What happens if Josh isn’t the answer?

Photo from Buffalo News.

Well, here is the article you probably don’t want to read, and I don’t really want to write. But sometimes you need to eat your spinach. Much has been made (a lot of it by me) of the addition of a true number one wide receiver in Stefon Diggs and what that means for Josh Allen’s growth. I am an adamant Josh Allen “stan” and will take a battle axe to the computers of pro football focus to defend MY QUARTERBACK. I will stand back to back with Mel Kiper and Bills Mafia to fight off the Sam Munson, Steven Ruiz, and Cian Fahey’s of the world. 

With all that being said, I am also not blinded by my fandom. Two things can be true: Josh Allen has taken big steps in progression in his first two years AND Josh Allen needs to improve to be a long term Quarterback for the Bills.

So what happens if he doesn’t take that step? Bills fans have seen this before, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, EJ Manuel, and Tyrod Taylor all failed to take the step forward needed to hold the job. So what happens if Josh Allen is just the next name in the line of post Jim Kelly Bills quarterbacks?

History tells us that when a Quarterback goes a coach goes. Dick Jauron and Trent Edwards followed by Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick. You could argue Doug Marone and EJ Manuel, but there were probably other things at play. Could we reasonably see McDermott go with Allen, maybe even Beane?

Well, to put it bluntly, I hope (and you should to) absolutely f-ing not. Quality quarterback play may be the hardest thing to find in the world of sports. The Bills are not the only team to have swung and missed many times this century. Beane and McDermott’s first major decision was to trade the best QB the Bills had this century in Tyrod Taylor and  trade up to draft Josh Allen. At the time, many people believed their legacy was tied to Josh. 

If Josh does fail to take a step forward, regresses, or even implodes in year 3, Beane and McDermott will not and should not be on the chopping block. It is one thing to put all your eggs in the basket of developing a franchise quarterback, like the Bills have done in the past and building a team like they have done the last three years. 

The Bills do not play a sport where resetting at quarterback will set the team back to square one. I look at teams like the Vikings. They build quality teams all around the quarterback position. Top end defense and talent at the skill positions. So when they have to plug in a Sam Bradford or Case Keenum, the roster enhances the quarterback play. Does this mean they don’t wish they had a Patrick Mahomes? No, but Patrick Mahomes isn’t needed to find success

Look at the roster the Eagles built around Carson Wentz. When he went down in 2017 the roster was strong enough to allow Nick Foles to succeed. Kansas City built a roster of offensive studs that took off when they drafted a generational quarterback.

So what if Josh fails? Take another swing. Without having a quarterback on a franchise deal, the Bills can keep doing what they have been doing for the first three years of the Mcdermott Beane regime. Keep the cupboards full through free agency and drafting. Don’t get stuck in any albatross contracts and treat your players well. It is too far off to know who the next man up may be, but whomever it is will walk in with a chance to win. Given the Bills aren’t throwing out another Nathan Peterman, these Bills are built to succeed with/or without process. The beauty of the process is that it is bigger than any one player, even Josh Allen.   

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