While he was leading the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowls, quarterback Jim Kelly had the help of a Hall of Fame running back in Thurman Thomas.
If Josh Allen is going to bring the Bills back to the Super Bowl, Kelly thinks he needs more help, too. The Buffalo legend spoke out about the team’s support of their Pro Bowl quarterback, saying this week that the Bills need to build a stronger running game around Allen so all the pressure isn’t falling on him.
Jim Kelly: ‘He Can’t Do Everything By Himself’
Appearing at a charity event on March 30, Kelly said the team is putting too much weight on Allen’s shoulders and suggested pairing him with a “star” running back to lighten the load.
“Josh can’t do everything by himself,” Kelly said in a video shared on Twitter by WHEC News 10 reporter Jackson Roberts. “I hope they find a way to get a star running back, but I always thought [Devin] Singletary was pretty good, I just don’t think we used him enough.”
Kelly also admitted that it can be difficult for the Bills to put the reins on Allen when he’s so effective at both passing and running.
“You know what, when you’ve got a guy as good as Josh Allen you tend to probably get a little greedy and use him more than you should, but [offensive coordinator] Ken Dorsey’s doing a great job, and Josh, I just hope we get that running game going and take the pressure off him.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott has hinted that Allen’s play style will look different next season. Both McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane have said that his tendency to scramble and invite contact from defenders is not good for Allen’s long-term health, and want him to take fewer risks running the ball next year.
“I don’t think that’s a healthy way to play QB in this league and it’s undefeated that things are going to happen when you play that style, brand of football,” McDermott told NFL.com reporter Judy Battista, who shared the exchange on Twitter.
Bills Make Changes at Running Back
The Bills have already made some changes to their running back room this offseason, with Kelly’s favored Singletary leaving in free agency to join the Houston Texans and the Bills signing former New England Patriots running back Damien Harris.
The Bills also re-signed running back Nyheim Hines, who last season served primarily as a return specialist. Hines could be taking on a larger role in the running game next season, as the Bills signed speedy wide receiver and kick returner Deonte Harty to potentially return kicks.
Harris will also give the Bills some much-needed size in the backfield, something they had been lacking in the last few seasons. The 5-foot-11, 213-pound running back has played a more bruising style, something Beane said earlier in the offseason that the team wanted to add.
“We’ll continue to add there and look for different skill sets,” Beane said on March 16, via ESPN. “Totally aware we’ve got a couple of guys that are around 200 [pounds]. Yeah, we’ll probably add somebody that’s a little heavier than that at some point between now and training camp.”