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Brandon Beane is happy he's still around to tell the story of when the Buffalo Bills pegged quarterback Josh Allen to become their heir-apparent starter.
The amount of film the Bills general manager watched Jonathan Cooper Jersey Elite , games attended and people he interviewed before drafting the Wyoming quarterback in the first round was nothing compared to the hair-raising experience Beane and the team's brain trust had visiting Allen in mid-March.
"Ha, ha, ha, you want that story?" coach Sean McDermott said, after Beane first mentioned how "interesting" their trip was to Laramie, Wyoming.
Sure, was the response, during an hour-long session McDermott and Beane held with reporters in June. By agreement, the contents of the interview were not allowed to be published until Thursday.
Beane shook his head in describing the turbulence the Bills' private jet experienced during landing.
"We were coming in over the mountains, and the plane started just going like this," Beane said, bobbing his arm up and down. "Literally, our heads are going off the ceiling."
Beane and co-owner Terry Pegula, who had been watching video of Allen, suddenly started grabbing anything they could get their hands on 鈥?seatbacks and armrests 鈥?to steady themselves.
While McDermott remained calm, Beane said offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was in near hysterics.
"Daboll is face-timing with his wife. And every expletive Danny Shelton Color Rush Jersey , like, 'It's over,'" Beane said.
"It was like Fred Sanford: 'I'm coming home!'" he added, referring to the character played by Redd Fox in the 1970s sitcom "Sanford And Son."
Upon finally landing, the pilot informed them the turbulence was the result of what's referred to as a mountain wave, which occurs occasionally when planes fly over high terrain.
Once they gathered their breath, the Bills then proceeded with meeting Allen, and put him through a workout.
Without providing Allen with a script of plays beforehand, Daboll began yelling out situations to see how quickly the quarterback could digest the information and make a throw.
"It was, 'All right, the deep dig. Now. Five-step, this. Go.' And he processed it quickly," Beane said. "His workout was very good. And when we left there, we felt very confident."
They were confident enough to give up two second-round picks to Tampa Bay and trade up five spots to draft Allen at No. 7.
Where their confidence wavered involved what bumps they might encounter upon leaving Laramie.
"We were a little distracted about how we were getting out of here," Beane said. "It was like, 'Where do we drive to have the plane meet us?'"
Here are a number of other notable topics discussed during the session:
McDERMOTT OWNS UP
Beane revealed how McDermott owned up to Bills players by acknowledging he erred in starting rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman over Tyrod Taylor in a bid to provide Buffalo's sputtering offense a spark in Week 11.
The switch backfired David Dahl Colorado Rockies Jersey , with Peterman benched after throwing five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers, that extended Buffalo's skid to three games.
"Sean stood up there and he owned the Tyrod decision," Beane said. "He said, 'It didn't work. We tried it. And I'm trying to win every week. And unfortunately that decision didn't work out for various reasons. Tyrod's our starter.'"
The Bills responded with a 16-10 win at Kansas City the following week as part of a season-closing 4-2 run to finish 9-7, and end a 17-year playoff drought.
To address questions regarding Allen's accuracy, Bills scouts turned to game tape to chart every throw he attempted. They assessed what caused the incompletions, including times he threw the ball away when his receivers weren't open.
The Bills also took into account Wyoming's offensive philosophy, which didn't include many short passes.
"He had no gimme throws," Beane said of a quarterback who went 152 of 270, in completing just 56.3 percent of his passes, with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions in 11 games last year.
The only real concern was Allen's footwork, which Beane said notably improved by the time he played at the Senior Bowl in January.
"I'm not saying it's fixed," Beane said of Allen's footwork. "But improved."
McDermott has no intention of rushing Allen into a starting job once training camp opens in suburban Rochester on July 26.
Allen earned limited time with the starters during Buffalo's three-day mandatory minicamp in mid-June. He spent the previous 10 practices working with the third-stringers, while Peterman and free-agent addition AJ McCarron split time with the starters.
McDermott previously coached in Carolina and Philadelphia, and noted how quarterbacks develop differently.
Whereas, Cam Newton started immediately during his rookie season in 2011 in Carolina http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mason-cole-jersey , Donovan McNabb waited until Week 7 in 1999 to make his first start in Philadelphia.
"There's no exact way to do it, right? It's about bringing him along the right way," McDermott said. "We're not going to put him out there unless we feel like he's ready."
Beane concurred, while adding: "Whether he plays zero games or 16 games, we're going to put out the guy that gives us the best chance to win each Sunday."
JuJu Smith-Schuster is an open book. Unless you ask the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver about the left knee issue that's forced him to spend most of the offseason watching workouts instead of participating in them.
"You can talk to Mike Tomlin about that," Smith-Schuster said Wednesday.
Smith-Schuster described the injury as something that built up over time and came to a point where he realized he couldn't simply hope it disappeared on his own, so he got it checked out. He offered no details but stressed he will be fully recovered when the team reports to training camp at Saint Vincent College on July 25.
"For sure," he said. "Especially when you get this five-week break. I think I'll be ready."
The AFC North champions need him to be. Smith-Schuster heads into his second season firmly entrenched as the No. 2 receiver behind All-Pro Antonio Brown after the Steelers dealt talented but mercurial Martavis Bryant to Oakland during the NFL draft. Bryant did little to hide his frustration when Smith-Schuster bypassed him on the depth chart.
It's a relationship that plays in stark contrast 鈥?at least in mid-June 鈥?to the way Smith-Schuster has welcomed second-round pick James Washington into the fold.
"We kind of have the same body type, he's playing inside and out (like me)," Smith-Schuster said. "Super excited to see what he can do."
It's a label Smith-Schuster might as well place on himself after becoming a revelation in more ways than one in 2017. He caught 58 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns, earned respect in the locker room for his fearless blocking and a social media sensation for his intricate and highly shareable touchdown celebrations. Hide and Seek anyone?
Yet it's the memory of the final touchdown he scored last season that will stick with him. He hauled in a 4-yard toss from Ben Roethlisberger with 1 second left in a 45-42 playoff loss to Jacksonville. All it did was pretty up the final score. By then, the game had already been decided and a season filled with typically high aspirations was over.
"I was 'Whatever' about it," Smith-Schuster said. "Like I wanted to celebrate but what is there to celebrate. We took the 'L.'"
Smith-Schuster returned to his native Southern California for a few weeks in the offseason, where the 21-year-old discovered his profile had risen considerably since the time he left. Part of that is by design. Smith-Schuster's social media feeds are a glimpse into a young athlete attempting to live their best life at all times.
He's playing Fortnite. He's at Coachella . He's hanging with his French bulldog Boujee . He's chilling with his family. He spent time at EA Sports last weekend getting a glimpse at the latest edition of the "Madden" football franchise, a version that includes plenty of digital post-touchdown antics by the guy in black-and-gold wearing No. 19. Smith-Schuster figures it's a sign of things to come.
"Got to be No. 1 in celebrations," he said. "But that's going to come after we take care of business though."
Therein lies the challenge for Smith-Schuster. He is no longer an unknown quantity. And he's passed the title as "NFL's Youngest Player" to Buffalo Bills rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. More will be expected of him on the field Korey Toomer Jersey 49ers , and he's well aware there are greater demands of his time off it. Finding balance will be a vital part of his progress.
Brown appeared to reach a breaking point of sorts on Tuesday when he vaguely talked about outside "pressure" during a rambling meeting with reporters. There's none of that on Smith-Schuster, at least not yet. It may come at some point.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, the elder statesman in Pittsburgh's wide receiver room, isn't concerned about Smith-Schuster's maturation process 鈥?provided he attacks things with the right perspective.
"(I) just let him know that A: you wouldn't have all that stuff if it wasn't for football,'" Heyward-Bey said. "Yes, you've got to have the personality but if you're not the guy scoring touchdowns, making big plays, nobody cares about you so to speak. So if he keeps football first and understands you've got to work harder and always improve on your game each and every year, I think he'll be fine."
Smith-Schuster won't lack for opportunities considering the extra attention Brown and All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell are sure to attract every week. The way he figures it, that's why he's playing in the first place.
"I mean, I want it," Smith-Schuster said. "I love it. This is why I'm here. This is why I love the game so whatever they put on my shoulders, I'm going to carry and do what I can do for this year."
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