Bills' McDermott wouldn't commit to giving Allen first team reps before training camp

Nate Peterman and AJ McCarron continue to split first team reps

Paul Hamilton
June 07, 2018 - 12:44 pm

Photo: Sal Capaccio (@SalSports)


Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) - The Bills are wrapping up three weeks of OTAs this week with a mandatory mini-camp to come next week. Josh Allen has not taken any first or second team reps at quarterback with AJ McCarron and Nate Peterman taking those. Before practice on Thursday, Sean McDermott said, “That’s a fluid situation with respect to Josh, but it terms of the reps to this point, it’s been Nate and AJ splitting the ones and then Josh has been with the threes.”

McDermott was asked straight up if Allen would get first or second team reps by the end of mini-camp next week. The head coach was vague with his answer, “We’ll just see, it’s a fluid situation, it’s all part of doing what’s best for our football team and Josh’s development overall, so I’m not going to say I’m not going to do it, it’s just what’s the right thing to do at the right time based on our plan.”

The coaches aren’t just working with Allen to make him a better passer. McDermott feels there’s a lot more to it, “In terms of communication, that’s a big part of playing quarterback and it can’t just be with the skill players, it has to be O-linemen, tight ends, they have to all be involved and as a leader, you’ve got to be a man of the people so to speak, so you can’t just be with the people at your position, it’s got to be across the entire team.”

Things have been a struggle for Shaq Lawson in his first two seasons. Injuries have been a problem both years and McDermott said now it's time for Lawson to shine, “As for Shaq, this is a time where he steps up. He’s adopting the habits of what it takes to be successful in this league on and off the field and he’s consistent, so that’s what we’re really looking for.”

Tremaine Edmunds is getting his first taste of the NFL after being drafted in the first round last April. McDermott said, “I think he’s adjusting, he’s embraced that growth mindset adjusting to life on and off the field. Its things like finding a place to live, things we take for granted, but these are young men, they’re trying to navigate life as young rookies in the NFL, so he’s done a good job to this point.

“The thing that stands out for Tremaine is his serious approach to the game. He’s a student of the game and passionate about the game.”

We’ve been talking a lot about the rookies the past few weeks, but there are other new players including six-year veteran Star Lotulelei. The former Carolina defensive tackle will be part of the rotation next to Kyle Williams. McDermott knows him from their Panthers days and the head coach said, “That’s been fun to watch. I’ve watched Star grow and develop and then to be apart for a year and then to see now how he’s even developed more, I really enjoy watching him and just being able to step back and just watch and smile a little bit.”

With Eric Wood being released, the Bills have one roster spot available. McDermott said it’s not something that has to be done now, “The approach that Brandon and I take is we talk every day and it’s not about getting to 90, it’s getting the right 90.

“We’d rather be patient at this point and just make sure that it’s the right player at the right time.”

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