Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen knows he’s a dual-threat, but wants to be safe
By Avery Duncan
Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen considers himself to be a dual-threat quarterback — according to visit on ESPN — but he’s prioritizing safety going into year two.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen visited ESPN’s “NFL Live” to talk about his development, head coach Sean McDermott, and lessons from Jim Kelly. After discussing his rookie season, host Wendi Nix asked Allen if he considers himself to be a dual-threat quarterback, his response:
"I would think so. I think now, defenses have to respect that ability. If they don’t have an extra defender in the box, it is a possibility that I can take it down and run. But again, that’s not my first thought, I want to get the ball out to our playmakers and let them go make plays."
Firstly, Allen considering himself a dual-threat quarterback shouldn’t be a surprise, he knows it, Bills Mafia knows it, and maybe, just maybe the national media does too. Why? The 6-foot-5, 238-pound Wyoming gunslinger can throw or run a ball over the mountains (logistically, this doesn’t make sense). In his rookie year, he led the Bills in rushing yards (631) and touchdowns (8), despite starting just 11 games and playing quarterback.
Secondly, Allen mentions that running isn’t going to be his first thought in his second season. As a rookie, he was often forced to run due to a continually shrinking pocket and a lack of quick-hitting targets. Though Allen was outstanding as a carrier, the hope is that he doesn’t do so as much in 2019 — the last thing the Bills want is another injury to their supposed franchise quarterback.
Allen shared what McDermott has been telling him through the off-season about when it’s smart to run and when it’s not. He said:
"When it’s smart, and when I do takeoff, his main point to me is being safe, getting down early, making sure I’m not taking unnecessary hits. — This year we’ll see more a little bit more of finding my outlet and trusting those guys around me."
You love to hear Allen mentioning the need to get down, slide, and avoid contact. This was a problem for him last year; if McDermott and Co. can coach it out of him, Bills Mafia may not have a collective heart rate spike every time he takes off. Luckily, instead of having to run due to inadequate protection or lack of skill position talent, Allen will benefit from passing with a much-improved offense in 2019.
General manager Brandon Beane’s off-season has been highlighted by giving Allen every tool he needs. He brought in a third-down ace/slot menace in Cole Beasley to play alongside John Brown, a speed merchant, and deep-threat by nature. The entire offensive line was revamped, with center Mitch Morse and right tackle Cody Ford acting as the present and future answers.
Hopefully, Beane’s efforts can play in part to seeing Allen’s arm more than his legs. The quarterback is an undoubtedly talented runner — and is a dual-threat — but getting out of harm’s way should be a priority.