The Buffalo Bills have one of the best rosters in football. They finished in the top 10 in defensive efficiency last season, and they have stars at every level. Their skill position group has gotten a massive facelift over the past two offseasons, and is now quite good. Their offensive line has gotten similar upgrades, and should be an above-average unit. It seems that the only question anyone has about the Bills is whether their quarterback is good enough to take advantage of all the talent around him.

Josh Allen was a polarizing player even before he was drafted, and he has continued to be one during his first two seasons in the league. Some people see the big arm and the rushing ability and recognize a potential star who just has to put it all together. Others see a passer who has generally been inaccurate at every level and who until the second half of last season had also been pretty careless with the football, and wonder what all the fuss is about. 

Bills coach Sean McDermott sees the obvious talent, but he also sees the skeptics. 

“Well, I think that’s understandable,” McDermott said of people who doubt Allen, per the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. “Until you’re able to silence that, it’s going to continue to come up. I think at the end of the day Josh wants to prove himself inside the building first and I think he continues to do that and show his teammates who he is and what he’s capable of.”

Allen showed improvement last season, raising his completion rate by six percentage points, halving his interception rate, taking fewer sacks, and turning more of his throws into scores than he had during his rookie year. But he still posted below-average numbers in just about every passing statistic, building most of his value as a runner — whether scrambling away from pressure or on designed rushes near the goal line. McDermott acknowledges that and still sees room for upside. 

“I’ve been around some quarterbacks who started off very much like Josh has and developed and played at a high level,” McDermott. “Obviously we felt like we unearthed a lot of who he was going through the draft process, but until you’re around people multiple years you really don’t know him as well as you want to. And so now in year three, just seeing him grow as a young man on and off the field has been fun to watch. We’re encouraged by Josh’s development and the time he put in when he was away from us every offseason including this offseason. He’s worked on his game and he continues to polish his game and get on the same page with his receivers over the last couple of weeks now.”

The Bills have done everything they can to put Allen in position to succeed. He has a solid offensive line, a No. 1 wideout in Stefon Diggs, a deep burner in John Brown, and a shifty slot man in Cole Beasley. He’s got a play-caller (Brian Daboll) who seemed to figure some things out down the stretch of last season and should continue to make things easier for Allen as he moves forward. The talent is there to make any throw that exists. It’s a matter of making the right ones, at the right times, and getting the ball in the right location so his guys can catch it and the other guys can’t. We’ll see if he can take advantage. 


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