Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills are two quarterbacks in two very different parts of their respective careers. In an offseason that is wholly unique and a season on the way that will also surely be one-of-a-kind, these two quarterbacks have fairly different approaches in how they are preparing their teams.
Madelyn Burke: As the NFL has navigated a virtual 2020 offseason, players at different points in their careers have adapted in varying ways. In today's Daily Cover, Albert Breer looks at two quarterbacks, Josh Allen and Matt Ryan, and examines the things that they're doing differently to make up for the time they're losing in the spring. Albert, these two guys are at very different points in their career. How would they approach this unique offseason differently?
Albert Breer: What I think was so interesting about it, Madelyn, is every quarterback sort of been handed a blank slate and they are all responsible for getting their teammates together. And I think most of them have sort of approach it as this is a chance for us to get ahead of everybody else. And I think you do see different challenges in front of different guys. And Matt Ryan and Josh Allen have approached this a little bit differently. You know, Matt has the advantage of having a lot of teammates that live right there in Atlanta and he's taking advantage of that. And they've basically re-created an offseason program now. Normally, there'd be a nine week offseason program with about six weeks of throwing. When all is said and done, they're going to have eight weeks in the books, starting four weeks in Atlanta today, three weeks out in California, another week back in Atlanta before they get to summer. So that's more throwing than they would have in a normal offseason program. And then on top of that, he plans on getting the guys together for another two weeks after the Fourth of July. And so Matt Ryan really taken the bull by the horns and said, we're going to do more than we would normally do. We're going to be ahead of everybody else because of this. Then I think on the other end of the spectrum, you've got Josh Allen, who's got the challenge of playing in Buffalo, where not a lot of guys live on the off in the off season. So he's focused more on relationship building and being and finding a way to get closer to his guys. And it's, of course, important with the new guy coming in like Stefon Diggs, but it's really worked with a lot of teammates where he's done things like playing Call of Duty with them or just texting and calling them when it's not necessary to try and build those relationships. And it really kind of built up to this guy's weekend that they had down in Florida, where he brought all the guys out for sushi. The quarterbacks went and played golf together. All these guys got together from different parts of the country to meet up in Florida. And I really think it did. You know, it does speak well of Josh Allen that about 20 guys wound up showing that that showing up to that because they didn't need to be there in the middle of the off season. And so, you know, I think that's a sign, at least to Josh, that this is all working. So two different guys, two different approaches, two separate sets of challenges. But I think the idea for every quarterback is exactly the same, which is there's a blank slate in front of me now, and I use it as I can to try to get ahead of everybody else.
Madelyn Burke: Well, and you mentioned the importance of relationship building, which is obviously key, but also from a football perspective. I mean, Matt Ryan, obviously the veteran guy who's been around it, has seen these offseason programs so much that it's more kind of familiar to him. Do veterans have a leg up in a situation like that?
Albert Breer: Well, I mean, if you want to look at 2011, which is like the closest facsimile we have to this because of the lockout taking away the off season that year, you can see if you look at the Super Bowl, teams with experienced coaches and quarterbacks got there. It was the Giants with Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning and the Patriots with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. But there were other teams that were able to make it work. And if you look at the other teams that made the playoffs, the Niners, Jim Harbaugh was in his first year as a coach, as a head coach there, the Denver Broncos, John Fox, first year head coach, Tim Tebow, second year quarterback. The Bengals made it to the playoffs with Andy Dalton in his rookie year. And so experience does matter in this situation. But I think creativity can be just as important. And that's these quarterbacks have to do they've got to be creative in finding ways to use the three months of the offseason that would normally be occupied by OTAs and mini camps to their advantage. And so I think every single guy is trying to do that in a different way. And I can tell you this, Madelyn, when we get to October, November and some team is out there at 10 and one or nine and two, I guarantee you we're gonna be hearing about the stuff that they were doing in May and June when no one was really asking them to as a way of getting ahead.