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The Leadership of Josh Allen


OnTheRocks
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I love Josh Allen.  One of the first things that jumped out at me was how quickly he became comfortable as a locker room guy.  When he was drafted there was some question about how he would adjust to the NFL immediately after there was a report that while he was in high school or college he had quoted lyrics from a song on twitter that the cancel culture was wanting to smother him over.  Even during his first two seasons when he struggled to develop his accuracy, he just looked the part of a guy that was going to lead this team to the next level.

 

So the question was put to me this morning by a Cowboys fan who is frustrated with Dak Prescott.  He's a top NFL QB.  But he's missing something in the maturity and leadership.  Something that Aaron Rodgers has.  Tom Brady has.  Peyton Manning had.  Jim Kelly, John Elway, and Dan Marino all had it.  And that's this, they didn't hesitate to grab a lineman by the facemask and get in their face to tell them mistakes are not to be tolerated.  Get after a WR if they run a bad route or read the defense poorly and don't cut a route short, or adjust and go long.  I don't recall ever seeing Josh get in a guys face over a mistake.

 

I hadn't given it any thought but wanted to throw it out there for discussion.  Is Josh Allen too Buddy-Buddy with the men he's leading? 

Is it necessary for that kind of leadership to get to the next level?  

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Some guys just have “it”.  
 

“It” is hard to quantify.   You see it in Allen, Mahomes, Rodgers, Brady… I think also in Burrow & Herbert. 
 

They just pop off the screen different.  
 

Dak, I don’t see it.   He’s good.   He doesn’t impose his will on opposing defenses.  
 

*To your question.. I think Allen went off on the OL on the sidelines this year.  Forget which game, but he was livid. 
 

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Grabbing a guy by the face mask absolutely does not mean you have “it” all that means is that you can’t control your emotions and feel the need to show up your teammate in front of everyone else. That’s not leadership 

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There are different ways to lead. Allen leads by example—he constantly works to get better and will do whatever it takes to win. That’s what his teammates see, and you hear them say it all the time, they all want to go into battle with him. 

 

I dont think he will ever call out a teammate in public—he’s not that kind of guy, and I’m sure that’s appreciated too. Last, I don’t think he needs to get in anyone’s face with the culture they created here. They hold each other accountable. 

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7 minutes ago, TPS said:

There are different ways to lead. Allen leads by example—he constantly works to get better and will do whatever it takes to win. That’s what his teammates see, and you hear them say it all the time, they all want to go into battle with him. 

 

I dont think he will ever call out a teammate in public—he’s not that kind of guy, and I’m sure that’s appreciated too. Last, I don’t think he needs to get in anyone’s face with the culture they created here. They hold each other accountable. 


Agreed.  

 

His OL loves him.  They will go to war for Allen.  
 

The skill position players are all maniacally driven.  Knox, with all the raw skill in the world, dealing with the Ertz rumors swirling, grinds and becomes a top end TE.  Dude demanded they run the play for him with a broken hand.  Diggs leads that WR room… good luck being meh about your profession with Diggs running this group. 
 

They see Allen give it everything he has, and that’s what good leaders do.  They lead by example and don’t ask anyone to do something they aren’t willing to do themselves.  


 

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9 minutes ago, OnTheRocks said:

Is Josh Allen too Buddy-Buddy with the men he's leading? 

 

Short answer:  No.

 

Long answer:  Leadership comes in different shapes and sizes.  I'm a fan of Situational Leadership Theory, which is often associated with Blanchard.  Simply put, you have to craft your leadership to the task and situation.  Grabbing a face mask might be needed or might not.  It also could be counter-productive.  Josh is more of a servant leader that leads by example.  He demands a lot from himself and he demands a lot from others.  That is the key.  The outward yelling might not be leadership at all.  It might just be petulance.  

 

Again, sometimes the yelling is helpful, but that is not the key driving factor.  I actually think Josh's leadership fits better in the more modern NFL where players earn millions.  His style also fits (or was molded by) McDermott's philosophy of having a leader in every room.  You want to have a leader among the WRs, among the TEs, etc.  Coaching only goes so far, but when you have a RB working hard and amplifying the coach's method, the other RBs will tend to follow.  It's not unlike the army philosophy that a unit is only as good as its NCO's.  (In that analogy, think of the coaches as officers and the sergeants as key players in each room)

 

Tom Brady is a great leader, but it is not because he grabbed facemasks.  He was a great leader because he was the hardest working guy in the building and, since he was on board, it gave Belichick even more room to demand more from everyone.  I'm so sorry.  I said something nice about TB.  I feel dirty.  Time to hit the shower.

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Yeah, I think within the positional groups, they have at least one guy to get in the other guys’ faces. But in private. Josh is the guy that encourages everybody and leads by example.

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Yelling at a guy in public is one way to lead, Josh leads by example. Jumping over guys, stiff arm 300lb guys. It makes everyone around him want to emulate. How does a WR not block when Josh is jumping over LBs?
 

I’m sure they talk privately about mental mistakes. Beane picked properly but I discount that other than extreme cases. 

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13 minutes ago, TPS said:

There are different ways to lead. Allen leads by example—he constantly works to get better and will do whatever it takes to win. That’s what his teammates see, and you hear them say it all the time, they all want to go into battle with him. 

 

TPS, I agree 100%.  We cross-posted and I did not see your reply until after I finished mine.  You said what I was trying to say, just more succinctly.  👍

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19 minutes ago, SCBills said:

 

They see Allen give it everything he has, and that’s what good leaders do.  They lead by example and don’t ask anyone to do something they aren’t willing to do themselves.  


 

I think this is the biggest thing.  In fact, I think McDermott (a few years ago) made the same comment to one of the media guys during TC....He said he will never ask someone to do something that he himself does not do.   I think they preach that all the time to the team

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5 minutes ago, Warcodered said:

Josh takes responsibility for everything and with how well he plays it's contagious. There's been multiple times where a play went wrong and Josh will take responsibility for it but his teammate does as well.

And this is how you lead by example.  Not by telling someone they F'd up but by saying what you could have done better to make them succeed.  That makes a person want to be better.

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I don't think anyone knew what to think when JA was drafted. Most were disappointed, I being one of them. However, it took next to no time for him to win some people over. The way he carried himself and his desire to win really shined through. Personally, the winning moment for myself was the hurdle over the Minnesota player to get a first down in his first season. From that moment on the potential was too hard to ignore. He said all of the right things and it wasn't hard to figure out the desire he had to get better. He has the heart to win and the physical tools to match his quick processing time. He is Intelligent, young and gifted. Other players want to be around a guy who leaves it all out on the field and that is how JA leads this team. It is who is and more than likely why he won the coaching staff over that drafted him.

He was the steal of the draft.

 

The Buffalo Bills were over due to get it right in regards to a complete QB and on that draft day in 2018 they did just that. 

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Just based on what we can see,  Allen seems like the type of guy who puts in the effort to be an elite player,  takes the blame on himself when things go wrong,  shares credit with teammates when things go right and is obviously willing to take some big hits to ensure the success of the team.  That's the type of guy players are going to rally behind and who can motivate his fellow players. 

 

 

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I like that I like him. The whole cantaloupe farmer, not recruited, nice guy thing—it’s all real. it’s funny, when we see sugar-high-Josh, I don’t get upset. I have a sense of a father watching his good kid get caught up in a moment. I feel like I’m watching my kid at little league batting. 

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Josh would never blame the Refs like Prescott did yesterday night.   You made a foolish play by running the ball; don't blame the ref for grabbing the ball and placing it at the right place. 

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52 minutes ago, OnTheRocks said:

I love Josh Allen.  One of the first things that jumped out at me was how quickly he became comfortable as a locker room guy.  When he was drafted there was some question about how he would adjust to the NFL immediately after there was a report that while he was in high school or college he had quoted lyrics from a song on twitter that the cancel culture was wanting to smother him over.  Even during his first two seasons when he struggled to develop his accuracy, he just looked the part of a guy that was going to lead this team to the next level.

 

So the question was put to me this morning by a Cowboys fan who is frustrated with Dak Prescott.  He's a top NFL QB.  But he's missing something in the maturity and leadership.  Something that Aaron Rodgers has.  Tom Brady has.  Peyton Manning had.  Jim Kelly, John Elway, and Dan Marino all had it.  And that's this, they didn't hesitate to grab a lineman by the facemask and get in their face to tell them mistakes are not to be tolerated.  Get after a WR if they run a bad route or read the defense poorly and don't cut a route short, or adjust and go long.  I don't recall ever seeing Josh get in a guys face over a mistake.

 

I hadn't given it any thought but wanted to throw it out there for discussion.  Is Josh Allen too Buddy-Buddy with the men he's leading? 

Is it necessary for that kind of leadership to get to the next level?  

You gotta be you.  Rodgers isnt a get in your face type.  I dont believe Farve was either.  Allen will break 5 would be sacks, throw a dime down the field and it be dropped.  In the post game say he needs to play better.  His greatness raises the play of his teammates.  To a man they dont want to let him down.  

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In any interview where a Bills player is asked about Josh Allen, to a man, without fail, they say that when you see him lay it all on the line for one yard, play, after play, after play, you want to show up for him.  To me, that is leadership.  They watch this guy sell out on nearly every play.  Diggs always says it so well, paraphrasing here, when I see what he is willing to do, I have to match that.  There were three straight, bad incompletions in the Atlanta game.  I mean bad.  He threw one thing and each of three different receivers ran/did something else.  Not once did you see him evil eye them.  Clearly he wasn't wrong on all three throws, so it just shows you his maturity.  This guy will always shoulder the blame, earned or not.  That is just part of his DNA.

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