Coming out of Thursday night's preseason game, head coach Sean McDermott was generally pleased with the performance. With the focus of the fans squarely on the quarterback competition, McDermott offered his position on where things stand coming out of the game.
"I think all three of those guys raised their game. That's good to see. The competition tends to do that," he said. "The good part is all three of them played well, so it makes my job tougher.
"We weigh the games heavier than we do the practices. But I was impressed with all three of them. All three had their moments and moved the offense at times down the field. I thought for the most part their operation was pretty good at the line of scrimmage."
McDermott gave indication Friday that the rotation we've seen at quarterback to this point will continue for now.
"We'll just see. We've got to practice, and I want to get our ones out there and blend some twos and threes," he said. "We'll stick with the rotation."
When asked about Allen, McDermott liked the rookie's aggressiveness and a couple of the drives he put together late in the game, particularly the touchdown drive.
"We looked really good at times and then we still have a lot of work to do," said McDermott. "Josh is no different. He's a young player that I thought took a step in the game. It was a good step in the right direction. The game moved fast at times for him and at other times it slowed down."
Battle at center a dead heat
Despite the fact that Ryan Groy got the start at center in the preseason opener, coach McDermott said the battle for the starting job in the pivot is a virtual dead heat.
Groy has spent a good deal of time with AJ McCarron in the rotation through the first two weeks of training camp, but that changed Thursday night when he was the starting center with Nathan Peterman.
McDermott confirmed it was not a sign that Groy had moved ahead of Russell Bodine in their position competition.
"Just trying to stay with the rotation and honestly, we probably should've rotated it the other way sooner to make sure we were staying diverse if you will and making sure that Groy and Bodine each work with the other guy enough," said McDermott. "We're mindful of that and we'll probably switch it around a little bit."
Photos from Buffalo's first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
Team must make jump going into Cleveland game
As encouraging a performance as Thursday night's game against the Panthers was for the Bills, McDermott wants to see the team collectively take a step forward in all three phases. A lot of focus was naturally on the new offensive scheme, and there was plenty that McDermott liked. Going forward however, the Bills head coach wants his players and coaches cutting it finer to master the details of the performance as well.
"When you come in at halftime and you're at 256 yards, those are some pretty big numbers, so that's a start," he said. "You want points and there was a turnover somewhere in there. That's kind of the game within a game that we try to teach.
"When we go in the locker room if we pick up at least a field goal instead of turnover we've got 20 at halftime instead of 17, or a touchdown would've given us 24. That's the situational football we teach so they can see how potentially different the game can be and what can happen in the second half and the mindset. Those are teachable moments. Those missed opportunities hurt."
That's why McDermott and his coaching staff will be pushing the team to tighten up their execution, eliminate any pre-snap penalties and improve their on-field communication heading into the Cleveland game in a week's time.
"We've got to make a jump," he said. "As good as it looked at times (against Carolina) we've got to make a jump between game one and game two. That'll come down to the types of people that we have brought into the building as well as the leadership we have here."