PITTSFORD – Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said when training camp opened three weeks ago that he hoped one of the three quarterbacks – AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen – would separate themselves from the bunch during the team's time at St. John Fisher College.
Yet, with camp wrapping up Wednesday, there's still tremendous ambiguity at the position.
"I think all three have certainly had their moments, both good and bad," McDermott said. "The great part about these young men is that they're learning from the ones that haven't gone their way. As we continue to grow as a football team, they are continuing to grow at the quarterback position as well."
And while there isn't a clear-cut starter heading into the second preseason game, that doesn't necessarily mean McDermott is disappointed with the results.
"It has, I guess you used the term shaken out, in the way I hoped in that all three are playing well," McDermott said. "There's great competition. That's healthy for our football team. That's healthy at that position in particular."
McDermott declined to name the starter for Friday night's preseason contest at the Cleveland Browns publicly but said he has informed the players of the team's plan. Peterman started last week's opener against Carolina, suiting up for the first quarter of action. McCarron played in the second quarter and Allen the entire second half.
"We've prepared well," McCarron said about building off of the Carolina game. "In a game, no matter how much you prepare, they're always going to bring something that you didn't prepare for. You try and use the tools in your toolbox to fix it along the way."
"No matter what group I'm with, I'm going to go play my best, protect the football and lead the team down and score," Peterman said.
McCarron worked with the ones in the team's final open practice, while Allen was with the twos and Peterman with the threes.
"I've grown a lot since OTAs," McCarron said. "Just understanding the offense, knowing exactly what they would want and in the ins and outs. I feel like I've had a really good camp and I feel great about it. I'm confident."
Wednesday marked the third straight practice where Allen worked exclusively with the second team.
"I just tried to take advantage of every rep that I got, whether it was with the ones, twos or threes," Allen said. "I try to make it as game-like as possible, make the right decision, make the best throw that I can make."
McDermott didn't rule out the possibility of Allen getting time with the ones in a preseason game, saying it was something the team had considered.
"I think that any time that you can get extended time, the reps are valuable," McDermott said of Allen's time with the second team. "It also allows us a chance to evaluate him with different people around him, in particular up front with the offensive line and the weapons that he would have at his disposal with that group."