The No. 1 goal of the 2020 Buffalo Bills is Josh Allen’s continued development.
“I’d say it’s at the top of the list,” coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday, per the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
A blind squirrel could have cracked that nut.
The Bills have a playoff-ready roster if the young quarterback continues to progress into a bona fide playmaker. Buffalo spent the offseason buffering the QB further to ensure he’s in the best possible position to succeed, including trading for star receiver Stefon Diggs.
Not all are believers that Allen can ascend any higher.
McDermott knows the skeptics will remain vocal until Allen’s play muzzles them.
“Well, I think that’s understandable,” he said. “Until you’re able to silence that, it’s going to continue to come up. I think at the end of the day Josh wants to prove himself inside the building first and I think he continues to do that and show his teammates who he is and what he’s capable of.”
Allen has proven to be a flashpoint between some analysts and fans.
On one side of the aisle sit some who believe the young quarterback can never become a legit passer, citing his inconsistent accuracy, poor downfield prowess and all-too-common mistakes. Some of those analysts, however, are blinded by their pre-draft evaluation, unwilling or unable to admit that over his first two seasons, Allen has improved, albeit incrementally. For some, Allen sucks, will always suck, and even if he won Super Bowls for a decade straight, they still wouldn’t be convinced.
On the flip side are some fans who — as fans are wont to do — forgive every foible, find excuses for miscues and vehemently attack any who feign to offer a critique of their QB.
As with most things in life, truth lies somewhere in the gray middle.
Allen has shown signs of improvement over his two-plus years, and his scrambling ability has proven a great asset when he doesn’t get out of control. But there are strides to go. The Bills admit as much. Allen has said so.
The question is whether he can ever reach those heights.
“I’ve been around some quarterbacks who started off very much like Josh has and developed and played at a high level,” McDermott said. “Obviously we felt like we unearthed a lot of who he was going through the draft process, but until you’re around people multiple years you really don’t know him as well as you want to.
“And so now in year three, just seeing him grow as a young man on and off the field has been fun to watch. We’re encouraged by Josh’s development and the time he put in when he was away from us every offseason including this offseason. He’s worked on his game and he continues to polish his game and get on the same page with his receivers over the last couple of weeks now.”
Allen enters a pivotal season in Buffalo. With a Super Bowl-caliber roster around him, the Bills need their QB to make a jump in Year 3. If not, they might need to go back to the drawing board at the most important position in sports.
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