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'I believe in what we've got going on here' | Top 5 things to know from Josh Allen's press conference

Bills players cleaned out their lockers on Monday afternoon not even 24 hours after Buffalo's heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. While players were packing their things, quarterback Josh Allen met with media to reflect on the season and look ahead to what's next.

Here are five things to know from Allen's press conference.

Josh Allen speaks at Buffalo Bills media availability. January 22, 2024 at One Bills Drive.

1. Why Sunday's loss is fueling Allen

The Bills' season ended on Sunday night with a 27-24 loss to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. It was Buffalo's fourth straight season making it that far and their second consecutive season hosting two home playoff games.

Allen finished the night completing 66.7% of his passes for 186 passing yards with one touchdown through the air. The QB also rushed for 72 yards, averaged six yards per carry and scored twice on the ground.

The leader of the offense said it's a surreal feeling going from playing in a game to heading into the offseason in a span of less than 24 hours.

"When you do feel this way, it makes winning all that much more special," Allen said. "And this isn't something that we're going to run from. It's not something we're going to hide from. We got to take it on the chin and continue to learn and get better, and I know that's not what people want to hear.

"They want to see results. We want to see results. Just like you guys, we want to win, and that's the fact. And at the end of the season, there's one happy team. We're gonna keep fighting and keep working as hard as we can until we are that one team. So, long road ahead, long offseason. Got to continue to keep putting in the work, getting better in the offseason, getting together with guys, and figuring out what we can do to get over this hump."

Allen said he is unsure of his offseason plans right now but wants to get back to work as soon as possible.

"Obviously (I) want to get back in the lab as soon as possible," Allen said. "Still feels surreal that we're not practicing today and didn't feel like our season was done yet. And honestly, still doesn't feel like that way. I feel like we had a lot of good things going in the right direction.

"(I) felt good throwing the ball towards the end of the season battling obviously some things early on, but just fell to a spot right now where the ball was coming out really well. And going into this offseason and trying to hold on to some of those swing thoughts, if you will, and then just movements and try to build off that going into this offseason."

2. QB1 believes Buffalo's window is still open

While the Bills will begin to look different in the months ahead as free agency begins on March 13, Allen still believes that the window of opportunity isn't closing for the group.

"I believe in what we've got going on here and the people that are in charge," Allen said. "I believe in myself, and that'll never change."

Buffalo has 21 players who could hit the market once free agency begins. Regardless of who returns and who leaves, Allen thinks this team can improve in 2024.

"All signs are still pointing up with this team," Allen shared. "I know, it feels bleak. And there's probably going to be a lot of change, whether it's personnel, guys coming back, guys not playing again. That's all speculation…

"I just got to continue to keep working hard and bringing the guys that are here along and keep trying to mesh everybody together. And, it takes an entire organization. It takes every single person in this facility to win the Super Bowl and obviously we haven't gotten it done yet. So, some good long looks in the mirror and conversations with people that are in and outside the building just asking, 'What can I do more? What can I be better at?' And learning and growing from that. That's exactly what I plan on doing."

There are several young players who Allen will continue to work with next season. Wide receiver Kahlil Shakir, tight end Dalton Kincaid, running back James Cook and guard O'Cyrus Torrence are just a few of the younger players that Allen is looking forward to improving his chemistry with.  

"It's exciting to see what type of group we can be," Allen shared. "And O'Cyrus Torrence played, I think, every single snap this year. The rookie wall is a real thing, so for him to come out there and do that, it speaks volumes. He's going to be a heck of a player in this league for a very long time, and it's exciting to have him on our squad.

"And then again, you look at James and Khalil, young players that have stepped up in a big way. Dalton had a fantastic season as a rookie, and I only expect him to get better.

So, the future's bright for these guys and for myself included. And I'm just happy that we got a chance to play with these guys. I think, it could be pretty special moving forward."

Torrence started in all 16 games in his first NFL season. Kincaid finished his rookie season with the most receptions (73) by a Bills rookie and a tight end in team history.

In his second season, Shakir finished the regular season leading wide receivers in catch rate (86.7%). Allen also had a 139.6 passer rating when targeting Shakir, which was the highest among QB-WR duos in 2023.

3. Allen "fully embraces" having Joe Brady back as OC

Joe Brady moved from quarterbacks coach to interim offensive coordinator after the Bills moved on from Ken Dorsey following their Week 10 loss to the Broncos. Brady called plays for the Bills' final nine games of the season, including two playoff games.

The interim OC helped guide the offense to a 7-2 record with him as the play caller. Allen said he would like to see Brady back as the OC next season.

"I would fully embrace it," Allen said of Brady's possible return to OC. "I love Joe. I love what he brings to this team, to our offense, the juice that he has, the passion he has for football. How much preparation he's put into a tough situation these last seven to eight weeks.

"Yeah, I would fully embrace that. And obviously there's stuff that needs to go on before that. I understand there's probably an interview process and all that, but he's got my vote."

Following Buffalo's Week 13 bye, the Bills won five straight games and earned themselves their fourth AFC East title. During that run, Buffalo had the fifth-best rushing offense (averaging 148.8 rushing yards per game) and second-best third down conversion rate (50%).

Allen said what stands out from Brady's nine games was the run game and the simpler concepts.

"We ran the ball extremely well, stuck to that," Allen shared. "I think (we) got back to some simpler concepts. (We) did simple better with him. And I think, again, he didn't have his entire touch and his entire flair on this system. So, I know if that's the route that we went, there'd be a little bit of change in terms of systematically what we would be doing, which I'm hoping for, and having some good talks with him. And just seeing what could be, it does get me excited."

4. Allen opens up about his shoulder injury

Allen popped up on the injury report in Week 7 with a right shoulder injury after their Sunday night game against the Giants in Week 6. He was a limited participant in just one practice that week but was good to go for their game against the Buccaneers.

Allen remained on the injury report with the right shoulder issue until Week 16 but only missed one practice, which was during their prep leading up to Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The quarterback said at the moment, he's not planning to have any type of surgery on his shoulder.

"It just felt like it kept getting better as the season went on," Allen said. "And especially these last probably four weeks, felt like it didn't bother me at all. So yeah, I don't think there's anything."

Allen explained that he felt like the injury affected him at times.

"I think if you talk to any thrower, pitching, quarterback, anytime you feel pain in your throwing shoulder or your elbow or your hand, it's never a good thing," Allen said. "It's never comforting, and it can tweak sometimes how you deliver the ball. Again, throughout the season, it's kind of a mental gymnastic that sometimes you have to take too of, 'Alright, the ball's not coming out the right way. Mechanically, (it) doesn't feel like me. What can I do to fix this?'

"Sometimes you revert to old ways. But again, continue to work hard in practice and just trying to find the best way that the ball can come out."

Allen shared that he's feeling good about where his shoulder is at right now and is looking forward to having a good offseason.

5. What teammates thought of their QB's sixth NFL season

Josh Allen finished up his sixth NFL season breaking more records and quarterbacking an offense that finished near the top of the league in several categories.

Buffalo's offense finished the regular season ranked as the sixth best in points per game average (26.53), averaged the fourth most total yards per game (374.5), had the best third down conversion rate (49.8%) and finished as the sixth best in the red zone (63.1%).

Allen led the NFL in offensive yards (4,830) and total touchdowns (44) during the regular season. He also had the most red zone touchdowns (35) and tied for the most rushing touchdowns (15) by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.

The QB became the only NFL quarterback to have at least 150 touchdown passes and 40 rushing touchdowns in his first six seasons. He also became the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 40 offensive touchdowns in four straight seasons. And, he has the most offensive touchdowns (220) and rushing touchdowns (53) in NFL history in a player's first six seasons.

In two playoff games this year, Allen completed 47 of 69 pass attempts (68.1%) for 389 passing yards, scored seven total touchdowns and racked up 146 rushing yards off of 20 attempts (7 yards per attempt). The QB also had zero interceptions.

Here's what some of his teammates had to say about his season.

LT Dion Dawkins: "I think that Josh is the MVP of our team, of our league, of our everything. And he shows it. It sucks that we lost, but that performance that the kid put on yesterday was crazy. It's insane. I love ball, and I give credit where credit is supposed to be, and Josh Allen, he's the quarterback that I would love to block for for the rest of my life, forever. He's that guy, and he makes it easy for all of us to play football."

TE Dawson Knox: "He's an absolute warrior. There's no one else I'd rather play with, and I pray that I get to spend the rest of my career playing with him. I think there's not a single person on this team that wouldn't say the same. I mean, every game he's got blood, cuts, and bruises, literally putting his body on the line every single play for all of us. So, he really is a warrior, a modern-day Gladiator. It's just fun being on his team."

S Micah Hyde: "I am confident in him. And, he's gonna get his rings. He's for sure gonna get his rings one day. He's going through that, I don't want to say superstar slump because each and every day he's putting up historical numbers that you've never seen NFL. But these great quarterbacks face other great quarterbacks and it's just not their time yet. So, I think that's Josh's story right now. But eventually he'll get over the hump and the sky's the limit for him. He's an incredible player, incredible person. Just what he's able to do within this organization, he's a perfect role model. He's the perfect person for this for this organization, and he'll continue to be."

Bills players wrapped up the 2023 season by addressing the media before leaving One Bills Drive before the start of the 2024 offseason program.

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