“What we have going on is a special thing,” Allen said during a conference call Friday. “I understand how big of a year it is.”
Allen took a solid step in Year 2 of his NFL career, just as the Bills did, reaching the playoffs. The former Wyoming star raised his completion percentage six points (58.8 percent versus 52.8 percent as a rookie), threw 20 touchdown passes to just nine interceptions after being upside down the year before (10 TDs & 12 INTs) and showed off his clutch gene, leading the Bills to five game-winning drives. Allen did all that without a true No. 1 receiver.
Enter Stefon Diggs, who was added this offseason for the cost of four draft picks.
“It’s a huge, huge boost for our offense and for our team in that aspect,” Allen said of the Diggs acquisition. “Even just going against our guys in practice, it’s going to make the guys on defense that much better as well.”
That’s the team-first mindset that the Bills mafia has embraced. However, the addition of Diggs has shuffled the offensive deck, moving Cole Beasley and John Brown from 1 and 1A to more complimentary roles, while Diggs — on paper and based on past results — gives Allen an elite receiver in the prime of his career.
“He’s one of the best route runners in the league,” Allen added. “He makes these unbelievable contested catches, the run after catch ability that he has when he’s got the ball in his hands. It’s pretty remarkable. To have a weapon like that, it makes me super happy.”
Allen also knows that he shouldn’t be the only one excited about the addition.
“That should make our other guys super happy too just because attention is going to have to be elsewhere,” he said. “It’s going to open up some things in our offense.”
When that offense will get a chance to start working together remains in question because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, Allen keeps checking on his teammates from his offseason home in California while also talking with the coaching staff, making sure he’s as prepared as he can be, for whenever the 2020-21 season gets started.
“If things get moved back then we’ll move back and we’ll adjust but we’re not going to have a different mindset because of what’s going on,” he said. “You’ve got to stay focused and stay ready. So, that’s kind of the mindset that coach (offensive coordinator Brian) Daboll passed on to me too and that’s what I’m thinking, but at the same time we want everybody to be safe. We don’t want to put anybody at risk of getting sick, and I think that’s what everybody should be doing right now.”