Josh Allen would be the first to tell you it’s a part of his game that is far from a finished product. As he begins what amounts to his second season of NFL experience now with 17 starts under his belt, Buffalo’s quarterback is trying to raise his level of play each week in several areas. One in particular that appears to have taken a noticeable step forward is his pre-snap diagnosis of defenses.
“He’s definitely progressed in that phase of his game,” said guard Jon Feliciano. “That’s the hardest thing a quarterback has to do is understand protection and what the defenses are trying to throw at them.
“In the first six games we’ve had, the defenses we’ve gone against have thrown a lot at us because Josh is a mobile guy. When you have a guy like Josh you try to make him get in his own head and make him make wrong reads and hurry up his process. He’s done a great job of just staying calm back there. Last game he was making a lot of checks out there and you love to see that.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll pointed to a specific play where Allen got everything right pre-snap. It was a 1st-and-10 play at their own 35 after the Tre’Davious White interception against the Dolphins last week.
Allen read blitz from Miami’s alignment expecting the slot corner to come as well as the ‘mike’ linebacker on an overload to the left of Buffalo’s offensive formation.
He changed the protection to slide to the left, which left Dion Dawkins in position to pick up the blitzing linebacker and kept Devin Singletary in off play action to pick up the corner. The result of the play was a 23-yard completion to Duke Williams on a crossing pattern.
“On that pass to Duke Williams, he did a good job,” said Daboll. “We were going up tempo, and he saw a pressure look coming from the weak side, made a read, identification of a backer, put us into a good protection, had some pressure in his face, did a good job with his feet, stood in the pocket, had some good arc and pace on his throw over the top to Duke. It was a good example of what he needs to do and what helps our offense.”
“I feel like I’ve seen a good amount of football in my first year and I think being in the same system and the same protections, understanding where my answers are and where I may not be protected. That’s where I’ve really improved,” Allen said. “I’m not going to say I’m there yet. There is still a lot to learn and a lot to see. I haven’t seen everything in the game of football.
“Each week is going to present a different opportunity to learn and a different challenge for me to go up there and make the right protections and get ourselves in a suitable position where we can make a good play.”
By: Chris Brown