At times last season, especially early, Josh Allen looked lost, not seeing the entire field, unsure where the rush or coverage was coming from, and relying on his superior athleticism rather than intellect to win plays.
At times it worked out great, with Allen looking like one of the most athletic players on the field, dashing with his feet and drilling strikes with his big arm.
At times it combusted, with Allen tossing wayward balls behind targets, not getting through his progression, and an inefficient offense resulted.
Allen played behind an exceedingly porous offensive line with an inconsistent run game and a corps of sub-par receivers that didn't make his life easier. The Bills have done a marvelous job mending those problems this offseason -- at least on paper -- to buffer the QB. Perhaps the biggest improvement the Bills could make might be between Allen's ears.
After an offseason of workouts, running back LeSean McCoy believes we're seeing an improved Allen, especially mentally.
"He looks better," McCoy told Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. "I think he looks more confident. I think last year he just played off of talent. Sometimes, when quarterbacks are really talented, you overlook how smart they really are. Josh is smart."
The strides Allen has made were not lost on his coaching staff, which knows the Bills have no chance at the playoffs without improvements from the QB spot.
"I believe Josh is well informed of what he needs to improve on and what he does well already and improving on those areas as well," coach Sean McDermott told reporters during minicamp. "So, Josh is a young man that is driven and very in tune and very self-aware to his development, his overall development as a young man and as a football player and how important that is to our organization. I've seen that in the habits that he has undertaken since he left here in January and when we got him back and what he's done since that time."
A Year 1 to Year 2 leap is possible, if not expected, especially given Allen's raw talent entering the NFL. Now that he's gotten a year of seasoning under his belt, McCoy believes the big-armed QB can turn the corner.
"Your second and third years pretty much are always (better than the first)," McCoy said. "Maybe not with numbers, but just like with confidence, knowing what to expect, knowing what to look forward to, those type of things. So, I'm all excited to see how he plays this year."
Allen entered the NFL as epitomizing the old-guard versus analytics debate QB, the former loving his size, big arm and athletic ability, while the latter decried his inaccuracy and lack of college production. In Year 1, the signal-caller showed a bit for all to claim their case as true. Year 2 could solidify the argument.