He knew it was a possibility. It wasn't a possibility he consciously entertained. His focus was on becoming the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Though he dedicated himself to achieving that goal, rookie QB Josh Allen found out that his role to start his NFL career would be as a backup to Nate Peterman.
Though the news was anything but satisfying, Allen is committed to being the best he can be in the Bills backup role.
"First of all, I'm for the team, no matter what it is," Allen said. "Coach is going to make the best decision for the team. As a competitor, you want to play. To not play, that's going to hurt anybody's feelings. At the end of the day, it's football. We're part of a team. I'm going to do whatever I can to help Nate and help this team win football games starting now."
Allen acknowledged that Peterman played admirably in the preseason and earned the job. He went on to say that not starting right away will not lead to a "step back" in his development. He feels starting his career off as the second quarterback on the depth chart will give him enough opportunity to advance his game.
"You look around the league, rookie quarterbacks that start… it might not be Week 1, it might not be their first year," Allen said. "I think that as long as you're able to take the mental reps that you're looking at in practice you're doing the right things and developing a routine that a professional quarterback should have. That's what I'm trying to do right now, is trying to learn this way of being a professional quarterback. I don't think it's a step back, ultimately it's going to help me in my progression."
McDermott doesn't feel as though Allen has encountered any setbacks in his development through the course of training camp and the preseason. He sees Allen making steady strides for a rookie.
"Josh is on schedule, let me just start there," McDermott said. "I've been pleased with the way he's developed to this point in time. You learn a lot from the first game of the regular season, whether you're playing or not playing when it's your first time. That being said, I expect that Josh will be ready to go when his number is called, whenever it's called. That's his focus right now."
McDermott went on to say that Allen will be taking all the scout team reps as he gives the Bills starting defense the looks of the upcoming opponent each week. It's an opportunity that the rookie values greatly.
"I mean, that's reps of throwing the football," Allen said. "That's reps of going through the mechanics of the huddle, getting to the line of scrimmage, looking at what the defense is doing. We've got cards up that are telling us kind of where to throw, but sometimes we'll go off script a little bit and try and challenge the defense a little more. Just trying to give them a good look, and I'm playing against the first team defense. If that can help me in any way, I think that's the way to do it."
While Allen would like to be the Bills' starting quarterback, he's not going to let the fact that he's beginning his rookie season as the backup affect his mindset. McDermott stated that Allen will be "ready to go when his number is called."
Until then, Allen will work to advance his game and continue to wait for the same thing he searched for coming out of high school.