen in staying grounded. Having new weapons on offense is great and the future is promising. But No. 17 knows the challenge is just beginning. 

“We still have long ways to go,” Allen stated. “Obviously having them here is great. We are still trying to find out what roles, what things they are really good at, what things they can and can’t do.  That’s going to be a learning process throughout this training camp. We are just trying to look to improve and get better, and every day we are going to go out there and learn something new about each other.  They are going to learn stuff about me, I’m going to learn stuff about them, we are going to talk about it, communicate and hopefully apply that to the game field.”

The Bills will continue training camp on Friday with practice at 9:45 a.m. at St. John Fisher College. 

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