McDermott wants Allen to go through full week routine of being the starting quarterback

August 22, 2018

While Sean McDermott maintains the quarterback competition is still ongoing, there is, at least, one aspect of it that’s different this week than had been the previous month since training camp began.

Fans and media know Josh Allen will get the start in the next game, far more in advance than previous games, and Allen will get plenty of reps with the first-unit offense as he prepares to start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team had been rotating quarterbacks, who work with the ones on an almost daily basis so far.

Although McDermott stopped short of saying Allen will get all of the first-team reps, he did indicate that the rookie will get plenty of opportunity to prepare as a starter normally would in a regular season week.

“What we’ll do this week….it’ll be more of a normal, regular season type of practice,” McDermott told reporters two days after the team announced Allen would get the start Sunday. “This is kind of our mock week to some extent, not 100-percent. That’s how we’ll shape practice this week and that’s how we’ll do some of the reps, as well.

“It’s still sticking with, for the most part, our plan, and our evaluation to this point.”

For the first two preseason games, the head coach didn’t reveal his starting quarterback at all throughout the week, then the team announced it via it’s PR department minutes before each game.

This week was different. They wasted no time in announcing Allen would be under center via social media early Monday evening. What went into the decision to make the announcement so much earlier this week?

“Really, wanting for him to go through a routine of what it would be like in a normal regular season week of dealing with the potential distractions and all that goes with the quarterback position and learning how to balance that,” McDermott said of Allen. “A.J. [McCarron> has been through that before, naturally. Nate [Peterman> has been through it, as well. So this was an opportunity, as well, for Josh to go through it for his first time.

“I think we all know what it’s supposed to look like and feel like in that regard. It’s just him dipping his toes in the water, if you will, of what that looks like on the field and off the field. How he handles his teammates, how he handles the meetings, how he handles the interviews. That’s all part of, as we all know, what comes with that starting quarterback position, even in the preseason. It’ll be a good experience for him in that regard.”

As far as Sunday’s actual amount of playing time, McDermott wouldn’t reveal what the plans are as of now.

“We’ll just wait and see at this point,” he said. “I don’t want to reveal anything that would be [giving away> strategy. I don’t want to get into that at this point.


In another position battle, McDermott said Ryan Groy will get the start at center this week, but that he and Russell Bodine are still battling for that spot and that it is still wide open.


  • DT - Kyle Williams (knee) - week-to-week 
  • S - Kelcie McCray (hamstring) - did not practice
  • RB - LeSean McCoy (groin/hip) - day-to-day
  • DE - Trent Murphy (groin) - day-to-day
  • LT - Dion Dawkins (hip) - day-to-day
  • QB - A.J. McCarron (shoulder) - limited

Marshall Newhouse lined up at left tackle in place of Dawkins.

Wide receiver Brandon Reilly looked like he was full-go once again. He was no longer wearing a red non-contact jersey.

McCoy and McCarron both took part in individual position work during the portion of the practice that was open to the media.

Here’s a look at both of them, as well as a look at veteran punter Jon Ryan, who was signed Tuesday:

LeSean McCoy is out here and taking part in individual position work. McDermott called him day to day (groin/hip). And yes that’s AJ McCarron handing him the ball. Video:

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) August 22, 2018

AJ McCarron. Throwing. Sort of.

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) August 22, 2018

And another, via rollout.

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) August 22, 2018

New Bills P Jon Ryan and Colton Schmidt having a conversation before practice.

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) August 22, 2018

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