This is a big week for Josh Allen as he prepares to make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Chargers. The dialogue between he and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is key in deciding what ultimately ends up on Daboll’s call sheet for the game.
Head coach Sean McDermott likes what he’s witnessed from Daboll and Allen as they’ve worked through the week.
“That communication is huge,” McDermott said. “One quarterback may be slightly different than another. Anytime you put together a game plan you’re looking at who you have and you’re also looking at who they have, matchup-wise, youth in this case with respect to Josh knowing what he can and can’t handle to this point and the overall balance of the game plan are things we always look at week to week.”
McDermott has also tried to impress upon his coaching staff this week that there needs to be cross communication between the different phases of the team.
“The overall communication for our offense, defense and special teams, we talked about not being in three or four different campfires,” he said. “We have to have an offensive bonfire, defensive bonfire, special teams bonfire because we just haven’t been together long enough to know (one another). We have to make sure that we’re all on the same page. So that communication, whether it’s quarterback to OC or player to player, player to coach or coach to coach is critical as we move forward.”
Leaning on leadership Coming off a humbling defeat is never easy, but coach McDermott has relied on his player leadership council to help him refocus the team on this week so there is no hangover effect from Week 1.
“There are guys on that leadership council who I count on quite a bit,” he said. “We met this week just like we will every week. It’s important in times like these, coming off that game in particular, that the leadership gets out in front of this football team, myself included. It’s easy to lead when things are good, but real leaders step up and assert themselves when you go through some adverse times.”
McDermott and veteran players like Lorenzo Alexander, LeSean McCoy and Kyle Williams have been pushing the mantra of the growth mindset and improving every day, knowing that collectively will lead to better results going forward.
“We’re going through the process of developing one day at a time,” said McDermott. “That’s our approach, that today was better than yesterday. We’ve got some young players out there as well. We’ve got the third oldest team, but when you look at the guys who are contributing we’ve got some young guys hopefully on fertile soil who are gaining valuable experience one play at a time.”
Orchard likely to see action Sunday He only got here this week, but DE Nate Orchard could be pressed into service Sunday. That’s because Shaq Lawson has been slowed by a hamstring injury this week.
“Shaq will not practice. Taron will not practice. Ray-Ray will be limited,” said McDermott in running down Friday’s practice participation.
Lawson has not practiced all week. His availability for Sunday’s game will be known later today. But if McDermott must press Orchard into action if Lawson is out against the Chargers, he’s encouraged by what he’s seen.
“He’s done a nice job. I like his juice,” said McDermott. “Good smile, positive energy guy, which I appreciate and that goes a long way through his body language of what we’re trying to do. He hasn’t built up the 1,000 reps that we’ve had through training camp, but what he can add is what he knows and also the body language and vibe and energy and we’ll need that.”