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Has Allen had scrambling coached out of him too much?


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First of all,  I'll just say that this is a bit of a Goldilocks discussion.  I don't want Allen running as much as Lamar Jackson does.  I especially don't want Allen running as many designed running plays as Lamar Jackson does.  And I also want Allen to continue to grow as a passing QB... but every single year Allen has been in the league I've gone back and looked at his success as a runner in designed running plays vs. passing plays and he's ALWAYS significantly better as a scrambling QB.

 

Yes, there are nuances to that last statement... like how he shouldn't be scrambling if he can get the ball to a WR down the field.  But we all saw what happened vs. Pittsburgh with constant pressure and Allen getting sacked 3 times and hit a bunch more... yet he only scrambled once for 11 yards and a first down.

 

Against the Phins he got pressured less, so passing was probably the better option... except something was up with him in terms of accuracy.  Maybe more scrambling and getting some positive plays in the passing game with his legs would have gotten his feet under him... so to speak.

 

So far this year Allen has rushed the ball 14 times for 79 yards and 9 first downs.  That's 5.6 YPR... pretty good, right?

 

The thing is, he's only scrambled 3 times.  On those 3 scrambles, he's gained 26 yards and 3 1st downs... with a called back TD that we scored on the next play.

 

That means this year on scrambles this year he's averaging 8.6 YPR and a 1st down on 100% of his plays vs. 4.8 YPR and a 1st down on 54.5% of his plays on designed runs.

 

And while that's a small sample size and especially the 1st down numbers are really skewed because of that, the YPR and higher average for 1st downs on scrambles lines up really well with his first few years.  In fact, his first 2 years in the league he was averaging 8 YPR on scrambles and less than 5 YPR on designed runs... he also got significantly more 1st downs and TDs.

 

Last year he scrambled a lot less... but he was still more efficient on those plays than designed runs.  But he scrambled a LOT less.  And he was so great in the passing game (combination of things here, obviously) that we just didn't notice or care.

 

If we're comparing Allen to a QB we want him to evolve into, I don't think it's Joe Montana or Tom Brady... it's probably Steve Young. Great passer and pass first QB, but also a great runner when he needed to be.  And my memory may be failing me, but I don't think SF called many designed QB runs in the 90s for him.  Even in his last year as a starter in the NFL, he rushed for over 450 yards and 6 TDs. 

 

Heck, I don't think Atlanta called all that many designed QB runs for Mike Vick in the early 2000s... he was just coached to run in certain scenarios on passing plays or if he saw certain coverages.

 

I don't want Allen to be a QB who needs to run for 800-1,000 yards and 10+ TDs every year... but his ability to evade pressure is one of his most Elite gifts... and sometimes he just shouldn't throw the ball.  

 

Those are the times I want him running.

 

As counter as this may sound, I really wish Daboll  would take the designed runs out of our playbook.  On top of being less effective, those are the runs he seems to get hit on the most.  Or maybe just sprinkle an RPO in every once in a great while.  But instead, tell Josh he shouldn't be afraid to scramble at the right times as long as he protects himself.

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Maybe it should have been.

 

We are talking about a very small sample size, versus Pitt and then a blowout to the Dolphins...hard to get a coherent "theme" from those two disparate games.  One thing he has apparently learned to do is through the ball away, yes its hurt his completion percentage (oh God no, under 60% AGAIN)  but it is a more mature, team productive policy,

 

I dont like the high number of designed QB runs unless they are very yardage/time sensitive.  I also wish we do more QB sneaks.  The number on QB sneak injuries' is stunningly low and this is a big boy with a heart to get the first (thanksgiving versus Dallas).

 

 

Edited by RoyBatty is alive
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1 hour ago, transplantbillsfan said:

First of all,  I'll just say that this is a bit of a Goldilocks discussion.  I don't want Allen running as much as Lamar Jackson does.  I especially don't want Allen running as many designed running plays as Lamar Jackson does.  And I also want Allen to continue to grow as a passing QB... but every single year Allen has been in the league I've gone back and looked at his success as a runner in designed running plays vs. passing plays and he's ALWAYS significantly better as a scrambling QB.

 

Yes, there are nuances to that last statement... like how he shouldn't be scrambling if he can get the ball to a WR down the field.  But we all saw what happened vs. Pittsburgh with constant pressure and Allen getting sacked 3 times and hit a bunch more... yet he only scrambled once for 11 yards and a first down.

 

Against the Phins he got pressured less, so passing was probably the better option... except something was up with him in terms of accuracy.  Maybe more scrambling and getting some positive plays in the passing game with his legs would have gotten his feet under him... so to speak.

 

So far this year Allen has rushed the ball 14 times for 79 yards and 9 first downs.  That's 5.6 YPR... pretty good, right?

 

The thing is, he's only scrambled 3 times.  On those 3 scrambles, he's gained 26 yards and 3 1st downs... with a called back TD that we scored on the next play.

 

That means this year on scrambles this year he's averaging 8.6 YPR and a 1st down on 100% of his plays vs. 4.8 YPR and a 1st down on 54.5% of his plays on designed runs.

 

And while that's a small sample size and especially the 1st down numbers are really skewed because of that, the YPR and higher average for 1st downs on scrambles lines up really well with his first few years.  In fact, his first 2 years in the league he was averaging 8 YPR on scrambles and less than 5 YPR on designed runs... he also got significantly more 1st downs and TDs.

 

Last year he scrambled a lot less... but he was still more efficient on those plays than designed runs.  But he scrambled a LOT less.  And he was so great in the passing game (combination of things here, obviously) that we just didn't notice or care.

 

If we're comparing Allen to a QB we want him to evolve into, I don't think it's Joe Montana or Tom Brady... it's probably Steve Young. Great passer and pass first QB, but also a great runner when he needed to be.  And my memory may be failing me, but I don't think SF called many designed QB runs in the 90s for him.  Even in his last year as a starter in the NFL, he rushed for over 450 yards and 6 TDs. 

 

Heck, I don't think Atlanta called all that many designed QB runs for Mike Vick in the early 2000s... he was just coached to run in certain scenarios on passing plays or if he saw certain coverages.

 

I don't want Allen to be a QB who needs to run for 800-1,000 yards and 10+ TDs every year... but his ability to evade pressure is one of his most Elite gifts... and sometimes he just shouldn't throw the ball.  

 

Those are the times I want him running.

 

As counter as this may sound, I really wish Daboll  would take the designed runs out of our playbook.  On top of being less effective, those are the runs he seems to get hit on the most.  Or maybe just sprinkle an RPO in every once in a great while.  But instead, tell Josh he shouldn't be afraid to scramble at the right times as long as he protects himself.

Himself and the ball!

 

I agree with your thoughts on this, imo, anything concerning running the ball has been somewhat problematic for Dabol, that and our franchise QB is in my estimate not a smooth handoff to the RB guy, he is somewhat clumsy and telegraphs the motion when doing so, work needs to be done on this,  yeah I’m gonna get slammed on the last bit in this post, oh well, 

 

Go Bills!!!

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To me, it's kinda amazing how he has taken several steps back after being at the very tip-top of all-around great QB play.

He is now off everywhere just about. Is his neck really hurt and making him worry thereby taking him off his game?

I don't know but I sure hope he starts to resemble 2020 Josh once again.

I actually thought and really still Billieve he will not only match last season but he will surpass it by playing nearly flawless ball that will be nearly impossible to stop as long as his OL and his weapons stay healthy.

I still Billieve this is his destiny this year. I don't think KC can beat us if Josh realizes his best.

If not by week five, then the rematch in January.

IMHO, he was very close to Mahomes before his receivers got all beat up. The numbers back this up.

I see no reason why he can't recapture that form and then surpass it. He is young enough.

I think we have the weapons to win it all this year.

Josh, McD, Leslie And Daboll Just have to put it all together, together.

Diggs, Dion, Daryl, Feliciano, Jerry, AJ, Gregory, Tre, Tremaine, and the list just goes on and on and on - won't let them down.

The whole team is very good.

C'mon Josh, just do it and take your place as one of the All-time greats and win it all; everything.

 

Go Bills!

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In the Steeler game Dabol called 7 designed qb draws. I don't think Josh has ever been asked that before. I would never cut his legs out from under him by asking him to scramble less. That seems to be where he can flourish and exploit the defense. But these incessant draws are stupid and too risky. Really the only time I want to ever see JA run are on scrambles, 1 yard qb sneaks or inside the 5.  Lose the qb draws at midfield. 

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I absolutely agree 

 

Huge difference between designed runs and scrambling outside the pocket to pass or run 

 

Josh has always been extremely effective at getting outside the pocket and being a dual threat.. it's one of the best facets of his game

 

He needs to continue to utilize it..when he gets outside The tackle box, he's super accurate and a big time playmaker

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