If there’s anyone that knows what Buffalo is like, how the fan base is, or what it takes to survive in a city that isn’t like any other place in the country, it’s Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
The offensive mastermind behind the high-powered Bills offense is from Western New York and grew up in the area. He knows what the community is like and he knows when someone embodies that type of personality, which makes his most recent statement about Josh Allen that much more special.
“He’s real and he doesn’t try to be something that he’s not,” Daboll said during his Monday press conference. “He has a way of connecting to people from all over and he lays it on the line. He’s a good listener, he’s demanding of himself, he puts in a lot of work and he knows, like we all know, that we are from a finished product. This dude’s Buffalo. He’s got a chip on his shoulder.”
The third-year quarterback and his offensive coordinator have shared a special relationship during their time in Buffalo and Daboll has watched Allen grow from a quarterback who was widely criticized for his play to one that is third in the NFL in passing yards.
They trust each other and it showed after their big 44-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday when Allen dropped into Daboll’s arms after the game and let out all of his emotions after playing through the pain of losing his grandmother.
“I think I kept a cool head until after the game when I saw Dabs,” Allen said. “I’m glad Dabs was there and I just let it all out. I love Dabs and I appreciate everything he’s meant to me here.”
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A Hungry and Humble Approach
Since scouting him at Wyoming before the 2018 NFL draft, general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott were high on Allen because of the same reasons that Daboll is today.
They saw what he could bring to the Bills organization as not only a player on the field but a person in the community as well. On that 2018 draft night, the Bills traded up to draft Allen at 7th overall, and in a recent Sports Illustrated article by Greg Bishop, Beane recalled walking into the media room in Orchard Park.
“The looks on some of their faces, I’ll never forget it,” says Beane. “It was like I had just screwed everything up.”
“Listen,” he promised, “you’re going to love him.”
Through his three years in the Buffalo, Bills Mafia has done just that. He’s been a quarterback that has improved every year.
His completion percentage has climbed from a dismal 52.8% as a rookie to 68.9% this season. His QB rating as a rookie was 67.9 compared to the 107.2 it’s at now, according to pro-football-reference.com.
That improvement can somewhat be attributed to the group that McDermott and Beane have surrounded Allen with, but it also can be attributed to the type of person that Allen is.
“I’m not from Buffalo but in four years I think I’ve learned a lot about this place,” McDermott said. “I think I’ve said this before, I think the way I was raised is the way a lot of people around here are raised. They are raised on hard work and a good set of core values and I think Josh was raised the same. Those are just two of the main things that stand out to me right away.”
“He’s continued to grow, to continue to put in the work and acknowledging the fact that he’s not a finished product,” McDermott said. “Even though he’s experienced success he stays committed to working his tail off to improve and I think that’s a hungry and humble approach and it’s also a healthy approach quite frankly.”
Ever since Jim Kelly took the Bills to four straight Super Bowls, the Bills have been looking for another franchise quarterback and it looks like they might have found one.