Competition is everywhere on the football field – that’s a given. The player evaluations never end as coaching staffs trying to find a player that will give them an advantage on gameday.
At One Bills Drive, the most important assessments are taking place under center with Josh Allen, AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman.
Throughout the first week of organized team activities, head coach Sean McDermott said McCarron and Peterman were splitting first and second team reps while Allen saw time on the third team.
“All of them really have had their moments up to this point in the offseason,” the head coach said of the quarterbacks. “We look forward to them continuing to grow, continuing to embrace that growth mindset.”
The competition might be known as part of the “process” but the three signal callers know what’s at stake as they move through offseason workouts — the starting job.
“I’ve shared reps before but it’s fun,” McCarron said. “We’re out here, everybody is really learning and it’s always fun to compete.”
“I was always competing to be the starter no matter what,” Peterman added. “Done that my whole career and been in competitive situations and I feel like I thrive in those, too.”
“It was split up where the ones and two got more than the threes, but at the same time, it’s me standing back there getting mental reps and me learning from what AJ and Nate are doing,” Allen admitted. “(While) staying engaged the entire time.”
Combined, Bills quarterbacks have seen action in 15 games with only five starts – three from McCarron and two from Peterman.
Both know the importance of timing and accuracy, especially when trying to picking apart defenses on Sundays.
But, for Allen, who’s accuracy was questioned coming out of Wyoming, he’ll be going through a trial by fire throughout the summer, facing some of the best competition in one of the league’s best secondary units.
According to the analytics website Pro Football Focus, safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer received two of the highest grades among the position.
“The game just moves a little bit faster. It’s not that these guys run so much faster, they’re so much bigger than guys in college, it’s just that they’re smarter,” Allen said. “They know where they need to be, they get the route recognition a lot faster, a lot quicker.
“They’re jumping on balls now. We’ve got guys that are fantastic players — Micah Hyde, [Jordan] Poyer, and then you’ve got a vet like Vontae Davis out there and he’s pushing our receivers to be better and making sure that, as quarterbacks, we’re putting the ball where it needs to be.
“Iron sharpens iron. That’s kind of the mindset that, when you’re practicing, you should have. You should be able to look across to the guy next to you and the guy that you’re competing with and say, ‘I’m going to make you better, you’re going to make me better’ and go at it like that.”