When does Allen start?

July 20, 2018 - 7:44 am

So I’ve got this bet with Mike Schopp. Over/under number of Josh Allen starts for the Buffalo Bills in 2018.

We set our number at six-and-a-half games and I took the under, Mike the over. My reasoning?

All through the draft process this spring, we heard and read about how Allen was raw and something of a project. Lots of measurables to fall in love with, but it may take some time to put it all together and make the package of skills into an NFL starter, and hopefully a good NFL starter at that.

I’m starting to think maybe I’m on the wrong side of that one and I don’t mind that much. Sure. I’d like to win the bet and I’m still ok if the Bills do end up taking their time with Allen for the reasons stated above. But the idea of Allen starting right away is undeniably exciting and I’m always down for exciting.

It’s funny, a few months ago when we made the bet. I felt pretty comfortable with my side of it. Now, I don’t know, maybe it’s the smell of training camp in air and starting to feel the season coming.

Forget that the move turned into a tire fire in a haz-mat dump. One thing it was not was conservative. Heck, it may have even been reckless. Mostly, it might be evidence that the Bills coach isn’t going to wait for Allen’s feet to get right or the offensive line to stabilize. If Allen is the best guy, and let’s be real, the bar to clear is not super high with Peterman and A.J. McCarron serving as the rest of the field, maybe McDermott puts him in to start the 2018 season.

McDermott, last season, put fifth round rookie Nathan Peterman in while the Bills were sliding and barely hanging onto their playoff hopes. Now yes, that switch came after Tyrod Taylor had just thrown for, like, 60-yards in a curb stomping by the Saints. But still, McDermott did it.

Here’s the thing though. For all my inclination to paint McDermott as conservative because of his reliance on the process, there is one important event that gets overlooked when I do that.

That’s what I’m betting on and largely I believe in most of that.

So, obviously, McDermott and Beane are going to want to get it right with Allen. Getting it right can mean not rushing him. Getting it right could require patience while Allen continues to get used to the speed of the game as well as re-working his footwork. Getting it right might require another off season to build up the talent on the offense around Allen.

Sean McDermott being the process oriented guy that he is, I decided to bet on the idea that he and his coaching staff would want to take their time with Allen. You don’t want to rush something this important. How important is giving Allen every chance to be successful to McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane? Well, consider how many guys in their gigs get a second shot at drafting their franchise quarterback. It rarely happens. Fair or not, it usually works like this. Get it right and you’re set for life, or a good 10-15 years. Blow it and nice try, thanks for all you’ve done for the team but we’re going in a different direction.

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