“If you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.” The old adage regarding quarterback play has been repeated in similar phrasing for many years, and is often thought to be true regardless of the situation. Early on in training camp for the Buffalo Bills, the team has three quarterbacks who are impressing.
The headliner thus far in camp has been rookie Josh Allen. The Bills first of two first-round draft choices, Allen was selected seventh overall after the Bills executed a series of trade-ups to acquire his services. While many pundits feel that Allen is not ready to start on day one in the NFL, that hasn’t stopped the Wyoming product from showing off the raw talent that led the Bills to make him the third quarterback selected this past April in the NFL Draft.
Head coach Sean McDermott said in his press conference prior to practice on Thursday that Allen would remain third on the depth chart heading into training camp. While the rookie may have been playing against other third-string players, he still was impressive, ending minicamp with a long touchdown pass to fellow rookie Austin Proehl. Joe Buscaglia of WKBW noted that Allen is clearly the most talented quarterback the Bills have, but he will need to show consistency as camp progresses in order to earn more reps.
The man making the fewest headline has been veteran newcomer A.J. McCarron. The free agent signee from the Cincinnati Bengals has alternated with second-year man Nathan Peterman as the first-team quarterback so far, but unlike his young counterpart, there hasn’t been much written about him. Mark Ludwiczak tweeted that McCarron’s strongest day of minicamp was Wednesday, when he hit Rod Streater on a 33-yard touchdown during a two-minute drill. Prior to the start of mandatory practice, Sean McDermott gushed about McCarron’s personality, referring to him as “one heck of a teammate.” The veteran did not have as much attention paid to his performance over the duration of minicamp, but he definitely seems to have the support of the head coach early in the process.
Perhaps the biggest surprise (or the most pleasant) was the positive press surrounding second-year man Nathan Peterman’s performance. ESPN’s Mike Rodak named Peterman the biggest surprise of Buffalo’s minicamp, writing that Peterman was 10-for-13 in practice on Tuesday. Peterman has drawn praise from his teammates, too, with LeSean McCoy discussing how much better he looks compared to his rookie season.
In the early going, it appears that the Bills have three quarterbacks who are capable of stepping in and playing in 2018. Hopefully, the early positive returns will carry over into training camp and beyond.