Quarteback Guru Based in Buffalo Has High Praise for Josh Allen
Information in this story was collected from various media accounts.
Jim Kubiak knows a few things about being a quarterback and he is becoming a Josh Allen fan.
"Josh Allen was impressive as he demonstrated his ability to execute at a very high level with the first unit," Kubiak told the Buffalo News after the Bills exhibition game on Friday against the Browns. "He was able to see and recognize coverage, as well as `kill' several plays, which enabled the Bills to adjust their scheme at the line of scrimmage. This is high level activity for a first-round pick in his second pre-season game."
Kubiak was a quarterback at the Naval Academy, and in trying to piece together an NFL career and serve his active duty with the Navy, spent time with the Panthers, Colts and Jets in off-season programs and/or on the practice squad. He also played five years in the Arena League, and coached in the Arena League and at the college level before becoming the director of WNY Quarterback Academy.
Allen has played slightly more than three quarters in two exhibition games for the Buffalo Bills. It has, however, been enough to create a feeling that the Bills will be best served to speed up the plans for the former Wyoming quarterback, who Buffalo traded up to select with the seventh pick in the first round of last spring’s NFL draft.
And that feeling gained even more momentum Friday night when it was reported that AJ McCarron, the incumbent No. 1 quarterback, suffered what is believed to be a hairline fracture of his collarbone.
Allen, as those who knew him at Wyoming would assume, is taking the situation in stride.
"That's not up to me," he responded to questions about whether he thinks he should be Buffalo’s No 1 quarterback, according to the Buffalo News. "That's completely up to the coaches, and, obviously, whatever happened tonight with AJ. It's some tough circumstances because everybody that knows him knows he's a great dude and I'm hurting for him tonight. I sent him a little text.
"You hate to see it happen, but as of now I'm looking to improve. I know there's a lot of things to improve on in my game and I'm going to continue to do that."
The irony of the game is the play that was pointed out in support of Allen emerging at the top of the list was a short pass – the one area of his game that the haters have claimed is a weakness.
Long-time Buffalo News writer Vic Carruci put it this way:
“Allen separated himself with his performance. He did it in more ways than this, but the one play that could be called the turning point in the three-way competition came with 3:55 left in the first half. That was when Allen evaded pass-rushers and calmly stepped up to the middle of the pocket to fire a two-yard dart to Rod Streater in the back of the end zone.
That tied the game at 7-7. However, it should have untied the knot at quarterback.”
“There is no need to delay the inevitable. Allen is the Bills’ most talented quarterback and the most talented player at any position should be on the field from the start of the season.”
What caught the attention of the media is the velocity and accuracy of that throw into the endzone, where Streater was in the midst of several defenders,and Allen was able to deliver the pass with the velocity that the Browns’ defense was unable to disrupt the play. And the ability Allen showed to not only evade the pass rush, but not panic as he stepped up from the pocket and hit the receiver in the back of the endzone.
Allen, again, downplayed himself.
"Rod's a long-time vet and he knows how to win," Allen told the media after the game. "He was there on time at the right time. We had a little pressure at the beginning, but we made the play and I just had to get the ball to him and he did it. It wasn't a high throw; I was just trying to get it on him and let him make a catch for a touchdown."
After playing in the second half in the exhibition opener against Carolina when the bulk of the Bills players on the field were projected backups at best, Allen had the Bills’ starting offensive line and wide receivers on the field on Friday.
"I thought tonight was good," Allen said. "Still, there's some things I need to do better. As an offense, we need to move the ball a little better and that starts with us, so I'm going to break down this film and understand and try to fix whatever problems we may have. And it's going to start with us.
"I've just got to continue to do a better job improving every week."
He finished the night completing 9 of 13 passes for 60 yards and a pass rating of 104.6.
And he made an impression.
"It looked like it was a step in the right direction," Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Allen. "Certainly, he got some meaningful time in the first half, which was important. (He) directed a two-minute drive before half, came out after half and took control of the first series there, which is all good experience for him."