BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With training camp behind us 7ABC sat down with Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen to discuss the upcoming 2019 season.
You can watch the interview at the top of the page or read the transcript below!
Question: How have things changed this year? I'd imagine it's very different but for you, what is the biggest difference?
Allen: Things have really slowed down...I think that's being in the same system for a year now, having that relationship with Coach Daboll that I do have, knowing the verbiage, knowing the offense inside and out, kind of having some more freedom with checks and calls at the lines and things like that, and obviously just kind of being more in control, in command of the huddle you know if guys have questions I can answer it and can be sure about what I'm giving their answers to so I think that's the biggest difference, to be honest
Question: How difficult is the transition from being a rookie at the draft with the pro days, the Senior Bowl, all the different things that you go through and then getting thrown into an NFL season?
Allen: It's really tough -- it's a whirlwind because I had a bowl game and then I had the Senior Bowl and then I did the combine and then I did visits and pro days. There is a lot of stuff that goes into it and as a young kid, I was 21-years-old at the time, you have a lot of stuff thrown at you. You really don't get a chance to digest everything that you hear so you get thrown into camp and t's just a rush. So there were things during the season last year that I still didn't have 100 percent confidence in and I wasn't sure about everything I was saying in the huddle, I wasn't sure about the checks and the protection calls I was making...but that's over and done with. So I took some beatings and through trial and error I figured things out as the season went along and got really comfortable and having this offseason that we've had has been really awesome.
Question: So you go through last season, you have the injury in the middle season of the season and you come back and things seem to go pretty well, at least for you personally. In the offseason what was the focus? Was it a mental focus, a physical focus, a combination of both What were you trying to work on when you were away from Buffalo?
Allen: It was a combination of both. I worked with Jordan [Palmer] a bit, I got to throw but at the same time having interactions with some of the guys we were getting, with how the season was going to go, and just kind of diving into the playbook. I wanted to really understand what we were calling and why we were calling it. Coach Daboll has done a really good job with letting me know about things and Coach Dorsey, also having him in the room with his QB insight, his experience playing on the field is really carrying over to the QBs in the room has been fantastic and I'm super glad to have him and I'm super excited about the season.
Question: We get out here to practice and admittedly I'm one of them, you have people sitting there writing down every throw you make, how do you feel like the offense has meshed together?
Allen: I think it's been good. I don't think it's where it needs to be or where we want it to be but we have some time for that happens, we've got four preseason games before the season starts and we've got some things to iron out but I think for the starting point that we have right now with what we're doing with the guys we have in the communication aspect has been perfect. Getting to know guys and their body language and their routes and timing and things like that, that has been really really good so we're going to continue to grow on that and shoring some things up with communication on the line, making sure that I've got the right calls and the right checks and just seeing different things and obviously with more experience and more time things will get better.
Question: With the additions of guys like Cole Beasley and John Brown, right when the pads went on you and John connected a few times really deep and fans got excited. With Cole Beasley, it seems like you look to him all the time. How do you get on the same page with guys like that? Is it just a muscle memory thing and the more reps you get with them the better you get?
Allen: That's exactly it. The more reps the more I get to see his body language. The more we talk about certain things, if he's got a linebacker he'll have things we want to do, I can kind of study his eye contact with a little nod or little things like that so like I said more reps against starting defenses like our defense is fantastic. So we get the honor to go against them every single day and in turn that's going to make us better so it's a good relationship that we have on both sides right now, it's good competition.
Question: We actually were talking about this during practice today, you seem like a guy who thrives when the play breaks down and you need to create something. We don't get to see that happen out here but last year there were some people who said you were running too much. Is there such a thing?
Allen: You know, we didn't have many QB runs called last year -- there were a few. When I ran it was because something broke down or I didn't feel comfortable with the route or I saw an opening in the defense. I took what they gave us and sometimes the defense didn't give me respect in the run game and now they need to respect it. But in turn, if they are going to respect my run game than it's going to open up something in the passing game so it coincides with each other and maybe last year there were times when I got out of the pocket too early and I wasn't trusting the guys around me as much but being in the system for a year and being with the guys we have now and feeling that trust and that relationship with these guys . I'm going to sit there and try and find our guys and let them get open and go to work and when the play breaks down if nothing is there I'm going to try and escape and make a play out of it.
Question: We have the first preseason game coming up. Last year this would've been your first real game, sort of, at New Era Field. What is your goal this year with the preseason?
Allen: Just to find the in sync feeling with the guys that we have out there. I don't know how much or how little I'll play but when I'm in I am going to treat it like it's a real game. I'm going to make the right checks, make the right calls and try to throw it to the right guy when he's open and just kind of go from there. It's great practicing against our defense but it's different when you've got different faces out there and a real defense and bullets are flying and you can get hit and you get to see how guys kind of move with real guys and real targets flying
Question: You've said that this year is about growth for everybody on the offense and as a team in general. How do you manage expectations as a competitor?
Allen: Yea know we wanna go out there, we wanna win every game we play. That's no secret. I think everybody else in the league feels the exact same way. At the same time, we want to be the best version of ourselves every day so it's coming out to practice and doing the little things right. Coach Daboll explains to us how we don't need to be extraordinary at a couple of things but with ordinary things, we need to be great at. So that's what we're kind of focusing on being right on our depths, me setting the protection the right way, me putting the ball where our receivers can run and catch. Coach McDermott's key thing for us is one-eleventh, everybody doing their jobs, so as time goes on we're gonna get a better feel for that and again this preseason kind of helps with that.
Question: You've been asked this question before and you've given the answers on it. Every day we're out here at practice when there's kids out here, fans out here, you're going and you're signing the autographs and it seems like you've already become the fan-favorite. Everybody loves you in Western New York. Why is that so important to you?
Allen: I mean I just kind of think of it as I'm a real person. I think we all are. As football players, we're not very different than everybody else. I remember being a kid looking up to athletes and I try to sign or at least interact with every kid out here and wave, high-five, fist-bump, whatever it is just because I remember being in that situation. I remember being a young kid and wanting to be appreciated for showing my support and how much I cared about the sport that I was watching or the fan or the player that I was a big fan of. So I remember being a kid and if a little thing like that happened to me I was just juiced about it like 'he looked at me, he waved at me,' so that's where I come from.
Question: How far can you throw a football?
Allen: On a good day maybe a little over 80.
Question: Do you need the wind?
Alen: No, not really. In Wyoming, I had some obvious altitude help there but I threw it like 83 one time, that's with altitude, so that may add a few yards.
Question: Finish this sentence: 2019 will be a successful season for the Buffalo Bills if ______?
Allen: If we stick to our rules, play one-eleventh football, and play when we coincide with each other. When our offense does well, our defense does their job, it really comes down to that. We want to play football the right way, how it's supposed to be played. Coach always goes over situations every day in practice and every day in meetings and we're trying to figure those out and just play complimentary football off of each other.