Josh Allen: 'There really is no pressure' heading into rookie season with the Bills
The Bills have pegged Allen as the face of the future in Buffalo
The Bills made it clear last season that they didn't consider Tyrod Taylor the long-term answer at quarterback. It's why he was traded to the Browns in March and some six weeks later the Bills traded up in the first round to take Josh Allen.
Good news: Buffalo has a young franchise quarterback.
Bad news: There's healthy skepticism that Allen may have been overdrafted because his college production at Wyoming was pedestrian; he completed just 56.3 percent of his passes last season, ranked 72nd in the country in passing efficiency, and struggled against better teams. For his part, Allen seems unconcerned about any of this even though the Bills' last true franchise quarterback was Jim Kelly, who retired after the 1996 season.
"There's really no pressure," Allen said, via the Bills' website. "There's nothing that's been said to me that has made me feel uncomfortable or feel worried about anything at all. I'm here to get better, I'm here to be the best teammate, the best quarterback that I can be. That's what I'm trying to do."
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There's a good chance Allen wins the starting job ahead of the season because he currently shares the depth chart with 2017 fifth-rounder Nathan Peterman, who briefly replaced Taylor in the lineup last November and promptly threw five interceptions in 30 minutes of football. The Bills also signed veteran AJ McCarron, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Bengals, where he started four games (including a playoff game) in 2015 after Andy Dalton went down with a thumb injury.
"I think Josh is a mature guy who has handled his responsibilities the right way," said Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. "He works hard. He improves. He listens to the veterans and coaches. If he makes a mistake one day, he works really hard to try and fix it the next day. He has the right attitude."
"I have to be honest, he's pretty good," McCoy said at the time. "I'm not a big fan of rookies. The best rookie I've probably liked in my career has been Tre (Tre'Davious White). Tre's really good. A lot of guys as rookies, they're not like him. The quarterback is on that level: he's good, he's smart, [but] he has to learn, of course. He's thrown some passes that probably shouldn't have been thrown, but other than that he has a strong arm, [he is] very intelligent. He's too smart. Sometimes, we have conversations, and I'm like, 'Easy, this is not like an exam. Just talk to me. You can say 'yo, what's up.'"
These are all good signs ahead of training camp but the reality is that all this praise means nothing if Allen struggles. First things first: he has to beat out McCarron and Peterman for playing time.
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