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Bills Today: Allen has learned quite a bit from Anderson


1 - Allen has learned quite a bit from Anderson

Though he still has some fuel left in the tank, Derek Anderson's on-field prowess was not Buffalo's primary motivation in signing him in early October. Instead, the 35-year-old was brought in to mentor rookie quarterback Josh Allen, whom the Bills selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Given his 14 years of professional experience, Buffalo expected Anderson to pass his knowledge onto Allen. Some feared that Allen's Week 6 injury would throw a wrench into the Bills' plan, but with the help of Anderson, the rookie has made considerable progress while stuck on the sideline.

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has seen Allen take a mental leap while healing his injury, crediting some of that progress to Anderson.

"He has learned quite a bit, I'd say, from Derek, just in the few weeks Derek's been here," Daboll said. "In terms of his preparation and, some of the things, the way D.A. sees the game. You're always in constant communication with your quarterbacks.

"The hard thing is, when you're not playing, you've really got to focus as much as you can on the other guy that's playing. But at the same time, Josh is such an important part of our organization. We've had a lot of good conversations these last few weeks since he's been down, hopefully we'll be getting him back as soon as we can."

Daboll thinks that Allen's entire outlook has changed over the past number of weeks, and he feels as though the 22-year-old will start strong once he's cleared to return.

"I think he has a different perspective," Daboll said. "From playing a few games and then sitting out rather than not playing and just coming in, I think he's got a good schedule down in terms of his off study, both at home and here. He spends a lot of time here. For a young guy, he'll be on the right track."

2 - McDermott: We're going to find the best 11

Offensive linemen Jeremiah Sirles and Wyatt Teller saw considerable playing time in Buffalo's Week 9 loss to the Bears, playing on 30 percent and 19 percent of the Bills' offensive snaps, respectively.

According to head coach Sean McDermott, their inclusion in the lineup is part of an overall effort to find the most effective and productive players on the roster.

"When you look at what they were able to do, we're going to find the best 11," McDermott said. "They were in there as part of some of our young guys getting more time. Giving them an opportunity to show us what they can do. I thought both of them played well at times, and there are certainly some plays that they'd like to have back."

Sirles stepped in for some series for Jordan Mills at right tackle, playing 27 total snaps. Rookie guard Wyatt Teller saw his first NFL action on Sunday, spelling Vlad Ducasse at left guard from time to time.

Though primarily seen across the offensive line in Week 9, positional platooning is something that McDermott may do more of moving forward as he searches for Buffalo's best possible lineup.

"We're going to continue to take a hard look at really all positions and making sure that we've got the best guys on the field," McDermott said. "Whether it's the best 11, different personnel groups, what have you."

Photos of Bills fans at the team's 2018 Week 9 game against the Chicago Bears. Say Cheese is presented by Yancey's Fancy.

3 - Jerry Hughes thanks fans for defensive help

Buffalo's fan base is often praised as one of the NFL's best, and they made their voices heard in the Bills' Week 9 matchup with the Bears.

The raucous New Era Field crowd forced three Chicago false start penalties throughout the afternoon. Two of the fouls came on the Bears' second offensive drive and were called on consecutive plays. The penalties pushed Chicago back to its own 12-yard line, and the drive eventually stalled out.

The third call came in the second quarter when Bears tackle Charles Leno Jr. jumped on a third-and-eight situation in Buffalo territory. Mitchell Trubisky threw an incomplete pass on the following play, leading to another punt.

The Buffalo crowd served as an additional line of defense for the Bills on Sunday, a team that held the powerful Chicago offense to just 190 net yards. Jerry Hughes feels as though the fans played an integral role in the defense's solid performance.

"We can thank them," Hughes said. "We can thank them for the three false start penalties that they caused [Sunday]. Hopefully they can keep coming back and bringing that energy because it certainly helps, when you're holding teams to three points in the red zone because they're constantly false starting. That's all fans. That's all energy, the juice that they bring to New Era Field."

Though the defense played well in Week 9, the team ultimately lost the contest. Hughes is eager to reward Buffalo fans' efforts with a win.

"It's our job to go out there and execute better," Hughes said. "Force some turnovers and really set this place on fire."

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