PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Josh Allen knows his critics are out there. He just doesn’t know, or care, what they say about him.
He does know, however, why he struggles sometimes on shorter throws, and what he has to do to correct it.
In an interview with Postmedia following the Buffalo Bills’ fourth practice of training camp at St. John Fisher College, the 6-foot-5 237-pound cannon-armed rookie went there, in some detail.
That is, he talked about his inaccuracy issues, which have seen him slagged – hell, ripped to shreds by some – all year in the media and, worse, on social media.
On what throws does he feel he struggles the most?
“I don’t feel there’s a throw I can’t make,” said Allen, who worked primarily with the third string on Sunday, with A.J. McCarron working with the ones, and Nathan Peterman with the twos.
“I’m very confident with my arm and my ability to makes throws. The type of throws where I struggle are kind of the underneath patterns where I’ve got to tone down my arm a little bit. And sometimes, you know I hate to use an analogy, but it’s like I’m 100 yards out and I have a 4-iron. So I’m just trying to develop more clubs to put it on the green.”
Allen, 22, said he stays after practice – as he did Sunday – or comes out onto the practice field as much as 30 minutes early to “just throw those routes.”
“We’re getting to where we want to get,” he said. “Still, it’s going to take some time. And I’m not putting any pressure on myself right now.”
I told him my analogy for his short-throw issues – after seeing him throw in person at the Scouting Combine in March, one day at June mini-camp, and again Sunday – is that, with his powerful arm, it’s like having to crawl-drive a Lamborghini sports car at 10 miles an hour occasionally.
Indeed, does he struggle with finding the correct arm strength on short routes?
In a word, yes.
“Well, it’s like – I’m going to use another golf analogy,” Allen said. “When you slow down your swing, that’s when things tend to go wrong. So it’s about finding the right tempo in my arm for the ball to come over the top, get the right spin and ultimately hit the target in the right spot.
“So I just can’t slow my arm down. And sometimes I think I need to. But I don’t need to. I just need to control it at the top a little better. That’s what we’re (working on).”
As for his critics? Well, Allen doesn’t have to much to say about them.
“I don’t care,” he said, with a convincing smile.
Really? He doesn’t care even about the deepest knife thrusts?
“I don’t care. I don’t read any of that stuff. If I was in my phone every day, reading what everybody said about me, I’d probably go crazy. I mean, I haven’t read one article about what’s going on during this camp.”
What about all the crap he took before the draft, when his stock seemed to fall once criticisms of his low completion percentage at the University of Wyoming (56% in each of his last two seasons) became widespread?
“I get that. It is what it is. I could care less,” he said.
Asked if he’s where he wants to be, one week into training camp, Allen said absolutely not.
“I don’t think so. I’m not complacent with where I’m at. Obviously there’s a lot to grow on and get better at, so that’s what I’m looking to do. Just improve every day, and learn who I’m throwing with, learn what the coaches want us to do, and ultimately going out there and executing the plays.”
When told that Bills GM Brandon Beane a couple hours earlier commended him for not showing frustration out on the field, Allen said that’s just how he plays.
“Yeah, this goes back to when I was younger – middle school, high school. Coaches always told me, ‘Never too high, never too low.’ So I try to be as even as possible. That goes through my mind.
“But that’s also just the person I am. I’m a pretty mild-tempered guy. I’m not going to get too energized or too low on myself when things go wrong, because I know we’ve still got to go out there and resume the game.”
Asked if he feels he must have a strong performance in the first preseason game to eventually be named starter coming out of training camp, Allen only said:
“Ultimately, that’s up to the coaches. I’m going to go out there and play how I play the game. And we’ll see how things go after that.”
When the pads go on, the fists fly
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – When the pads go on, the fists sometimes fly early on at NFL training camps.
That’s what happened early in the Buffalo Bills’ practice Sunday morning.
On the second consecutive day of practicing in full pads, and on one of the first plays in 11-vs.-11 sessions, feisty defensive end Jerry Hughes and right offensive tackle Jordan Mills got into it.
Mills’ helmet went flying off. Then other players jumped in. Right guard John Miller threw a right-handed haymaker. Defensive end Shaq Lawson got in a punch too, per the Buffalo News.
“Things got pretty energized there,” rookie quarterback Josh Allen told Postmedia afterward. “But that’s really good to see that the guys are coming out, ready to play.
“There’s a lot of emotion in this game, especially during training camp where there’s a lot to fight for. So to get out here and experience that, and just see how much guys want it, just makes you want it that much more.”
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies