Being a franchise quarterback is more than about the player’s performance on the field. It means representing your team in the best way possible at all times. Recently, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen received an opportunity to perform as his team’s franchise quarterback off the field, and he did not disappoint. He was able to convert a Miami Dolphins supporter into a Buffalo Bills fan. How did he do it?
Josh Allen’s 2019 rookie season
Coming out of the University of Wyoming, Allen was one of the hottest quarterback prospects being considered. At the NFL Combine, he posted the following measurements:
- 40-yard dash: 4.75 seconds
- Broad jump: 119 inches
- Shuttle: 4.40 seconds
- Three cone drill: 6.90 seconds
- Vertical leap: 33.5 inches
Though he saw Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold selected ahead of him, Allen was the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. During his rookie year, he played in 12 games and started 11. Allen threw for 10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 2,074 passing yards, and 169 completions. His completion percentage was low at 52.8%.
While those numbers were underwhelming, the Bills are still all-in on Allen in year two. He’ll be the team’s unquestioned starter heading into training camp. If Allen’s run-in with a fan at a recent training camp session is any indication, then he takes his role as the team’s franchise quarterback and ambassador quite seriously.
How NFL training camp differs from regular-season games
Before diving into Allen’s fan encounter, it’s important to understand how the NFL training camp experience varies from the NFL regular season, especially for NFL fans.
One of the best parts about NFL training camp — and one way in which it differs greatly from the experience of attending a regular-season game — is the fans’ increased access to the players. Autograph sessions are much more common, and the fans can almost reach out and touch the players from where their sitting. One great example of this is New York Jets’ first-round draft pick Quinnen Williams taking a few minutes to goof around with fans after a practice session.
During a regular-season game, there’s a high degree of separation. Stadium seating is located far away from the field of play, and opportunities for autographs or fan-player contact are limited. Training camp brings the NFL experience much closer to the average fan for a fraction of the cost of attending a game.
Allen took advantage of this proximity to the fan base recently to turn one Dolphins fan into a Bills fan.
How Josh Allen helped convert a Miami Dolphins fan
While Allen is known mostly for his big arm, he also may have a future in sales. He recently sold one young fan on what will probably be a lifetime membership as a Buffalo Bills fan.
According to NewYorkUpstate.com, Allen took time out of a recent practice to convince someone in the crowd at training camp to switch AFC East teams. All it took was noticing the boy’s apparel.
It was clear from the expression on the fan’s face that he had absolutely no desire to see his Stills jersey ever again. Allen still has a lot of room for improvement as a player. But as a representative of the Buffalo Bills, he’s doing just fine.