1. This NFL analyst sees improvement in Josh Allen
Retired 12-year NFL veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter to break down Josh Allen’s play against the Carolina Panthers last Friday. Specifically, Orlovsky broke down Allen’s completion to rookie tight end Tommy Sweeney to convert a 3rd-and-4 situation. Orlovsky credited Allen on his pass protection recognition and his ability to make the correct decision on where to throw the ball to avoid the blitz and convert the third down play.
During Sunday’s media availability session, head coach Sean McDermott talked about Allen’s success in reading Carolina’s defense last week.
“They gave us some matchups and Josh did a good job of understanding where the defense was and then getting the ball where it needs to go based on the scheme.”
During Friday’s game, the Bills ran a handful of empty set formations, leaving Allen without any extra protection in the backfield. Reading defenses and communicating well with his offensive line will be critical to the quarterback’s development.
“Yeah, a trust level with Josh and a trust level with the offensive line and their communication because that has to be on the same page as well when they’re trying to determine who the fifth rusher is, when you have the four down linemen and the fifth rusher,” McDermott said. “They've been doing a good job in terms of their communication off the field and then in between plays and making sure we get the protection set the right way.”
2. Why Lee Smith is Tommy Sweeney’s biggest fan
Tommy Sweeney’s biggest fan might be someone he shares a meeting room with. Veteran tight end Lee Smith has worked with Sweeney throughout training camp and on admitted that there is no one pulling for him more than himself.
“I definitely remember how hard that rookie training camp was,” Smith said. “I try to be there for him in every way I can. The little things might get him down, but I try to explain to him in the big picture just how great he’s doing.”
Sweeney finished Friday’s game with 47 receiving yards on two catches.
“There's nobody pulling for more than me. I was him,” Smith said. “Like I said I was a later round pick who was just trying to find my way in the league. And I had good veteran, Kyle Williams around me back in those days, he showed me how to be a true pro.”
Smith’s not worried about taking anything away from the rookie. His career high in catches for a season is 12. Smith knows his role and is unafraid to go and block for them.
“I’ll go slug it out and beat my head against these big, strong dudes,” Smith said. “Let’s take a little of the hard stuff off of Tommy, Tyler [Kroft], and Dawson [Knox] and all the guys. Hopefully all of us will just play ball and good stuff will happen here.”
3. Ed Oliver showing signs of improvement
Ed Oliver has earned himself a starting role on the defense after just two preseason games. The first-round pick is starting alongside Jerry Hughes, Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy on the defensive line. McDermott has been impressed with the rookie so far.
“I like that he got his hands up and knocked that third down pass down,” McDermott said. “That was important, and he showed some juice and excitement. I think he is starting to understand how you have to play in this league. But there is still a lot of work to do. I really appreciate the way he has adjusted his game and his approach his game since we began training camp.”
Oliver said that everything for him has been a learning experience thus far and must be ready for it. As he gets more reps, things begin to feel like second nature.