If you work for the Bills, don’t touch Josh Allen
Maybe the Buffalo Bills need to string Christmas lights on Josh Allen’s practice quarterback red jersey. It’s 2022, there must be a way to put a sensor on defensive players to beep when Allen approaches like a blind spot device on a new car.
Allen was fine after practice Friday and Saturday, but he made more contacts than he should have had out of uniform for an entire season. On Friday, the Bills were practicing without pads and Allen went down. It was a running game designed for the quarterback, and when he took off, he collided with one of the offensive players. He terrified everyone at that training camp session when his face mask was buried in the grass for a few seconds, but he popped up and ran towards the group.
This play can be seen as “haha, Josh is awkward”, as the heartbeat of everyone who attended the play gradually slows down to normal. On Saturday, however, the Bills’ starting quarterback — who led them to three straight playoff appearances for the first time since the four Super Bowl losses of the early 1990s — got into a skirmish with an opposing defensive player.
The Bills brought back the huge Jordan Phillips as one of their many off-season moves to try to overcome the difficulty and win the franchise’s first Super Bowl. At 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, Phillips returns after a successful stint with the Bills for part of 2018 and all of 2019 to provide the ever-needed defensive line depth. He’s also lucky to still be on the team after making contact with Allen on a goal line. session.
Again, Phillips is huge and it’s hard to slow down all that mass instantly when Allen cuts into tight spaces. That being said, he is a professional athlete, and the physical tasks that are impossible for other humans, which is why he is paid to play sports. Allen made the exception to Phillips who ran into him and pushed the over 300 pounds straight into the chest, setting off a bit of a hubbub.
Allen sent a super football tweet after training the boys start the first day of padded training and they are “You just have to push each other to be awesome.” Sounds good, but Bills defensive players need to realize that when Allen takes off in practice, they have to do one of two things. Preferably treat him as if he just got caught in a game of freeze tag, or if the offense really needs to work to get to the right places to make the blocks, then it should run straight into the blocking player.
Maybe when Allen takes off in practice, every player on the pitch should just yell “poison!” Defensive players should avoid it as they would a punch in the punt return team. It’s the NFL and guys have to be competitive at all times, especially those trying to make the team, but no coach is going to resist a player who stops too soon to avoid hitting the starting quarterback.
If a great starting quarterback gets injured, the season goes with him. This means the coaching staff should always put their quarterback in the best place to succeed, including in practice. A quarterback as mobile as Allen is definitely going to be used in the rushing game, and instinctively will sometimes take off in practice when he’s backing up and no pass catchers are open.
There’s no way to get the perfect look on a quarterback run in practice. Any racing game is difficult to practice. Coaches surely don’t even want their top running backs making unnecessary contact before the hundreds of car accidents they’ll be involved in on the pitch during the regular season, but Devin Singletary and James Cook weren’t guaranteed 150 million. dollars. If necessary, the Bills should put a replacement in place of Allen on execute plays in training for attack and defense to reacting in these situations. Everyone gets nervous when the quarterback has the ball in practice, so the rep won’t be great anyway. Allen is a top athlete, more so than almost any other top athlete. He can know where to go to play plays by studying the filmguided tours and instinct.
Regardless of what Allen tweets, there must be changes at the Bills camp. Either it must be placed in a tight form bubble that allows him to pass again or a siren must sound when he takes his first step forward. This potential All-Pro quarterback must be kept off the ground and intact during practice if the Bills are to have any chance of bringing their talented roster and fake crash-test fans to Arizona. come February.