Fan Mailbag: How will Brian Daboll diversify Josh Allen's game in year two?


It's certainly a question that will have a tantalizing answer. Where does Josh Allen's game go in year two under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll?

It's also a question that's naturally on the minds of Bills fans. After what Allen showed in his rookie season, it's left many openly wondering where does it go from here?

What's interesting is Daboll already gave you a glimpse of where he intends to take Josh Allen's game before the 2018 season was over.

We delve into that more below as well as filling out the coaching staff openings, free agency and of course the draft.

Thanks to everyone this week for your questions and again you can always send questions to me here - @ChrisBrownBills

1 – From @mattcorey716: How would you like to see Daboll use Allen?

CB: I think we saw elements of where offensive coordinator Brian Daboll wants to take Josh Allen's game in year two at the end of last season.

In the season finale against Miami we saw a defined effort to develop a short passing game with Allen, and he was pretty effective. Allen's completion percentage of better than 65 percent (17-26 passing) was second only to his game in Week 3 at Minnesota.

Allen demonstrated an ability to use shorter passes to keep the offense on schedule and also move the sticks. This is a critical developmental element to his game and for the consistency of the offense.

I believe that is the area of Allen's game they want to maximize knowing if the consistency of the short passing game is there it can open up other parts of their offense (run game, deep pass game) and fix deficiencies at the same time (pass protection, facing eight-man boxes).

Now that doesn't mean that deep shots in the pass game won't be taken. I believe they will about a half dozen times a game, but you can't live or die with low percentage plays like that. Those have to supplement what you are as an offense. They can't be your identity. You won't win enough games that way.

2 – From @JamesLicata: What are your thoughts on Bills WR coach situation?

CB: I think we know that head coach Sean McDermott is very methodical in his approach to just about every element of his job. So, it's not surprising that there are still two coaching openings that haven't been filled to this point, including the receivers coaching job.

When it comes to his staff, coach McDermott is extremely thorough and is not influenced by perceived guidelines. His top priority is getting the right person for the job. He's likely adhering to that even if it leaves people wondering when the job will be filled.

3 – From @B1GDADDYC: Do you think it's likely we trade back in the draft and if so who with?

CB: If we're going strictly by GM Brandon Beane's words, the possibility certainly exists.

At the Senior Bowl, Beane said, "This year we're in the top ten and we don't need to be."

That at least lends credence to the thought that the Bills would be comfortable sliding back to acquire more draft currency and thus add more talent to the roster. Perhaps instead of just two picks in the top 50, perhaps they could parlay a trade down into three.

Or instead of three picks in the top 75, they could make it four with a trade back.

As encouraging as the future is for this team, it hasn't given Buffalo's front office a false sense of security. They recognize the holes that exist on their roster and if they reach the draft and only a couple have been adequately filled through free agency, then accruing more picks with a trade back from nine is a distinct option.

In terms of figuring out who that trade partner could be, that likely won't come into clearer focus until we see what some clubs are able to acquire in free agency first.

4 – From @jaydogg0002: Do u think Frank Clark DE from the Seahawks is on the Bills radar?

CB: Unfortunately, I think Frank Clark is going to be on any team's radar looking for a premier pass rusher that has cap space. He's just 26-years old, so he's even more attractive because teams will look to put together a longer deal in the hopes of spreading out the cap burden. Whether Clark is interested in a super-long deal is another story.

Just look at the teams that have the most cap space heading into free agency in 2019.

The Colts, Jets, Bills, Raiders, Texans, 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals all have $50 million or more in cap space and you can make a case that every one of them needs a pass rusher. Even the Texans and Seahawks, who have Jadeveon Clowney and Clark as free agents.

I don't think you can rule out Clark completely for the Bills, but knowing Brandon Beane's approach to free agency is going to be "judicious" in his words, I don't see him getting into a bidding war for a prized free agent.

It's pretty safe to say that upwards of a half dozen teams will be interested in paying a hefty sum for Clark because of his production and his age. That's not an avenue I believe the Bills are willing to travel.

5 – From @kgallivan9: I see OL as a big need. Free agents, draft or both?

CB: Based on Buffalo's sheer number situation I would anticipate both. The first thing to consider here is the fact that the Bills have three free agents on their offensive line, who essentially filled starting roles for the second half of the season in Ryan Groy, John Miller and Jordan Mills. All three are unrestricted.

Whether you re-sign one or all of them, that's using free agency to address the position. If you don't re-sign any of them, then you have to turn to free agency to find at least one proven starting caliber player as I see it.

Then the draft must be another avenue to fill out the roster again, and if you just sign one free agent OL who can start, then you likely need to use one of your draft choices on the first two days to find another.

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