When the Bills drafted Josh Allen last year, he walked in the door carrying a symbolic weight. When a team hasn’t had a long-term answer at quarterback since Jim Kelly, seeing a new guy with a big arm and some degree of swagger naturally stirs some memories.
And since Kelly’s still nearby, and still talks to some of the Bills coaches, it’s natural that they might want to borrow from the past, to help grow the future.
Via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, Kelly talked about some recent conversations with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey about how to maximize Allen’s gifts in his second season.
“I’ve been sitting in some meetings with the offense,” Kelly said. “Me and Coach Daboll went through a lot. And Ken Dorsey, of course, being a [fellow former] University of Miami quarterback and part of ‘The U,’ I’ve been in a couple meetings with them.”
Kelly said they talked specifically about some of the K-Gun offense concepts he ran while leading the Bills to four straight Super Bowls.
“They’ve downloaded all of our four Super Bowl seasons to see what we’ve done,” he said. “And Josh loves some of the plays that we ran. So we’re going to be, of course, implementing some of those.”
It would probably be easy to overstate the idea of Kelly becoming a de facto coach. Any staff in the league with access to a Hall of Famer would be smart to tap into that resource. And while there might be stylistic similarities between Allen and Kelly, Allen has a long way to go and so does the team in putting parts around him.
Kelly was optimistic about his chances though, saying Allen was “10 times the athlete I ever thought about being.”
“But, overall, I love what I see,” Kelly said. “I’ve been to a couple of practices. I love his arm. And probably more than just that, I love the way he gets in the huddle and talks to the players. I think I said this last year, too, but, again, I see it this year: when they run a route or they’re in seven-on-seven or team drill, they come back [after a play], he automatically is talking to the receiver they threw to or talking to another receiver you didn’t throw to.”
How much of the past the Bills implement remains to be seen. But Allen’s progress will obviously be central to their success, so it’s wise to give him as many tools as possible.