There have been many articles and columns penned about Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen over the last three years. He was torn apart in his rookie campaign and lavished with praise last season.
But he didn’t read any of them, and doesn’t plan to start.
In an excellent feature story on Allen published in The Ringer, Allen says he doesn’t buy into the notion that exterior criticism can serve as a powerful motivator. Call it the anti-Kevin Durant approach.
“I go straight past anything about me on Twitter, because I don’t care,” Allen told Kevin Clark. “I care about the team, the locker room, and what they think about me. They see me busting my tail and leading by example and not being vocal until I’ve proven myself. That’s kind of how I’ve done it. Still, the internal motivation I have is that I want to be the best. I feel like I have the tools to make it happen.”
Allen’s carefree attitude stands in stark contrast with other star athletes of his generation, who constantly re-post bad scouting reports and “dunk on the haters.” But the MVP runner-up in 2020 doesn’t want to bog himself down with the noise.
He says he doesn’t need others to motivate him.
“I think I’m very logistical in that aspect,” Allen said. “I understand why people say things. But I am self-driven. I’ve always been that way. In Little League, if, during all-stars, I wasn’t the highest-graded guy, I’m pissed at myself. It is more about the perception I have of myself than what other people have.”
Not everybody on the Bills shares Allen’s short memory, however. General manager Brandon Beane says the negative assessments levied at Allen during his rookie season angered him. He felt the critics were missing the mark.
“I felt like people were looking for him to fail,” Beane said.
Two years later, it’s all positive for Allen. He was the runner-up in MVP voting last season, and is on a mission to lead the Bills to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1993 season.
He has the talent and tools to do it. The Bills, once again, feature one of the best receiving corps in the league, trotting out Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. Last year, Allen completed 69.2% of his passes and threw for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns — to go along with eight rushing scores and a receiving touchdown.