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Bills quarterback Josh Allen brushes off Pat Shurmur's backhanded compliment

Bills quarterback Josh Allen drops back to pass

Bills quarterback Josh Allen drops back to pass during the first half against the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 8. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

The Giants did a lot of scouting work on the top quarterbacks who came out in last year’s draft, and on Sunday they’ll get to face one in the regular season for the first time. Josh Allen and the Bills will be at MetLife Stadium to give the Giants a glimpse at what might have been in an alternate universe where they did not pick Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick and instead selected this quarterback.

Not that Pat Shurmur seemed to think that would have happened. Asked for his take on Allen throughout the pre-draft evaluations, Shurmur gave about as tepid of a response as he could without being outright insulting.

“We thought he was a big, strong thrower,” Shurmur said. “A guy that had a chance to be a starter in the NFL, and he has been for them. I think he’s made steady improvements. He’s a very strong-armed guy. He’s helped them win some big games already. Just like any young player, you see where he’ll make mistakes and then correct them.”

Saying that a first-round quarterback has “a chance to be a starter” is hardly high praise. When asked to clarify his stance, Shurmur doubled down.

“I thought he had a chance to be a starter,” he said. “But I was asked what I thought of him, and that’s what we thought of him. He had a chance to be a starter.”

Allen brushed off the backhanded compliment.

"It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to make everybody like me or fall in love with me. Luckily the Bills had different thoughts and different plans with me. And luckily I ended up here.”

Allen has a 6-6 record in 12 career starts, including a comeback victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. He had as many wins in 11 starts last season as the Giants had in 16 games.

This season the Giants will get a look at some of the other quarterbacks they passed over in last year’s draft. They face Sam Darnold with the Jets in Week 10 and potentially Josh Rosen with the Dolphins in Week 15.

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