Late night discussion: Should Josh Allen run less in 2019?

August 15, 2019
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Louie DiBiase
Twitter: @DiBiaseLOE

 

In his rookie season, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen led the entire National Football League with 631 rushing yards for a quarterback and eight touchdowns on 89 attempts.

Coming out of Wyoming in his draft year, Allen was known for his mobility, but the 2018 first round pick kicked it up a notch in his first season. Individual rushing performances included games of 135 yards, 101 yards, 99 yards, and 95 yards. 

Allen's legs were able to create big plays for the offense, even when the passing game struggled. But do the Bills want this style of play to continue into Year 2? Should Allen continue to run the football at the high volume he did in his rookie season? 

Fans took to Twitter for Wednesday's late night discussion to give their two-cents:

 

To run or not to run:

Late night discussion: Do you want Josh Allen to run less in 2019?

— WGR 550 (@WGR550) August 15, 2019

Contributors to the discussion were almost evenly split on whether Buffalo should try and scale back the amount of rushing attempts their quarterback will have in 2019. 

51% believe Allen's rushing ability is what makes him dangerous, while 49% say they would like to see the quarterback run less to preserve his health. 

Many fans don't believe reducing plays that fit Allen's strengths is a good idea.

I never understood this. It’s like the people that said Tyrod should run less. Yes- let’s not allow him to do things that he does well so he can stay healthy and do things he doesn’t do as well? How about players playing to their strength?

— VeeJay (@3vviinniiee3) August 15, 2019

Let the boy run. Vick was Vick cause he could torch u deep and always left running lanes open.

— Eric dosch (@edosch81) August 15, 2019

Others want him to run, but not at the high number of attempts that nearly hit 100 last season. 

There's a difference between choosing good times to run and running all the time. He should still have some designed runs, just not running 9 times a game

— Joshua (@cheetah2302) August 15, 2019

 

Author's take:

It is ok to reduce Allen's rushing attempts, but he should not be reduced to just a pocket passer. Part of the reason he was a more attractive option than Josh Rosen in the 2018 NFL Draft was because of his ability to extend plays, and create success on offense outside of structure. 

Electing to run, while perhaps missing, or not waiting for a bigger play to develop down the field isn't ideal. However, Allen's rushing ability is part of what makes his ceiling so high. 

That ability to extend plays will also help in the passing game, where Allen hopes to become more efficient.

On the injury side, Allen's style of running doesn't make him as susceptible to hits as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, considering his attempts come as pass plays break down. Jackson's rushing attempts moreso come on designed plays, which can lead to more hits in the open field. 

Not to mention, Allen is 6' 5" and 238-pounds. Getting down is important, but the risks aren't nearly as high compared to smaller quarterbacks like Jackson or Kyler Murray. 

Allen has talked about relying on his arm and weapons more. An improved offensive line will also help his game become more well rounded. Regardless, one of his strengths will always be his ability to make plays on the move. 

Use those strengths. Responsibly of course, but use them none the less. 

 

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