Shurmur gives lukewarm assessment of Bills QB Josh Allen
By TOM CANAVAN
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur was matter of fact in giving his feelings about Josh Allen's chances coming into the NFL a year ago.
Shurmur thought the kid from Wyoming who was taken seventh overall by the Buffalo Bills was big and strong, had a good arm and could become a starter.
That's what happened last season. Allen started 11 games for the Bills and posted a 5-6 record for team that won six games.
Shurmur's assessment was accurate, but it's surprising he did not speak a little more highly of Allen with the Bills (1-0) coming back to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to face the Giants (0-1), a week after they beat the Jets in the building.
He probably could have said Allen is developing into fine quarterback, or something a little more positive.
When given a do-over in a second question about Allen, Shurmur didn't change his statement.
"I thought he had a chance to be a starter," the second-year Giants coach said. "But I was asked what I thought of him, and that's what we thought of him. He had a chance to be a starter."
The Giants had already picked running back Saquon Barkley, who went on to become the Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley after going second overall. They didn't dive into the QB crop early in 2018, and waited until this year to find Eli Manning's heir apparent, taking Daniel Jones of Duke with the sixth pick overall.
Allen didn't seem upset with Shurmur's comments.
"It doesn't bother me," the 23-year-old quarterback said. "I wasn't trying to make everybody like me or fall in love with me. Luckily, the Bills had different thoughts and different plans with me. And luckily I ended up here."
Allen rallied the Bills from a 16-0 second-half deficit last weekend for a 17-16 win over the Jets.
Bills coach Sean McDermott has been around teams that have grown with young quarterbacks. He was in Philadelphia with Shurmur when Donovan McNabb joined the team and he was in Carolina when Cam Newton was early in his career.
"I think Josh, like a lot of young quarterbacks, is off to a start where there have been some good plays, and some plays he'd like to have back," McDermott said. "The key is that he continues to grow and continues to evolve."
Allen will be facing a Giants defense that allowed 35 points and 494 yards in a 35-17 loss at Dallas.
New York's defense will get a chance to make amends this week if Allen doesn't take care of the ball again. He threw two interceptions - one a pick-6 - and lost two fumbles against the Jets. The Giants did not have a takeaway in the opener.
NOTES: WR Sterling Shepard was on the field during practice Wednesday but did not participate. He sustained a concussion Sunday. .... G Kevin Zeitler and rookie DT Dexter Lawrence II were limited at practice with shoulder issues. Neither injury seemed serious.
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Updated September 11, 2019