As a note: No newspaper does a more thorough job covering an NFL team than the Buffalo News and Buffalo Bills. If you are a Josh Allen/Eddie Yarborough fan, it is worth the month price to have acess to the on-line version of the paper. With that said here's an article of interest from the paper:
By: Brad Gelber
“Not Josh Allen… not Josh Allen… if there is a God it won’t be Josh Allen.”
The exact thought that was racing through my head seconds after the Bills traded up to the seventh-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, Roger Goodell announced at the podium that the Bills had selected Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen… and I was devastated.
After all these years, after suffering through a laundry list of awful quarterbacks, the Bills were FINALLY in a position to take a polished prospect like Josh Rosen and instead they went with the “project QB” with “high upside.”
Like most of Bills Twitter, I had gotten caught up in the hoopla surrounding just how bad Allen was in college.Some even referring to him as one of the “worst prospects ever.” No accolades. No big wins again power-five schools. Just a big arm and a whole lot of question marks.
With the 2018 season now in the rearview mirror, I am here to own up to my mistake. When it comes to Josh Allen… I was wrong.
While Allen has a lot to learn and still a lot to prove, I have fully bought into him being the real deal. Is there a chance it doesn’t work out? Sure, but if you told me back in April, I’d be where I’m at now following a 6-10 season… I’d have laughed in your face.
While Allen surprised many of us with just how great of an athlete he is, repeatedly frustrating defenses with his feet, his work ethic and ability to earn the respect of his teammates is what sold me the most.
Great quarterbacks have an ability to command a room and when you hear veterans like Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams speak so highly of a rookie, you start to get a sense of how special he might be.
Allen’s ability to also work on his well documented “flaws” coming out of college, also impressed. While his decision making and accuracy still have room to improve, we saw glimpses time and time again of what it can look like when he puts it all together.
Not to mention the franchise records Allen set as a rookie:
- First quarterback in franchise history to lead team in both passing and rushing.
- Most rushing yards by a Bills quarterback in single game: 135
- Most rushing yards by Bills quarterback in single season: 631
- Most total touchdowns by a Bills rookie quarterback: 18
With draft capital and salary cap room heading into 2019, in which the Bills can address offensive weapons, it seems as though Allen and the offense as a whole can take a big step forward in 2019.
Having a season under his belt of working with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, should also help Allen heading into year two. Daboll should be able to open up the playbook more and utilize Allen’s strengths, while Allen should be able to have more confidence in his own ability and not rely so heavily on his feet.
In the end, there are still many unknowns when it comes to Allen and the future of the Bills offense, but it is hard not to be optimistic. If anyone says otherwise, perhaps they just don’t like admitting when they are wrong.