Bills QB Josh Allen again digitally mapping throwing motion to 'tweak' mechanics

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is making refinements to his throwing motion ahead of the 2024 NFL offseason.
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates a touch down in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates a touch down in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It was a question you couldn’t avoid throughout Josh Allen’s breakout 2020 NFL campaign—when did he get this good?

The answer? The previous offseason.

The quarterback worked with Biometrek founder Chris Hess to digitally map his throwing motion and mechanics ahead of his third professional season, receiving a digital blueprint for fixing a motion that had led him to what was then a promising, but mixed NFL career; he had completed fewer than 60% of his passes throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and while he showed flashes of being a dynamic player, he was generally inconsistent.

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The rework allowed Allen to evolve from a glorified game-manager into an objective game-breaker; he completed nearly 70% of his passes in the 2020 season, throwing for 4,577 yards and 37 touchdowns compared to just 10 interceptions. The prowess and penchant for dominance hasn’t left Allen since he found it—he’s thrown for over 4,200 yards and totaled over 40 touchdowns in each of the past four seasons, earning NFL MVP votes in three of those campaigns.

And though Allen’s 2023 season was, by no measure or metrics, poor, it left him unsatisfied; his passing touchdown total (29) was the lowest it’s been since his sophomore year, and he set a career-high in interceptions (18). He still led the league in total touchdowns (51) and earned an NFL MVP vote, but he—as far as he’s concerned—did not play up to his potential, something that’s again prompting him to adjust his throwing motion.

The quarterback spoke about his mechanical tweaks to the Buffalo media after Tuesday’s minicamp practice, stating that he’s working to make his release as systematic as possible.

“Big time on just mechanically getting it as efficient as possible,” Allen said. “Meeting with Chris Hess who has been here, he owns Biometrek, just digitally mapping our throwing motions right now and just seeing what we can tighten up on and improve on and just having that in the back of minds so when we’re doing our individual work [and] when we’re inside the building, making sure that we’re doing everything that we need to do—and I need to do—to be as clean as possible. 

“If you can deliver the ball as consistently as possible, it takes less to think about, and you can focus more on what the defense is presenting. Trying to be as efficient as possible in my throwing motion right now.”

Allen told reporters that this isn’t a broad change of his mechanics akin to what he implemented between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but rather an adjustment sparked by discomfort he felt down the stretch of the 2023 campaign.

“I wouldn’t call it a complete overhaul of my throwing motion, but definitely some things to work on and clean up, especially getting long with my arm and a little bit with my stride,” Allen said. “Just trying to clean that up—anytime you go through something like that, sometimes it’s going to feel really good, sometimes it’s not going to feel really good. It’s just like changing a swing in golf, but as long as you’re trusting it and you keep working on it each and every day, results will come.

“Going back to last year, obviously a couple of little tweaks, whether it was in the shoulder or the elbow, whatever it was, it changes how you throw it just a little bit because your body is shielding itself from pain. Making sure that I’m just kind of getting back to how I’m supposed to throw and what my body is capable of doing.”

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Allen reportedly played through a type I AC joint sprain last season, a mild injury that, expectedly, caused discomfort and prompted him to alter his throwing motion. He also dealt with an elbow injury in his throwing arm down the stretch; both of these ailments, per Allen, showed up on film. With his body now recovered and with a fresh digital mapping of his mechanics in hand, Allen is eager to make tweaks that he feels will allow him to return to the level he expects from himself in the 2024 season.

“I wouldn’t say this time I’m changing, I’m just kind of refining or tweaking and just trying to make better,” Allen said. “I think that, what happened last year, some pain or discomfort, whatever you want to call it, just kind of changed how I was releasing and delivering the ball. That’s what the video showed, that’s what I was feeling. 

“You could kind of see it on tape, I was getting low and wide with the ball. Just getting back to some drills and some work that we do before we get into practice stuff, just subtle reminders of where to hold the ball, how to turn, and where to release it. That’s something that I’ll be working on this next month we have off.”

Kyle Silagyi