ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott made it clear before practice even began Friday that he's not evaluating Josh Allen throw-by-throw, instead throwing out the newest buzz phrase "growth process" — something Allen's embracing.
"Obviously, you want to jump in and compete and go out there and perform as well as you can [while] grasping the concepts and trying to put it onto the field and still read the defense and throw the ball on time to where it needs to be," Allen said. "It’s not going to happen every time at first; that’s why we go out there [and] do rookie minicamp for that reason. This is kind of unfamiliar territory, we’re diving into it now, and I’ve got a good coaching staff and a great team surrounding me."
The interaction between Allen and new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll catching my attention immediately. Daboll is extremely hands-on and communicative with the rookie after each throw.
"He’s got a lot of enthusiasm in him," Allen said. "Obviously, he’s been around a lot of great quarterbacks, so he knows what he’s doing, he knows what he’s talking about. Anything that he says, I take that very dearly. I want to be molded by him and just anything that he says, for me [I need] to grasp that concept of whatever he’s talking about, embed it into my mind, and then carry it out and do it on the field."
When not talking with Daboll and other coaches, Allen was talking with his new teammates, taking that leadership role from the start, calling it part of his very competitive nature.
"I try to put that upon my teammates, just making sure that they know that I’m doing everything I can to help the team and put our team hopefully in a position to win games one day," Allen said. "I’m just going out there and being who I am, being a voice out there, going and high fiving and slapping butts. That’s what guys do here."
As for what Allen did do on the field, it was as expected. Some throws zipping in there with little effort while others off target, whether because of him or the wide receivers. The next step in the "growth process" will be seeing how the rookie acclimates when thrown in with the rest of the team at OTA's, which begin in about a week and a half.