Seems like Bill Belichick is now buying the Josh Allen ‘craze’

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When the Patriots played the Bills on Monday Night Football last December, ESPN announcers Brian Griese and Louis Riddick declared during the broadcast that Bill Belichick wasn’t nearly as high on Buffalo rising star quarterback Josh Allen as the rest of the football world.

“He didn’t buy into the Josh Allen craze,” Griese declared, apparently based on ESPN’s production meeting with Belichick.

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“There was no question that Bill really got fired up when talking to him about potentially being swept, Josh Allen being one of the MVP favorites," Riddick said. "He was not having any of it.”

Well, Belichick seems to have changed his tune a bit – at least publicly -- nearly a year later as the Patriots prepare to travel to Buffalo this coming Monday night for another primetime ESPN matchup with Allen and the Bills.

“His improvement has just been tremendous from where it was three years ago,” Belichick said, cutting off a reporter’s first Allen-related question of the coach’s Wednesday press conference at Gillette Stadium. “Completion percentage, passer rating, decision making, production, it’s just gone…it’s risen at a really remarkable rate.

"It’s just remarkable how good he has become. Last year, this year’s built on that. What it was when he came into the league. But he’s just made tremendous improvement. Has a lot of command of the offense. They audible a lot. They change things. They obviously have a lot of confidence in him. He handles it well at the line. Rarely run a bad play or where they run into a bad look or a blitz or something like that. He doesn’t get fooled much by anything. It’s really impressive to watch how he’s developed there.”

This came after Belichick referenced Allen in his opening remarks, saying the Buffalo offense “starts with Allen, he can do it all.”

Allen has led the Bills to a 7-4 mark this season by completing 274 of his 410 passes (66.8 percent) for 3,071 yards with 25 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions for a 99.1 passer rating. He’s also second on the Bills with 383 yards rushing with three touchdowns on 69 attempts.

Even more impressively, he’s apparently turned Belichick from a doubter to a believer in less than a year.

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