Brown, Beasley happy to be with Allen

Beane says new cen­ter Morse fits the bill as a com­mu­ni­ca­tor Bills’ new­est wide­outs chose Buf­falo be­cause of QB sit­u­a­tion

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - By Mark Gaughan NEWS SPORTS RE­PORTER By Jay Skurski NEWS SPORTS RE­PORTER

The Buf­falo Bills were think­ing of Josh Allen when they de­cided to make Mitch Morse the high­est paid cen­ter in the NFL.

Morse was think­ing about Allen when he de­cided he liked the idea of mov­ing from Kansas City to Buf­falo in free agency.

The two sides ex­plained how they were on the same wave­length about the team’s big quar­ter­back Thurs­day when Morse was in­tro­duced as the new leader of the Bills’ of­fen­sive line.

“It’s very im­por­tant to have a good cen­ter, not only one that can phys­i­cally play but one that’s a very good com­mu­ni­ca­tor,” Bills Gen­eral Man­ager Beane said. “You’ve got to ad­just, and a good cen­ter takes a lit­tle bit of the pres­sure off the quar­ter­back, with all the twists and stunts and all that’s go­ing on; guys dis­guis­ing com­ing up, pre-snap.”

“I was in Carolina a good while, and we had Ryan Kalil,” Beane said of the Pan­thers’ All-Pro cen­ter. “And


Josh Allen wasted lit­tle time in show­ing his two new­est re­ceivers how ex­cited he is to have them as team­mates with the Buf­falo Bills.

Both John Brown and Cole Beasley said dur­ing their in­tro­duc­tory press con­fer­ence Thurs­day that Allen was the first per­son from the or­ga­ni­za­tion to call them af­ter they reached a con­tract agree­ment with the team. Not text, mind you, but ac­tual, old-school phone call. “He was just amped up about it,” Brown said of his talk with Allen. “I was glad to hear from him. Him be­ing a young quar­ter­back, you don’t see most young guys do that.”

Both Beasley and Brown said Allen’s pres­ence is a big rea­son they chose to come to Buf­falo. The Bills first pur­sued Brown in the 2018 off­sea­son, but he elected to sign in Bal­ti­more to play with a vet­eran quar­ter­back in Joe Flacco.

“I didn’t know what the quar­ter­back sit­u­a­tion would be here,” he said. “Now that I see they have a great quar-


ter­back, we can do a lot of things to­gether. I know that he’s ac­cu­rate, he can run the ball, he leaps over a lot of guys. I’m just ex­cited to work with him.”

Said Beasley, “Quar­ter­back was def­i­nitely a big fac­tor. He def­i­nitely has a lot of arm tal­ent and abil­ity. I’m just happy to be here and help him do his thing. I love that (Allen called), man. It’s just the will­ing­ness to get bet­ter and work. You can al­ways get bet­ter no mat­ter what stage you are in in your ca­reer, and you can tell – I could hear it in his voice through the phone – he was very eager and hun­gry to get bet­ter and he wants to do this thing the right way and turn this thing around.”

Brown and Beasley give the Bills a pair of re­li­able, vet­eran re­ceivers – some­thing the team lacked in 2018. Led by Kelvin Ben­jamin, Buf­falo’s wide­outs largely dis­ap­pointed a year ago. The group, though, has been trans­formed in the past few days, with Brown and Beasley join­ing holdovers Zay Jones and Robert Fos­ter to form a promis­ing top four op­tions.

Brown said the Bills’ de­sire to reach a deal with him again this off­sea­son, af­ter he re­jected their pur­suit a year ago, showed him “af­ter you go some­where else and that team is still af­ter you, there’s got to be some­thing good about this place.”

Both re­ceivers had ro­bust mar­kets this off­sea­son. Brown said he had “plenty of op­tions,” while Beasley said he chose the Bills over the Pa­tri­ots and re­turn­ing to the Cow­boys.

“Re­ally, I just wanted to be in a place where I had more op­por­tu­ni­ties, and this seemed like the place for me to be,” he said. “That’s re­ally the main rea­son why I came here. Ev­ery­body makes a big deal of money. I mean, money’s im­por­tant, but re­ally I just wanted op­por­tu­ni­ties, man. I felt like I could do more and I wanted to be in that po­si­tion and I feel like this is the place for that.”

Beasley hasn’t been shy in the past about ex­press­ing his opin­ion that he’d like to see the ball more. For ex­am­ple, he said in Jan­uary the Cow­boys’ front of­fice “dic­tated” where the ball went.

“That was just me an­swer­ing a ques­tion hon­estly,” he said. “I still feel like it’s the truth, but maybe I shouldn’t have said it be­cause of the at­ten­tion it brought and I’m not a guy that wants and needs a ton of at­ten­tion. But I’ve ob­vi­ously got to un­der­stand where I’m at pro­fes­sion­ally and maybe all that at­ten­tion I shouldn’t bring.”

Beasley and Brown are sim­i­lar in size, but they’ll play dif­fer­ent roles for the Bills. Beasley is a pure slot re­ceiver, while Brown is a ver­ti­cal threat.

“He does a great job with his routes of not sell­ing. He doesn’t give away to the de­fender which way he’s go­ing,” Gen­eral Man­ager Bran­don Beane said of Beasley. “He had, of all re­ceivers, the quick­est, im­me­di­ate, out-of-the-cut sep­a­ra­tion. We just felt like he was a de­pend­able guy. Third down, you saw (Cow­boys quar­ter­back) Dak (Prescott) go­ing to him a lot, on what I call the money downs.”

Beane said Beasley’s abil­ity to run pre­cise routes to the right depth of tar­get makes him “a quar­ter­back’s best friend.”

“Be­cause he knows if a guy is sup­posed to go 5 yards, I can trust he’s go­ing to be there when I plant my back foot and hit it,” the GM said. “I would say he’s a very de­pend­able slot, he’s a proven pro. And he’s a vet­eran. He’ll add a vet­eran pres­ence to that room.”

Brown has 4.34-sec­ond speed in the 40-yard dash, but jokes that he thinks Allen can over­throw him.

“I don’t say that about a lot of quar­ter­backs, but I think he can,” he said.

Brown’s pro­duc­tion in Bal­ti­more dipped af­ter the Ravens switched to rookie quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

“The of­fense changed due to the quar­ter­back sit­u­a­tion,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, it was just about win­ning. (Com­ing here) I think we’ll fit in good. We’re go­ing to come ready to work. Just with the other re­ceivers, I see them guys mak­ing a lot of plays, and we’ll all fit in good to­gether.”

Derek Gee/Buf­falo News

Cole Beasley lis­tens to a ques­tion from the podium in Or­chard Park. The Bills in­tro­duced their new sign­ings Thurs­day.

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