BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Bills quarterback Josh Allen continues to grow as a leader even during the pandemic and trying to get ready for the season in unusual circumstances.
Heading into year three in the NFL, Allen continues to embrace the leadership role that comes with being the Bills starting quarterback and took another step in that process by organizing workouts in Florida with nearly every Bills offensive skill player.
“That was driven by our players and driven by Josh Allen and the quarterback position. The neat thing about that was that so many guys showed up. That was not an easy thing to pull off. Josh was on the West Coast, along with Matt [Barkley] and Davis [Webb] was in Texas I believe and Jake (Fromm) is on the East Coast and we talked about leadership, right, to get the quarterback position to pull all that together and for the guys to meet them. I know they were somewhere in Florida. I think it was just outstanding right and then a big step for Josh Allen and his leadership. I talked about player driven leadership a few minutes ago, just a phenomenal job,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said on a zoom call with reporters on Wednesday.
McDermott also started his call talking about how the team discussed and listened to one another in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests happening across the country. He said he hopes the Bills can be a ‘unifying picture’ and referenced the group photo taken after these workouts:
“I know you guys have probably all seen the picture or pictures that have come from that I think it’s a great example, that visual, of what our world needs to look like with the guys smiling together and hands on each other’s shoulders. I think that’s a great snapshot for America,” McDermott said.
And just as Allen takes steps in his development on the field, these leadership skills are just as important to the success of this team as he continues to take a commanding lead.
“Very encouraged, very encouraged and it’s a critical step that he took it upon himself and his own initiative to put this together. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to put this type of thing together. Whether we continue to be apart like we are now or when we come back together, this will be a feather in Josh’s cap that he was able to do what he did. You saw the response just in sheer numbers. And so that alone tells you what type of respect his teammates have for him and what type of respect Josh has for his teammates. And again, I go back to that picture that’s kind of stuck, that vision is stuck in my head that’s a great, great picture. Albeit just the offense of our football team and I’m extremely proud of the guys for what they did and how they did it,” McDermott explained.
“It’s important, he’s our quarterback but you can’t force leadership. You can improve it, you can learn about it, you can grow from it but Josh has innate leadership qualities that guys gravitate towards. He understands his role on the team, not making it more than it is, being one of the guys, being there for the players around him, helping them with the system, getting them together so that you can build that team chemistry. Not all about football and he’s been a fantastic leader for us and it doesn’t surprise me,” offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said.
This was also a critical step in Allen starting to build chemistry with his newest and expected biggest weapon this season, Stefon Diggs. The Bills are hoping he’ll help elevate this passing attack that’s struggled over the years finishing in the bottom ten in the league both of Allen’s first two years in Buffalo.
This training was also important to get gel with the newest members of the offense like draft picks Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins.