ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – After the Bills drafted Josh Allen with the 7th overall pick in 2018, many fans were disappointed as Josh Rosen was still on the board.
It’s crazy to see how their tune has changed.
A lot of the attention was on Allen’s accuracy issues at Wyoming and that was one of the red flags during the draft but Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott traded up from the 12th overall pick to get him and now it’s paying off.
“I said it way back when, it’s a quarterback league. This is the most position in any sports hands down and you either have one or you don’t, there’s no in between. I’m so proud of where Josh is at and where he’s headed,” Beane said on a zoom call with reporters.
That is one of the biggest accomplishments of Beane’s time with the Bills so far and because of it, along with other decisions that has this team on the verge of its first division title since 1995, he was rewarded with a multi-year contract extension.
So now Beane and McDermott are both locked in through the 2025 season and can build on what they started here in Buffalo.
“The two most critical pieces, you have to have the right head coach and you have to have the right quarterback and that’s what I’m most excited about as we head into the end of year four here,” Beane explained.
Year after year, Allen has continued to grow and take the next steps in his development. But it wasn’t always pretty, especially in the beginning. Part of that is he just didn’t have the weapons around him that he does now, another part of it is he was and still is developing.
Last season, Allen improved his short, intermediate game but struggled with the downfield, vertical passing game. A big topic last year was his inconsistency connecting on the deep ball, which is something that attracted him to Beane and McDermott, his arm strength.
But that’s been noticeably different this year as Allen is lighting it up, most recently on Monday night football as he threw for 375 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-24 win against the 49ers. That was arguably the best game of his professional career.
While some teams have moved on from struggling, young quarterbacks early on in their career, the Bills stayed patient and gave Allen time to develop which has made all the difference.
“You have to be patient especially if you look at Josh’s path from a small high school, junior college, short stint at Wyoming that’s a major jump that he’s had to make to the NFL. So you know there’s gonna be a bumpy road along the way but if you think it’s the right thing long-term you have to be willing to stick it out,” Beane explained.
“And that was unpopular. I know people didn’t agree with drafting him and I’m sure along the way people said we need to move on and find another one but if you’re gonna do it and do it right you gotta stick through some bumpy times and be willing to take some criticism.”