Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week and had a somewhat candid and honest admission to share about franchise quarterback Josh Allen. A transcript of Beane’s comments follows the embedded video tweet.
"If it's the first quarter of Week 2....we don't need you trying to run over a linebacker or a safety"@BuffaloBills GM Brandon Beane on some adjustments he'd like to see Josh Allen make #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/D9YGnWmliE— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) March 28, 2023
Brandon Beane shared the following about Josh Allen:
“The reason he does this — like if he was sitting down here with us right now he would say ‘yes, I know I should’ve gone out of bounds there, yes I know I should’ve slid right there.’ But he gets in the moment and he is so super competitive — part of the reason I love him. Again, I was telling the media over here when I was just talking (press conference). He hurt his arm in the (New York) Jets game, and we weren’t even sure if he was gonna be able to play. He got cleared on Friday, before we play(ed) the (Minnesota) Vikings at home, and the doc that cleared him said ‘hey listen, very limited — obviously it’s not flag football — but as few hits Josh’ — he’s talking to Josh — ‘as few hits as you can take is super important, because you’re going to be very sore and we’re going to have a brace on it...you gotta be smart.’ (Beane laughs) And it’s like second quarter (vs. Vikings) and he busts through. You know it was a pass play, but he comes out of there and I’m in the box and I’m looking — he tries to run over the guy. And you talk to him after the game and he just looks at you like ‘I know.’”
After another exchange with the host, Beane made sure to say:
“I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic. Josh and I’ve been talking about it because (inaudible) you know, early in his career it was not forcing that ball — you know: ‘It’s second down and 10, I’m gonna try and force this in here. No let’s just go to third down.’ — and he’s really improved that. Now it’s realizing: ‘Hey, I don’t have to get this first down.’ If it’s fourth down, I get it. You know it is what it is (smiling). But, ultimately, there’s gonna be certain times of the game where he’s, you know, he’s gonna put it — you know, he knows that. And we don’t mind that, it’s just if it’s the first quarter of Week 2, we don’t need you trying to run over a, you know, a linebacker or a safety.”
While the headlines make it sound as though Beane and the organization might prefer Allen alter his style of play, it sounds more like they’d prefer he matures in that aspect of his game similarly to what he’s done to eliminate forced throws. It’s pretty clear Beane understands this is who Josh Allen is, but he’s hopeful that he learns to save a bit of the more extreme physical play for the most important moments of a game when it’s needed.
While Bills Mafia will always adore the style of play that Allen brings to the football field, we’d certainly like to see him have a multi-decade career as QB1 for the Buffalo Bills. That seems to be the case with One Bills Drive as evidenced in Beane’s comments with SiriusXM NFL Radio.
While it would benefit Allen to take less hits, especially when he initiates the contact, there’s more to it than just his play. At times last season, the offensive line appeared unable to adequately protect Allen from defensive pressure. It would seem Brandon Beane understands the scenario, and has made an effort to improve the offensive line in free agency (in line with fiscal restraints) by providing competition for the 2023 NFL season in several spots along the line. Beane could also look to improve Allen’s fortune’s next month during the 2023 NFL Draft, by adding new pass-catching talent or additional offensive linemen. Either way, it’s healthy for Josh Allen and the Bills to have these conversations, and serves as a reminder to fans that the team is aware of the concerns and focused on helping Allen continue to grow as an NFL quarterback.