Kyle Allen is getting his opportunity with Washington on Sunday, when he will start at against the Los Angeles Rams in place of the benched Dwayne Haskins. The former Panther played under both head coach Ron Rivera and then-quarterbacks coach Scott Turner in Carolina and will look to show that his familiarity with their system can translate to success on the field.
Two-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Torrey Smith played with in 2018 when they were both still on the Panthers. Allen was the backup quarterback behind Cam Newton at the time, but his work ethic and approach to the game was enough to leave an impression on the veteran Smith.
“You’re talking about a guy who was a student of the game,” Smith told NBC Sports Washington. “He sat directly next to his now-offensive coordinator Scott Turner. He was always taking notes, he was always asking questions, he always prepared like he was the starting quarterback.”
Allen’s first opportunity to play in the NFL on a week-to-week basis was in 2019, when a foot injury sidelined Newton for a few weeks. The Panthers went 5-1 over his first six starts, convincing Rivera to stick with him even as Newton healed up. However, Allen started to have problems with turnovers and Carolina lost four straight, ultimately resulting in the firing of Rivera.
The undrafted quarterback finished the year with 3,322 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes to 16 interceptions over 13 games (12 starts). He also rushed for two touchdowns but fumbled the ball 13 times, which tied for the fifth-most in the NFL. However, Allen was also sacked 46 times, also the fifth-most in the league.
Still only 24 years old, Allen has shown Smith that he’s able to put his mistakes behind him and focus on the play ahead.
“The thing I love the most about him is that he’s not afraid to take risks,” Smith said. “He’ll take a deep shot, he’ll take chances, he’ll make mistakes and he will not let it rattle him. You love to see those things in your young quarterback. I’m excited about the opportunity that he has now to lead the Washington Football Team.”