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"How lessons from Josh Allen’s rookie year propelled him to stardom in 2020"


transplantbillsfan
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transplantbillsfan

Felt deserving of its own thread.  Like many I hated the pick when we got him, but quickly saw what he could be. And as someone who watched and scrutinized EVERY snap of Allen’s (and Mayfield's and Rosen's and Darnold's and Jackson's and Wentz's and Watson's and Goff's) rookie year, I really got sick of all the arguments over Allen being inaccurate when decision making is what was (and still is, at times) his problem.

 

His accuracy has improved, but he was accurate even as a rookie.

 

Anyway, enjoy...

 

https://theathletic.com/2204066/2020/11/19/josh-allen-buffalo-bills?source=user-shared-article

When Derek Anderson got to Buffalo in October 2018, the Bills’ quarterback room was in disarray.

...

 

Before long, though, Allen didn’t make Anderson feel old at all. It was the opposite. Watching the way Allen loved everything about being in the building was contagious.

 

“He gave me new life,” Anderson said. “He energized me and made me love the game more.”

...

Yet so much of what Allen has shown in 2020 was there in flashes in 2018. And so much of what happened in 2018 helped make him the quarterback he is in 2020.

...

 

But those who were there saw the hints of greatness in Allen. Only four other offensive players from the 2018 Bills are left on the 2020 team. Anderson, who retired after the 2018 season because of a concussion he suffered that year, watches every game closely. Anderson’s son loves to cheer for his friend Josh, so the Bills games are on every Sunday in the Anderson house. And because of how quickly Anderson developed a friendship with Allen and Matt Barkley, who joined the quarterback room a few weeks after Anderson, he still FaceTimes them after games and chats with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll on a weekly basis. He’s seen Allen’s breakout year through the perspective of someone who saw his struggles in 2018.

 

“He’s done a great job of knowing when a play is over, getting the ball down to guys underneath and not really having the feeling that he’s got to be the guy that always makes the play,” Anderson said. “I think that’s kind of been the biggest thing I’ve seen over the past couple of years is taking the easy completions, taking the shots when they’re there and protecting the football.”

...

Isaiah McKenzie, another midseason pickup in 2018, is the only receiver left on the roster from Allen’s rookie season. As Beane has aggressively added talent to that position group, McKenzie has found a way to survive and get a front row seat to Allen’s development. After Allen’s 400-yard, four-touchdown game against the Seahawks, McKenzie said Allen looks like a completely different quarterback than the one he saw when he arrived in Buffalo.

 

“The mistakes he made in 2018 and 2019, you don’t see those anymore,” McKenzie said. “He’s a whole new person. It’s the same Josh, but it’s just like his decision making is way better. He’s doing things with the ball that I haven’t see a lot of quarterbacks do.”

...

What Anderson tried to instill in Allen was work habits. It’s not that Allen wasn’t a willing worker early in his career but he didn’t necessarily know how to work. Preparing for games in the Mountain West is different than being an NFL quarterback. Talent can’t carry you as far in the NFL as it can in college.

 

By the time he got to Buffalo, Anderson had established a preparation routine that worked for him. He always made sure he was among the first players in the building and he was always at least one day ahead on the plays and concepts the team would be working on during practice. He would get to the building first, work out and have watched at least 45 minutes of film before his teammates arrived. At that point in his career, Anderson had a feel for what it meant to be a successful mentor. He took notes on what worked during Newton’s rookie season in Carolina. He wasted no time relaying those to Allen, because he saw the same special potential if Allen got the right guidance.

...

The toughness and leadership presented themselves early. Teammates still talk about when he hurdled over Anthony Barr in the Bills’ upset win over Minnesota early in his rookie season. McKenzie points to the road game against the Dolphins in which Allen totaled four touchdowns in a narrow loss as the first hint that he could be Buffalo’s guy.

...

 

Expecting improvement is one thing, but Allen’s rise has been meteoric. In his first two NFL seasons, Allen didn’t throw for 300 yards in a game once. He’s done it five times this season. His completion percentage has jumped 15.6 percentage points from his rookie season.

 

Even his advanced metrics like DVOA, QBR and PFF grade have all taken substantial jumps. He’s improved throwing the ball to all three levels of the field. Anderson remembers when Allen couldn’t hit the easy screen throws in 2018. This season, Allen has 13 touchdowns on passes thrown within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

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He's a gamer. We've had guys like Edwards, Manwell, and Tyrod who were so timid they never took the chances they needed to  progress. 

 

Allen's not thinking about making a mistake, he's thinking about making the big play. That mentality causes  QBs to make mistakes, but you learn from those mistakes. You don't learn anything from a 3 yd check down  on 3rd and 12.

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transplantbillsfan
3 hours ago, Ann said:

I thought this was a great article. The athletic does some quality interviews and write-ups. 

 

It's the only news source I give money to

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transplantbillsfan
2 hours ago, Robs House said:

He's a gamer. We've had guys like Edwards, Manwell, and Tyrod who were so timid they never took the chances they needed to  progress. 

 

Allen's not thinking about making a mistake, he's thinking about making the big play. That mentality causes  QBs to make mistakes, but you learn from those mistakes. You don't learn anything from a 3 yd check down  on 3rd and 12.

 

I have reached the point n the season with our COMPLETELY ineffective running game that I just wanna see 5-wide and Allen in shotgun on every single play.

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13 hours ago, Robs House said:

He's a gamer. We've had guys like Edwards, Manwell, and Tyrod who were so timid they never took the chances they needed to  progress. 

 

Allen's not thinking about making a mistake, he's thinking about making the big play. That mentality causes  QBs to make mistakes, but you learn from those mistakes. You don't learn anything from a 3 yd check down  on 3rd and 12.

Wasn't Edwards Mr. Checkdown. They would need 10 yards and he would make five a yard completion on a third down. The offense always was on the side line. Today, it is even worse because unless you score 30 points, you are done. Problem is last year we could win scoring less than 30, this year not as much.

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