Josh Allen had another up and down practice on Wednesday. It’s not unusual for him or for most NFL rookies.
He’s learning how to handle the roller coaster performances. Whether it’s fans, media or coaches, he knows all eyes are on him.
“Everybody’s looking at the quarterback. Looking at your mannerisms, your body language,” Allen said. “I started a little shaky today and I might have let my emotions get the best of me at one point, but on to the nex period. Ended up making some really good throws at the end and finishing strong.”
AJ McCarron doesn’t have many more career NFL starts than Allen. However, he does have four years experience battling for an NFL job and a host of high leverage starts during his career at Alabama.
“I feel like I always get the best out of the guys I’m playing with,” McCarron said. “I always just try to stay consistent. Know how I play my game and be the best at it.”
Allen is learning that the best way to handle his growth process is understanding it’s ok to miss a throw or a read. He’s won’t be the first or the last quarterback to struggle early on.
“Look at Peyton Manning’s first year in the league. It wasn’t too pretty,” Allen said. “He bounced back from it and ended up to be one of, if not the, greatest quarterback ever to play the game. It takes a special mindset to have that. Working on it every day at practice, making mistakes and understanding that, if I make this mistake once, I can’t make it again.”
The Bills offense was very good in practice early on Wednesday, but the defense was smothering late. Each unit had a hurry up drill to close practice. The goal was to get into field goal range with varying amounts of time left.
The first and second team defense did not allow a first down. Allen connected on a 30 yard pass to Camp Phillips to open his drive, but then couldn’t move the ball another yard. That first pass was enough for Steven Hauschka to make a 53-yard field goal. It would have been short from 54 yards.
“Such talented players over there,” Nate Peterman said. “It makes our game so much better. Could have been a little bit better, but there’s always going to be days like that. We’ve got to take this day in stride and be ready.”
The Bills did mix and match offensive personnel on Wednesday more than any previous day at camp. Still, Allen’s reps with the first team remained limited. He isn’t bothered.
“As long as I’m getting reps, I’m happy,” Allen said. “When I’m with the 3’s, I think I’m with the 1’s. It doesn’t matter who I’m with, I’m going to try to execute the plays to the best of my ability.”