Bills QB Josh Allen tweaks throwing motion to up efficiency

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is working to improve his throwing motion by tweaking it with the goal of "mechanically getting [the throwing motion] as efficient as possible" as he heads into his seventh NFL season.

Allen said Tuesday after the Bills' first mandatory minicamp practice that focusing on improving his throwing motion is the part of his game that he is working on this offseason but made it clear that he is not changing the way he throws, just trying to make it better.

"I wouldn't call it a complete overhaul of my throwing motion, but definitely some things to work on and clean up," Allen said. "Getting long with my arm and a little bit with my stride. So just trying to clean that up. And 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 your swing in golf, as long as you're trusting it and you keep working on it, each and every day results will come."

As he has in previous years, Allen has been working with Chris Hess, owner of movement analysis company Biometrik. After OTAs last Tuesday, Allen and quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw a variety of passes to wide receiver Chase Claypool and other members of the Bills staff as cameras surrounded the quarterbacks, tracking their every movement and digitally mapping the throws.

The quarterback said that the mapping shows what they can improve and that once he has that down consistently, it gives him less to think about and allows more thought for what the defense is presenting.

Improving the throwing motion isn't unique to Allen, and he said that he thinks there's inefficiencies that every quarterback can find.

"You show me the perfect throw, I'll tell you something wrong with it probably," Allen said. "So just making sure I'm crossing the T's and dotting the I's there."

Last year, Allen, 28, suffered a right shoulder injury in a Week 6 win over the New York Giants but did not miss a game -- and hasn't missed one since his rookie year. At the end of the season, Allen said that the injury got better as the year went on, but it wasn't until the last few weeks that it didn't bother him at all. Allen said he still had to tweak how he was throwing the ball. Offseason surgery was not needed.

Part of Allen's work this offseason is getting back to how he was throwing and not sticking to the mechanics that were used to protect himself from the injury. He noted that on the tape, he could see that he was getting low and wide with the ball last year, with some of the work done now including drills that serve as "subtle reminders of where to hold the ball, how to turn and where to release it," and that he'll continue to work on his mechanics in the time off before training camp.

"[The injuries change] how you throw it just a little bit because your body is shielding itself from pain," Allen said. "So, 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. And sometimes it takes a little longer, sometimes it doesn't. So again, just trusting what the data [is] saying right now and just trying to feel it above all else."

His throwing form has changed so much over the years, Allen said when he sees videos of himself playing at Wyoming -- describing his form as "night and day" in terms of changes -- pop up on YouTube, "I'm like, 'Who's that throwing the ball?' And it's me. It's kind of gross to look at it sometimes, but I don't think it's as gross anymore."

In addition to his own personal game, the test for Allen this offseason will also come from adjusting the offense with coordinator Joe Brady to the new faces around him. The only wide receiver currently on the roster that Allen has targeted in his career is Khalil Shakir (63 targets or 2% of Allen's career pass attempts). While there were some visible frustrations during Tuesday's minicamp with the offense slow to connect early in the day, the offense did put together a solid series towards the end.

Allen emphasized the time still ahead of the Bills.

"Making sure that we're going to meet during the summer break that we have here, and then in the training camp, just make sure that we're talking and have an open line of communication with routes and concepts," Allen said. "What I see, what they see, what they feel and just trying to listen and just try to improve every day."