After a newsy Wednesday for the Washington Football Team, Kyle Allen is stepping off the sidelines and stepping into the starting lineup.
And he believes his experience on the former can make a difference in the latter.
Allen started 13 games for the Panthers in 2019, but this past offseason, he faded into the background as Dwayne Haskins took nearly all of the snaps with the first-stringers at camp. He then remained in the background, as Haskins led Washington through the first quarter of their schedule.
Allen's stepping into the forefront for now, however. He clearly prefers it that way, but he also is grateful for what he picked up on while Haskins was the top option.
“I think you get a different point of view when you’re back there," Allen said Wednesday on a Zoom call with reporters. "When you’re not always out there in the game bullets flying at you, you get a chance to digest things a little slower. There are things that I have learned and seen from just standing to the side and watching from afar."
As Washington looks to remain in the NFC East "race," Allen will try to bring life to Scott Turner's offense. Allen mentioned how he felt a connection with Turner when he was an undrafted free agent picking which franchise to sign with out of college, and they're together again with the Burgundy and Gold.
In 2019, Turner saw firsthand how successful an Allen-led system can be, yet he also witnessed how flawed Allen can be. Like his new starter, the coordinator is banking on Allen growing from his ups and downs during his previous run as starter and merging that growth with what he's noticed as a backup.
"I think the things that he’s learned is just that it’s not about making some big plays, it’s about making the right play consistently," Turner said. "I think this time away from playing has again given him a chance to step back and learn about himself. It’ll help him going forward.”
The importance of not doing too much is the same value Turner emphasized in Haskins' brief stint atop the depth chart. That was something he struggled with, namely in a four-turnover performance in Cleveland and some ugly sacks he's taken in 2020. Allen can't afford to go down that path, too.
This talk of Allen returning to the field as a more mature and more knowledgeable and more able passer all makes sense. The talk has to turn into results, though, and Allen knows that.
So, while much of his Wednesday presser was about looking back on what he's done in the NFL, he came across as a 24-year-old prepared to do much more beginning on Sunday.
"I’m excited to get out there," he said. "I’m ready to go play.”