Bills first and second year players have taken 35 percent of the team's snaps this season, third-most in the NFL. So while the team as a whole is one of the oldest in the league, they're playing as one of the youngest.
"We’ve got to continue to develop all of these players, and not just the young ones, but all of our football players," said head coach Sean McDermott. "In particular, [for] these young guys, it’s not always going to look like it should, so you kind of have to balance that with continuing to teach these players and then at some point they’re either going to get it or they’re not."
McDermott believes most of them are getting it, pointing to the biggest plays and contributors this past Sunday coming from the likes of Robert Foster, Isaiah McKenzie, and Matt Milano.
“Coming in and working hard, having the coaches believe in me the first day I come in here,” said McKenzie. “It’s a great opportunity because I get to get on the field as fast as I can and help the team win. Contributing the way I have the past few weeks, two weeks, has been pretty good, helping the team win.”
“They’re building me at the end of the day,” Foster said. “The Buffalo Bills are building me to be the best receiver I can be. I know I didn’t have production in college so the whole coaching staff is building me to be the best receiver I can be.”
Of course the biggest impact now and in the future for this team will need to be made by Josh Allen, who may have had his best performance to date against Jacksonville Sunday. Allen's talked a lot about how his five-week's away because of injury may have been a blessing in disguise and he's looking forward now to these final five weeks as critical to his rookie development.
“Them getting the ball out quickly and being on time and on rhythm with their progressions, I got to see that, I got to see what that truly looks like,” Allen said. “So I developed it, still developing it now obviously, but got to apply it. Feeling good, just the in-game feel — trusting my feet, trusting what I see, making a quick decision and going with it.”
We'll see if the youth movement can keep rolling Sunday at Miami.