This is part of a series previewing each position for the Buffalo Bills heading toward the start of training camp on July 26.
Player Spotlight: Josh Allen
Don’t delay the inevitable. Start him now!
Josh Allen’s support among a healthy portion of Buffalo Bills fans is that strong, that emphatic.
People listen to the typical advice of needing to be patient with a rookie quarterback. Not everyone actually hears it, especially when it comes to the highest draft pick the Bills have ever invested in a quarterback.
Allen showed his share of the expected rough edges from his youth and the fact he’s from Wyoming, where he received little in the way of thorough NFL preparation, during offseason practices. In those instances, his third-team status seemed appropriate.
He also showed that his arm is far superior than the ones belonging to the two players ahead of him on depth chart: AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman. That’s what drives the notion that regardless of whatever edge McCarron and Peterman might have in experience — or the media-created narrative that Peterman’s OTA showings might have pushed him into a starting job — Allen has too much physical skill to hold back.
As offseason sessions progressed, Allen showed steady improvement with his accuracy and mechanics, enough to warrant opportunities to work with the starters. His biggest issue is learning to consistently set his feet shoulder width rather than closer together. That wasn’t always natural for him through college, and it contributed to his well-publicized accuracy problems.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and quarterbacks coach David Culley frequently reminded Allen of proper foot placement during rookie minicamp, OTAs and mandatory minicamp. The question is, can Allen make it part of his default settings?
The Bills’ decision-makers would like nothing better than to have Peterman or McCarron show enough competence to buy them the maximum time to get Allen ready to take over. For many of the team’s followers, it will feel like little more than a tease until the main course arrives.
When that time comes, it will happen for more than one reason. But at or at least near the top of the list will be Allen demonstrating all that the coaches have drilled into his head the past two months has become second nature.