The Buffalo Bills had one of the NFL’s most effective passing attacks in 2020, and Josh Allen believes that a new addition can help them soar even higher in 2021.
Allen spoke out this week about the addition of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, saying he believes the veteran can help add a new dimension to the Bills offense. Though the pair had not yet had a chance to work together, Allen spoke highly of Sanders’ abilities and what it could mean for the team’s air attack next season.
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Allen Enjoys Watching Sanders Work
While Allen has been starting preparation for the 2021 campaign with the team starting OTAs this week, Sanders has yet to show up to the voluntary workouts. Still, Sanders said he has been studying film — and Allen has been checking out tape of his new target as well.
“Watching him on film is fun. He’s still got a lot of juice left,” Allen said this week, via Syracuse.com. “Throughout his career, he’s been one of the best receivers in the game.”
Allen added that he believes Sanders’ elite route-running abilities will help improve the short passing game for the Bills. Allen praised the former New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos wideout for the way he can get in and out of breaks, and is looking forward to incorporating some new concepts that will play to those strengths.
“(I’ve) just (been) working on in-breaking routes,” Allen said. “The deep ins and the short 5-yard unders – just making sure I’m putting it in a catchable spot for these guys to catch and run. That’s going to be a huge asset for us to be able to hit those type of throws and allow our guys to stay up and stay on the move. I didn’t do a good enough job with that last year.”
Sanders’ Role in Buffalo
Though Sanders was one of the most high-profile offseason acquisitions for the Bills, it’s not clear what role he could play next season. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com projected that second-year wideout Gabriel Davis will end up replacing the departed John Brown in the lineup, with Sanders taking on a more limited role. Rosenthal noted that Davis ended up with the second-most snaps on the team among wide receivers, and believes he will remain a major target.
“I loved what I saw out of Davis in just over 900 snaps as a rookie speedster a year ago, when he played more than Cole Beasley or Brown. That’s why I won’t be surprised if Davis winds up playing a tick more than free-agent pickup Emmanuel Sanders,” Rosenthal wrote. “The ‘starter’ moniker matters little, because they will both play plenty, but the 34-year-old Sanders is better off as a role player at this stage of his career.”
The Bills have also brought in some other pass-catchers who could potentially compete for targets, including tight ends Jacob Hollister and Tanner Gentry, who was a former college teammate of Allen’s at Wyoming.