Daboll had a 'specific plan' for Allen if the Bills drafted him

May 06, 2018 - 8:06 pm

Back at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he wouldn't draft a quarterback simply based on what system new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will run and how each individual quarterback would fit into that. After all, the quarterback is hopefully going to be lining up under center for the team for the next decade, while coordinators rarely have a shelf-life with one team for even half that many years.

Some are fired, like Daboll’s predecessor Rick Dennison was immediately following last season, and like Greg Roman was just two games into 2016. Some are hired to be head coaches by other organizations, just as three offensive coordinators were this offseason after head coaching changes were made around the league. 

“Coaches move on, so we’ve got to draft a good football player that fits the Buffalo Bills,” Beane said that week in Indianapolis. “Brian can be a head coach somewhere because, whatever happens in this league. I’m not just going to draft a guy that only fits what coach Daboll does.”

Two months later, the Bills traded up in the first round and selected Wyoming’s Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick of the draft. Although Beane said he wasn’t going to draft a quarterback just based on what Daboll wants to do offensively, don’t make the mistake of thinking the new coordinator didn’t have a hand in helping to identify Allen as the guy they wanted.

“It was very important,” Beane said right after selecting Allen when asked how involved the discussions were with Daboll and what he could do with Allen’s skillset. “Brian and (quarterback coach) David Culley, Sean (McDermott), the Pegulas and everybody, we visited all these guys that we considered drafting and Brian, we had him go through with each of the quarterbacks: how will you use him? What would you do differently if we get this guy? That’s the great thing about Brian…..Brian had a specific plan for Josh, once we selected him, and he’s very excited to work with him. So is coach Culley.”

Daboll was the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama in 2017, winning the national championship. Prior to that, he had 16 years of NFL coaching experience, including four as an offensive coordinator. It’s still not known exactly what his Bills’ offense will look like but, as opposed to several other quarterbacks drafted a couple weeks ago, Allen comes into the league straight from running a more “pro-style” offensive system, which will be to his benefit.

“I think the pro style helps,” Beane said. “Some guys come in here and they haven’t taken a snap from under center. He’s done that, he’s called plays, he’s made checks, he’s been in the gun, he’s done the RPO (run/pass option) stuff before. He’s done a lot, even though he was playing at a smaller level, similar to Carson Wentz. He makes plays from the pocket. He’s big, he’s strong, but he is athletic and made some really good throws on the run that shows what he can do. There’s a lot of plays that Sean and I talked about that reminded us of some of the bigger quarterbacks in the league where guys are falling off of him and he extends the play, where some of the other guys may have been sacked. So that’s probably the things that I focused on.”


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