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Bills continue to balance getting the most out of Josh Allen with protecting him

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explore what to take away from Cam Newton throwing at Auburn’s Pro Day and pose potential teams where he could be a viable backup QB in the NFL.

It became instantly obvious during the 2018 season that Bills quarterback Josh Allen has a significant amount of mobility. It eventually became clear that, like most mobile quarterbacks, there’s a balance to be struck between cutting it loose and keeping away from injured reserve.

The Bills continue to try to strike that balance, five years into Allen’s career.

McDermott has acknowledged in a conversation with Judy Battista of NFL Network that he’s “absolutely” nervous about the fact that Allen gets tackled on 66 percent of his runs down the field.

“I don’t think that’s a healthy way to play QB in this league and it’s undefeated that things are going to happen when you play that style, brand of football,” McDermott said.

“We have to get that adjusted and it’s never going to go completely away, but it has to get where it’s workable,” McDermott added. “He’s one of the best in the league and I don’t want to take his personality away from him . . . but there needs to be an adjustment in that style of play.”

Of course, Allen’s most significant injury in 2022 came when he was hit in the arm while throwing from the pocket. Injuries can, and do, happen anywhere.

But quarterbacks who run, and who get tackled, are at enhanced risk of being injured. The more they run, the more they get hit, the greater the chance of an injury.

It won’t be easy for the Bills to find that sweet spot. There’s increasing urgency to win a championship. With each season of Allen’s career that it doesn’t happen, the pressure will go up. Thus, the temptation to roll the dice with his health will go up, too.

“Things have to come together in every season of any sport to win it all and we’ve been this close, and we keep knocking at that door,” McDermott said.

Sometimes, continuing to knock on the door isn’t good enough. Sometimes, an impatient owner will try to find a coach and/or a G.M. who can figure out how to finally kick it in.