The Lesean McCoy days in Buffalo are over. In 2019, it’s on to a new era at the running back position for the Buffalo Bills. Devin Singletary is only a rookie, and right now he is between two backs with experience. It would be foolish to assume any one back will takeover a three-down role in this offense. Each back brings their own special talent to the table.
Frank Gore is a grinder: durable, proficient, and ageless. According to ESPN, in 2018 41% of his carries gained 5 or more yards, 2nd best in the NFL among running backs with 150+ carries. He and Singletary figure to split some early-down work. But T.J Yeldon is in Buffalo because of his prowess in the receiving game. The former Jaguar is going to be used in that role because he is so talented there. He has eclipsed 50 catches twice in four seasons, which is impressive considering who his quarterback was. He was kept on the roster to be Josh Allen’s safety blanket.
It’s already been stated that the Bills want Allen to start taking the check-down option and stop with the hero plays. With Yeldon, it makes Allen’s job much easier. Allen can safely dump off to Yeldon and know that Yeldon will do some hard work. Yeldon backed up the talk with an impressive 8.9 yards per reception in 2018. If Allen has a consistent safety blanket that will get him yards and first downs, it will help him develop into a more complete passer.
With the preseason eye test and his history, it’s hard to remember the last time the Bills had a receiver like Cole Beasley. All he does is get open. If Josh Allen is going to develop as anything more than a deep threat thrower, Beasley will guide him towards being a complete QB. He’s not flashy, he isn’t a heavy speed threat, he just gets open. Having a guy that can get open in the middle of the field, at medium depth, who has a nose for getting first downs is extremely valuable. It won’t show up in the stats or scoresheet but giving Allen an open target who can get first downs is going to catapult Allen’s development.
It’s one of the rare instances in football where stats and metrics don’t apply. Beasley knows how to get open and knows how to find the sticks. The Bills have lacked this receiver for so many years. Beasley is going to take Josh Allen to another level in 2019 and beyond.