PITTSFORD — Quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills’ new deep threat, John Brown, have developed a quick connection in the first three days of training camp.
Deep passes from Allen to Brown drew the biggest roars Saturday from a capacity crowd at St. John Fisher College.
Allen hit the speedy receiver on a 60-yard bomb during a one-on-one segment between receivers and defensive backs. Brown, a free-agent signee from the Baltimore Ravens, beat cornerback Lafayette Pitts on the play.
In the 11-on-11 portion of practice, Allen hit Brown on two more deep balls. The first was a 50-yard deep over route, with Brown getting behind cornerback Levi Wallace. It’s a long-developing pattern, and Allen might have been hit by defensive end Trent Murphy if the QB was eligible for contact. But no sack was whistled on the play.
A few minutes later, Allen hit Brown for 60 yards down the sideline, with the sixth-year receiver again beating Wallace. The Bills kept a back in the backfield to pick up a blitz on the play.
Late in the practice, Allen found Brown for 15 yards on what might have been the QB’s best play of the day. He stepped up in a tightening pocket, waited for Brown to break open over the middle and drilled a throw.
“It’s coming along good,” Brown said of his chemistry with Allen. “We’ve still got a lot to learn. I just love working with him. He’s a guy who carries himself like a veteran.”
"Everybody knows he’s a speedster, but he’s very smooth," Allen said of Brown on Thursday. "Smooth and very fast, especially when it comes to down in the red zone, being able to get in and out of cuts. He’s been doing a really good job with that and that’s something he’s been continuing to work on. ... He’s a smart guy, and I really appreciate having him and his curiosity to learn our playbook and get in and dive in and work with me before and after practice."
The 5-foot-11 Brown looked good on the first day of camp catching shorter passes when the Bills worked on offensive plays inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
“John’s a shifty guy,” said Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. “There’s different forms of receivers. Some guys are just exclusively shifty guys that you can use and manipulate in the shot, move them around. Other guys have shiftiness but also have speed. Even though John’s a little bit shorter, he has very good vertical speed. But he also has great balance and body control, the ability to break down, cut, as compared to (Cole) Beasley, who has good speed but not John Brown speed.”