On the morning after the Bills' season ended, Bills quarterback Josh Allen was trying to look ahead to what the team can take into next season from their postseason appearance. But it's still a bitter pill, and that feeling might not go away.
"We all have a sour taste in our mouths after yesterday," Allen said. "I won’t be over this until we start playing again. Again, I’m very self-driven and I understand things could've went differently. I’m going to learn from it, I’m going to use it and I’m going to grow from it. This will be a chip on my shoulder until we start playing again."
"We've got to go out there and execute and we have to do a better job of that. They made one more play than we did. We've got to better and we know that. ... We're going to try to heal our bodies up and get ready for next season."
Allen said he will take a few weeks off and then begin getting back in the weight room to get himself into "peak physical condition" for the offseason program. He intends to again work out with quarterback guru Jordan Palmer in California and a group of quarterbacks, including the Jets' Sam Darnold.
"The months tend to fly by," Allen said. "That's what happened last year. I am as anxious to get back practicing again. I wish we were doing that today, but it is what it is."
Allen said the Bills have a "good basis."
"We're going to have this feeling in our stomachs for the next eight months until we play again and throughout the offseason process of training and in working out and trying to trying to learn our playbook and getting into some deeper things there and utilizing that, it's for sure going to help us out in the long run," he said. "It sucks now, but can't win them all. We can learn from this and try to use it for the better and the guys that we have in this locker room I've got no doubt that's what we'll do.
Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is expected to interview for the Cleveland Browns head coaching vacancy on Monday, the News has confirmed. Allen was asked about how he would feel if Daboll were to depart.
"I love Daboll, he’s been one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever had in my football career," Allen said. "Whether he gets an opportunity to do that, personally I would hate to see it, but at the same time, for him to get an opportunity like that would be awesome — not just for him, but for his family too. And I understand this is a business, I’d be the first one to tell him to do it if he had that opportunity. But the relationship we have is special, I deeply care for him, his family and what he’s been able to do for me, how he’s taken me under his wing. So, time will tell in that aspect too, again, a guy that I love and that’ll never change, but personally I hope he’s back next year.
Here is the full transcript of Allen's meeting with the media:
Q: Limping a little bit, just after game soreness? Look like you're limping a little bit when you walked over here.
A: Yeah, just after-game soreness. It was a tough-fought game. Just tried to do things to help our team win. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Q: What’s the healing process for you personally?
A: Like week to week? Offseason?
Q: Just after a game like that, what’s the healing process like after the first playoff game?
A: Waking up, coming in here trying to get some rehab and trying to fix any ailments that you might have. Making sure that everything's intact. This is a violent game that we play and stuff happens within the game. Throughout the year, I think on every team, nobody's really 100% healthy. Guys are playing through stuff and just the nature of the business that we play in.
Q: There was talk of all the pain and frustration that was felt after that loss, how difficult it was. Do you think that can be turned into a positive? How much do you think it can be?
A: Yeah, 100%. I just got told we've got a good basis on where we're at right now and a lot of guys coming back next year. So, we're going to have this feeling in our stomachs for the next eight months until we play again and throughout the offseason process of training and in working out and trying to learn our playbook and getting into some deeper things there and utilizing that, it's for sure going to help us out in the long run. It sucks now, but can't win them all. We can learn from this and try to use it for the better and the guys that we have in this locker room I've got no doubt that's what we'll do.
Q: What do you hope you specifically get out of this?
A: The experience of being in that game, that type of game, feeling the flow. Obviously, there's some things that we wish we had back and things that I wish I had back but at the end of the day, we didn't get it done. Just little things about in the game just, finding completions and taking care of the football and that one turnover really cost us, allowed them to get three more points and that's what they ended up winning the game by. Just still stuff to learn from and it's going to be every week, every year you're going to find a way to learn something and get better and want to improve on yourself and that was no different than what happened yesterday.
Q: Partly from the chaos of a playoff game but how much did that game kind of just speed up on you and on the team in general? Was it hard to get it under control the last 15 minutes or so?
A: I wouldn't say it was any of that. We got to go out there and execute and we didn't do a good enough job of that and the Texans did. Again, they made one more play than we did and they ended up winning the game. It's really no more than that but we've got to be better, we know that. Unfortunately, a loss like this and it ends your season and like I said, leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth. So, again, we'll learn from it, we’ll grow from it. We got a lot of guys in this locker room that I wouldn't trade for the world. We're going to continue to get better and try to heal our bodies up and get ready to go next year.
Q: I know you subscribe to coach’s daily growth mindset. So, what, maybe you haven't had a ton of time to think about it yet, what do you maybe put at the top of your “to do list” for your personal game going into the offseason.
A: I mean there's a lot obviously. A lot I am going to do mechanically, I'm just trying to sure some things up there, watching more film, more so than on myself than anybody else and just finding out what went good and what went bad and try to give me a real honest self-assessment, and talk with our coaches before we leave here and try to develop a plan of what I need to work on in their eyes too and going back to wherever it is and training with my quarterback guy and taking a week or two off and getting back in the weight room and trying to put myself in peak physical condition for OTAs and then training camp and the season, it's going to happen quick. That's what happened this offseason and the months tend to fly by and I am anxious to get back practicing again. I wish we were doing that today, but it is what it is.
Q: You don't have many free agents, but one is Quinton Spain. He said he'd like to be back. What does he mean to the offensive line, particularly this year?
A: He's been awesome for us. Just his mindset, his attitude, the way he plays, he brings a fire. He's a really good dude too. I love him and I wish we’d get him back too. I know it's the nature of the business. If I had a say, we’d have him back. He’s just one of those guys that you want on your team. He's a team guy, he communicates well to the guys, he gets along with everybody in the locker room, he's good presence and when he goes out on the football field and plays really well. I guess time will tell when that happens. I hope he knows that I love him and that'll never change.
Q: You’re going to be working with Jordan Palmer again in the offseason, what in particular do you want to work on and what areas do you want to grow in preparation for 2020?
A: Again, just some mechanical stuff, making sure everything’s sequencing right. The more repetition I get in that aspect, the more it’s going to help.
Q: Is that what the plan is right now, to go back to California and do what you have been with Kyle [Allen], Sam [Darnold], Jordan [Palmer] and those guys?
A: That’s the plan as of now, yeah.
Q: Players come and go, coaches come and go as well, what are your thoughts on [Brian] Daboll potentially moving up and getting a shot?
A: I love Daboll, he’s been one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever had in my football career. Whether he gets an opportunity to do that, personally I would hate to see it, but at the same time, for him to get an opportunity like that would be awesome — not just for him, but for his family too. And I understand this is a business, I’d be the first one to tell him to do it if he had that opportunity. But the relationship we have is special, I deeply care for him, his family and what he’s been able to do for me, how he’s taken me under his wing. So, time will tell in that aspect too, again, a guy that I love and that’ll never change, but personally I hope he’s back next year.
Q: Frank [Gore] and Mitch [Morse] both mentioned how the future should be bright around here and while it won’t be easy, the expectations for next year are to win this division. What are your expectations moving forward?
A: There’s no difference in my expectations — we want to come out and obviously play as best as we can and win as many games as we can. Ultimately winning the division is great, putting ourselves in the playoffs and getting back there is our goal and that’s not going to waver there. Coach is going to continue to preach playoff-caliber football and we’re going to try and go out there and do our jobs.
Q: Josh, this might be the most dejected I’ve seen you in maybe the two years that you've been here — how long do you think it takes for you to get over it and in some ways do you hope a part of it, you don’t get over?
A: I won’t be over this until we start playing again. Again, I’m very self-driven and I understand things could've went differently. I’m going to learn from it, I’m going to use it and I’m going to grow from it. This will be a chip on my shoulder until we start playing again.
Q: When you look back on the season and the role the rookies played on the offense — Devin Singletary, Dawson Knox, Cody Ford — what did they mean to you and this team?
A: Well, they played fantastic for us. Hats off to our guys in the front office for seeing their skill set and taking a leap and drafting these guys. Not only are they good football players and going to be great football players, but they’re great human beings off the field. They fit in well with this locker room, they fit this culture very well and what Coach McDermott is trying to preach here. I appreciate what they've done for us this year and they're going to have to understand that things don't get easier. Just because you've played in league for one year doesn't mean next year is going to be simpler or anything like that. They’re going to work hard, I have no doubt in that and they're going to come back in OTAs and training camp ready to get after it with a year of experience under their belt. They are going to be better and we’re going to rely on them more in this offense. That is just how it goes.
Q: How would you characterize the individual steps you took forward as a quarterback in your second year?
A: I really haven’t had a chance to step back and look at it. My personal goals are team goals and we didn’t get the job done in the playoffs — I could've helped that and that’s how I’m feeling.