Josh Allen wasted little time in showing his two newest receivers how excited he is to have them as teammates with the Buffalo Bills.
Both John Brown and Cole Beasley said during their introductory press conference Thursday that Allen was the first person from the organization to call them after they reached a contract agreement with the team.
Not text, mind you, but actual, old-school phone call.
“He was just amped up about it,” Brown said of his talk with Allen. “I was glad to hear from him. Him being a young quarterback, you don't see most young guys do that.”
Both Beasley and Brown said Allen’s presence is a big reason they chose to come to Buffalo. The Bills first pursued Brown in the 2018 offseason, but he elected to sign in Baltimore to play with a veteran quarterback in Joe Flacco.
“I didn't know what the quarterback situation would be here,” he said. “Now that I see they have a great quarterback, we can do a lot of things together. I know that he's accurate, he can run the ball, he leaps over a lot of guys. I'm just excited to work with him.”
Said Beasley, “Quarterback was definitely a big factor. He definitely has a lot of arm talent and ability. I’m just happy to be here and help him do his thing. I love that (Allen called), man. It’s just the willingness to get better and work. You can always get better no matter what stage you are in in your career, and you can tell – I could hear it in his voice through the phone – he was very eager and hungry to get better and he wants to do this thing the right way and turn this thing around.”
Brown and Beasley give the Bills a pair of reliable, veteran receivers – something the team lacked in 2018. Led by Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo’s wideouts largely disappointed a year ago. The group, though, has been transformed in the past few days, with Brown and Beasley joining holdovers Zay Jones and Robert Foster to form a promising top four options.
Brown said the Bills’ desire to reach a deal with him again this offseason, after he rejected their pursuit a year ago, showed him “after you go somewhere else and that team is still after you, there’s got to be something good about this place.”
Both receivers had robust markets this offseason. Brown said he had “plenty of options,” while Beasley said he chose the Bills over the Patriots and returning to the Cowboys.
“Really, I just wanted to be in a place where I had more opportunities, and this seemed like the place for me to be,” he said. “That’s really the main reason why I came here. Everybody makes a big deal of money. I mean, money’s important, but really I just wanted opportunities, man. I felt like I could do more and I wanted to be in that position and I feel like this is the place for that.”
Beasley hasn’t been shy in the past about expressing his opinion that he’d like to see the ball more. For example, he said in January the Cowboys’ front office “dictated” where the ball went.
“That was just me answering a question honestly,” he said. “I still feel like it’s the truth, but maybe I shouldn’t have said it because of the attention it brought and I’m not a guy that wants and needs a ton of attention. But I’ve obviously got to understand where I’m at professionally and maybe all that attention I shouldn’t bring.”
Beasley and Brown are similar in size, but they’ll play different roles for the Bills. Beasley is a pure slot receiver, while Brown is a vertical threat.
“He does a great job with his routes of not selling. He doesn't give away to the defender which way he's going,” General Manager Brandon Beane said of Beasley. “He had, of all receivers, the quickest, immediate, out-of-the-cut separation. We just felt like he was a dependable guy. Third down, you saw (Cowboys quarterback) Dak (Prescott) going to him a lot, on what I call the money downs.”
Beane said Beasley’s ability to run precise routes to the right depth of target makes him “a quarterback’s best friend.”
“Because he knows if a guy is supposed to go 5 yards, I can trust he's going to be there when I plant my back foot and hit it,” the GM said. “I would say he's a very dependable slot, he's a proven pro. And he's a veteran. He'll add a veteran presence to that room.”
Brown has 4.34-second speed in the 40-yard dash, but jokes that he thinks Allen can overthrow him.
“I don’t say that about a lot of quarterbacks, but I think he can,” he said.
Brown’s production in Baltimore dipped after the Ravens switched to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson in the second half of the season.
“The offense changed due to the quarterback situation,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, it was just about winning. (Coming here) I think we'll fit in good. We're going to come ready to work. Just with the other receivers, I see them guys making a lot of plays, and we'll all fit in good together.”