ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – There aren’t many times when it’s a good thing a starting quarterback isn’t playing but the preseason is one of them.
That’s the case for Josh Allen as the Bills’ 258 million dollar man will not play in Friday’s preseason opener against the Lions which makes sense because he has nothing to prove, nothing to gain and could only risk getting hurt.
Head coach Sean McDermott also said “a number of the starters won’t play” on Friday but did not say who else is in that category besides Allen. McDermott also said when it comes to how much the starters will play, it’ll be on an individual basis.
This is the great chance for not only the rookies to go out there and show what they’ve got, but also guys who don’t normally get much playing time and haven’t in the past. Jake Fromm is a great example of that especially after spending all of last season isolated from the team as the emergency Covid quarterback.
“You try and simulate it out here the best you can but there’s still something to be said for playing a game in front of a crowd and real game situation so it has been a while for Jake and probably a few others as well so it’ll be a good opportunity for them,” McDermott said Wednesday before practice.
With Allen sitting on Friday, Fromm should get plenty of snaps along with Mitch Trubisky and Davis Webb.
“It’s beneficial to be able to play against another team, against maybe looks you haven’t seen before so we’re looking forward to our opportunity with Detroit here,” McDermott explained.
It’s also beneficial since there were no preseason games in 2020, something we’ve heard players say may have impacted getting the chemistry right on the defensive line last year. So it’s about finding the balance of getting the young players looks but also trying out different combinations to get the right guys out there.
“I think that’s always a challenge as a coach is how do you make sure you’ve got the right number of players or the right players inside that number come cut down time and yet also getting your guys who are gonna play ready to go for the opener so it’s a balance,” McDermott said.
“We got back and forth especially because the dynamics have changed this year with the three preseason games and when each cut is as we go.”
But it is the first time these rookies will get a real taste of the NFL and have a chance to really go live for the first time. So far players like Greg Rousseau, Boogie Basham and Spencer Brown do not look out of place at training camp, those three have even flashed at times but now it’s about if it can translate to a game.
“In order for us to put this thing together the right way we’ve gotta make sure that we know the back half of our roster and those opportunities are starting to narrow so we’ve gotta make sure that Friday night is a chance for them to do that,” McDermott said.
“Everything is fluid even play time for Friday night, we try and map it out as best we can but that still is fluid just because hey if a guy goes out there and really does well you say hey we planned for him to play a quarter let’s say and he’s already done this then you’re going okay let’s get him out and get the next guy in and see what he can do so that remains fluid and we’ll just continue to move those pieces around as the situation calls for.”
It’s even a chance for the coaches to work on certain things.
“One of the big things is communication, I’d say communication, how it flows from the booth down to the field, just knocking the rust off with some of that, we did that in the practice this past weekend to get the first go around of it and it’s only gonna improve,” McDermott explained.