Bills want Josh Allen to help himself by hitting more short passes

Getty Images

Bills quarterback Josh Allen completed 52.8 percent of his passes during the 2018 season and that ranked last among quarterbacks who were primary starters for their teams.

One way Allen can get that number moving in the right direction is by throwing more short passes. Allen averaged 10 completions per game within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage while the NFL average as a whole was over 16 completions a game on passes of that distance.

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said “we can help ourselves” by increasing the number of short throws that Allen completes on a weekly basis and General Manager Brandon Beane said the Bills will “try and evolve the offense” to make that happen.

“We love his aggressiveness,” Beane said, via Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News. “He thinks he can make any throw, and he can physically, but sometimes that’s not the smart play. I think that’s what Josh is learning. That’s natural. He’s so competitive that he wants to pick up that first down now, and sometimes it’s OK to take the swing pass for 5 yards and get it to second and 5, instead of a harder throw 18 yards down the field in a tight window that has a 50-50 chance and now it’s second and 10.”

Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen joined Allen at the bottom of the completion percentage list, so it’s a process that all young quarterbacks have to work through as they try to turn into capable professional starters. The faster they can make those strides, the surer their teams will be that they made the right choice in the 2018 draft.

25 responses to “Bills want Josh Allen to help himself by hitting more short passes

  1. Tell you what also didn’t help his % was all of the drops. I know at one point in the season the Bills lead the league in drops, and they only threw the ball 25 times a game, and they are right in my opinion, he looks to throw deep on every play which is something I would rather have. Some QB’s try to make a living dumping the ball off every play. I would rather have a guy that likes to throw down field and work with him on the short pass than having a guy that is great at dumping the ball off and coach him up to throw down field.

  2. He reminds me so much of Jake Locker. I liked Locker a lot, I watched him at Washington, but he could really only consistently make plays running the ball. He had a cannon for an arm but would miss wide open guys by a mile sometimes. A QB who can’t hit those wide open passes in college won’t be able to hit receivers in the NFL who are consistently barely open for a tiny window. My guess is he flames out in a few years, just like Locker. I don’t hate the guy and I love his competitiveness but his game just isn’t there.

  3. @bleedredwhiteandblue66

    Yet lead the league in uncatchable passes and led the Bills to the worst passing offense in the league. Most of Allen’s positives came from his legs.

  4. I guess throwing short passes underneath, with accuracy, hitting guys in stride and giving them a chance to gain yards after the catch isn’t as easy as the warriors on PFT would have you believe.

  5. I think people should reserve judgement on Allen (and all rookie QBs) until the end of their 2nd year. People that label allen as inaccurate in 2018 clearly didnt watch the Bills and are simply looking at stat sheets. Sure he played like a rookie at times and missed some passes and threw some bad balls, but he got very little help. Lots of drop balls, but more often having a total breakdown in pass protection led to his low comp %.
    With the amount of cap space and draft picks the Bills have this year they should be able to fill a lot of holes on offense and we will have a better idea if Allen has “it” this year

  6. Josh Allen seems to attract a lot of attention in the accuracy department, but the same critics seem to turn a blind eye to Lamar Jackson’s inability to throw as well.

  7. PugTheDog says:
    February 11, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Josh Allen seems to attract a lot of attention in the accuracy department, but the same critics seem to turn a blind eye to Lamar Jackson’s inability to throw as well.
    —————————————————————————————–
    They are both terrible, and both will be out of the league in 3 years.

  8. I aint worried about him at all, i watched all the games. Seen all the passes, and his accuracy isn’t a problem in my eyes. Every ball he throws, 75% of the time it’s considered “catchable”. I just ignore the haters looking at a stat sheet.

  9. He reminds me so much of Jake Locker. I liked Locker a lot, I watched him at Washington, but he could really only consistently make plays running the ball. He had a cannon for an arm but would miss wide open guys by a mile sometimes. A QB who can’t hit those wide open passes in college won’t be able to hit receivers in the NFL who are consistently barely open for a tiny window. My guess is he flames out in a few years, just like Locker. I don’t hate the guy and I love his competitiveness but his game just isn’t there.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    I dont agree with this. While hes no Tom Brady, he did show a consistent ability to hit short throws. In reality, his horrible comp % came down to 3 things. 1) Both He and his offensive coordinators tendency to go deep. The Bills went deep on more plays than any other team except MAYBE Atlanta. 2) Drops. The Bills had one of the worst drop rates in the NFL despite passing it less than almost any other team. It was bad, games were lost due to drops. 3) Throwaways. Allen has a trait that very few other rookie QBs has. More often than not, if nothing is there, he throws it away instead of eating a sack or pick. His receivers, as a whole, had 0 ability to get separation from coverage. And his offensive line couldnt block in pee wee league. So his entire season passing became rollouts and when the receivers couldnt get open he either tucked it and ran or threw it away.

    In my opinion, Allen still has a long way to go. He lacks touch on the short passes and has a habit of misjudging his own strength on the deep ball and overthrowing the target. BUT, hes shown the ability to be a franchise QB in short stretches. His reads are spot on, he has good placement in the mid ball, hes able to escape and run or stand in and throw, hes deadly outside the pocket.

  10. PugTheDog says:

    February 11, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Josh Allen seems to attract a lot of attention in the accuracy department, but the same critics seem to turn a blind eye to Lamar Jackson’s inability to throw as well.

    __________________________________________

    Turn a blind eye??? You must be wearing blinders yourself. Those same critics dog Jackson every chance they get. Those sand critics heavily suggested Jackson switch to a receiver before he even had a chance to lace up for combine. Those same critics negatively critique every throw he makes whether good or bad. I don’t know where you’re getting your info from, but Jackson is far more criticized than Allen.

  11. What a mess, they actually reached to get this guy and he can’t hit the beach from the ocean.

    He’s just the latest “QB” the Bills fanbase is delusional on, until they move on to the next candidate.

  12. People who think he was missing wide open receivers clearly didn’t watch the Bills last year. Allen was a one-man offense on a team that has very little NFL-caliber talent on that side of the ball. The O-line is terrible and should have several new starters next season. The top RBs, McCoy and Ivory, are both over 30 and played like it. Their #1 WR last season, Kelvin Benjamin, would quit on most of his routes and was so bad that he was eventually released. They had to finish the season with the so-so Zay Jones and the undrafted rookie Robert Foster as their top WRs, and people think the problem was Allen??? If the Bills can add some actual NFL talent on offense this offseason, Allen should look like a solid franchise QB.

  13. Verdict is still out on Josh Allen. He could go either way: boom or bust.

    Baker Mayfield is clearly a budding star.
    Sam Darnold looked solid for a rookie most of the time.
    Josh Rosen is clearly a bust.
    Lamar Jackson can certainly run but can he pass?

    Josh Allen had more in common with Lamar Jackson in his first season. He can certainly run but can he be accurate enough to succeed in the NFL?

  14. What a mess, they actually reached to get this guy and he can’t hit the beach from the ocean.

    He’s just the latest “QB” the Bills fanbase is delusional on, until they move on to the next candidate.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Speaking of a hot mess, how about the Raiders and that 25 million per year bust Carr. Just lose baby.

  15. Gee, there’s a shock!

    The same issues he had in college he’s had in the NFL. HMMM. I just don’t get it.

    Gotta love the “strong-arm” thinking that entices a team to a QB that can heave the ball over one of the Great Lakes.

    Problem being, that once in the red zone, where most of the scoring action takes place, not much need for a QB that can heave it over the upper decks.

    This is the problem with Allen, he’s terrible in the red zone, absolutely horrendous.

    Great kid, has all the intangibles, but if he can’t fix that, and he hasn’t been able to to date, not sure whether the NFL is the place that it’ll happen.

    I guess the Bills could consider the red zone the opponent’s half of the field.

    The million-dollar question is whether or not McBeane realized that prior to drafting him or whether they were simply so enamored with his arm-strength and otherwise ignorant of the magnitude of the issue as such. Either way, their careers hinge upon fixing something that as others have pointed out, typically doesn’t get fixed at the NFL level.

  16. Ultimately it comes down to can he improve over time? Certainly no guarantees. As a fan who actually watched him play, it is impossible to determine his long term career path. When it came to Tyrod, it was much more obvious and I’m much happier going into next year then I would have with Tyrod. It is easy to sit back and say he will fail or over half the league wouldn’t be looking for a better Qb every year. Some of these same people want to give Nick Foles $75 million instead, which is laughable.

  17. He had poor accuracy in college, this usually predicts poor accuracy in the NFL. Too early to call, but I think the stronger odds are towards bust than boom. When the Bills get some top receiving talent, we’ll see what he really is.

  18. Bills lucked out in last years Draft having Allen available to them at seven. He is the best NFL QB to come into the league in the last five years.

  19. gjv001 (billswillneverwin) says:
    February 11, 2019 at 3:25 pm
    Bills lucked out in last years Draft having Allen available to them at seven. He is the best NFL QB to come into the league in the last five years.
    *********************************************
    It doesn’t matter what screen name you use, he still sucks.

    Wide right, you lose again.

  20. Allen being aggressive is right. After watching him all year, he wants to hit the deep route every play. Love that he isn’t afraid. Just need more experience and some receivers who can get separation (looking at you KB). He will learn to hit the shorter routes. When his o-line gave him time, he would stand there all day, wait for an opening, then rocket one 30 yards down the field or run for 40 yards.

    Didn’t like the pick but he I’m optimistic about him.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!