Patrick Daugherty, Denny Carter and Kyle Dvorchak analyze Josh Allen's recent comments that hint at taking less rushing attempts next season and expectations for the QB moving forward.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Speaking of dog levels that need to be reined in according to his own coach, Josh Allen. That's been the narrative of his offseason. He's got to run less. He's got to stop taking these big hits.
DENNY CARTER: Yeah.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: He injured the elbow last season. That wasn't on one of these scrambles, but that he's just kind of like a ticking time bomb of a major injury waiting to happen if he doesn't rein in his style of play. Josh Allen himself has now hinted he may run less in 2023. Speaking to ESPN'S Alaina Getzenberg-- or paraphrasing him, Alaina Getzenberg reported that Allen quote, "He realizes the time will come when he will have to transition from being a football player first and a QB second to a QB-- this quote doesn't make sense.
DENNY CARTER: So a QB first and a football player second. Yeah.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Anyways, he's going to-- he wants to run less in theory. Are we putting any stock in this, whatsoever?
DENNY CARTER: What do you think, Kyle?
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Or can you not take the dog out of the Allen?
KYLE DVORCHAK: Maybe someday but certainly not today. I mean, one, he's really good at it. He was like second in EPA per rush attempt among-- I was going to say among quarterbacks but quarterbacks aren't generally far more efficient running. So he was just one of the best pure runners in the NFL last year. It's been that way for years.
And I'm not-- oh, this is a great example. I'm not a dots guy. But if you've ever seen where one dot-- because they don't have a dimension of height-- phases through the other one, that's when Josh Allen literally hurdles someone. That's what's happening there, trying to describe the film to you.
If you've ever watched Josh Allen play, he's not getting reined in. It will never happen. And I hope it doesn't because the world and the NFL's better that way. But that's something that like, yeah, he plays so stylistically who he is, maybe in 10 years. We'll be waiting a while, I'd say. We will be waiting a while.
DENNY CARTER: It is hard to imagine him making that switch. I have some numbers for the folks if you're interested in what his rushing has looked like in recent seasons. So in his breakout 2020 season, he averaged 4.7 rushes per game. That dropped to 4.2 in 2021. And then last season, it remained at 4.2. So he's already-- there's already seen a little bit of a decrease in rushing. As far as expected rushing fantasy points, he was fourth among all quarterbacks in 2022. He was third the year before. He was fourth the year before that. So it's pretty much stayed the same.
I don't really see it changing dramatically, but I do think it is worth reading a little bit into what the Bills have said as an organization. Brandon Beane, the general manager, expressed some concern. Josh Allen revealed during this week's interview that quote, "I'm getting older," which is a good information to have.
And then Bills head coach Sean McDermott said back in late March, he said, quote, "I don't think that's a healthy way to play quarterback in this league. And it's undefeated that things are going to happen when you play that style. We have to get that adjusted. And it's never going to go completely away." Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He goes on. I do think there's a chance that it will be ratcheted back, but I don't think that you can take that out of Allen's game completely.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: No, I think their concern is like when you corner a politician in the senate hallway and they realize they're forced to give a quote on something really controversial. And they just say, I'm concerned. I'm very concerned about this. And they're eyeing up the senate subway like, can I still run? Am I young enough to run? Can I please, please, please get out of here?
And I just think you could sooner take the dual threat out of Josh Allen. Then you could descend Kyle Juszczyk into motion for absolutely no reason on every play out of Kyle Shanahan.
DENNY CARTER: [LAUGH]
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It's just not going to happen.
DENNY CARTER: You're so upset about this.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: This is not going to happen. And it's like the classic best laid plan. Like the literal very first third down of the season, Josh Allen's like, well, this play's too important for me not to run.
DENNY CARTER: Yeah, right, right.
KYLE DVORCHAK: Yeah, it's the same thing. You could sooner take the just absolutely absurd level of craziness and awesomeness out of Josh Allen you could. Michael Burton inside shovel pass on the 1-yard line from Andy Reid. Eye that one up.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Exactly.
KYLE DVORCHAK: You get to that point. You're like, oh my god, Andy Reid, this is great. I can't believe it. Let's run the ball with a normal run on the 1-yard line. And he's like, Michael Burton, we got to get you in there, buddy.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It will never, ever happen.