Interview: Washington Football QB Kyle Allen

ASHBURN, VA -- August 24, 2020 Washington Football Team quarterback Kyle Allen speaks to the media after practice on Monday morning.

On the competition between him and QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.:

“Dwayne’s a great player. It’s been fun to go out there and play with him and compete with him and see what he’s got, learn some things from him and just work together. He’s been a great player. He’s picked up the system quick. It’s been fun to watch. It’s been good to go out there and compete. I’ve always loved training camp. I’ve always loved OTAs. It’s just a great chance to go out there and compete and try to get each other better. It’s been great so far.”

On Haskins Jr. asking him for knowledge of this offense:

“It’s every now and then. I think it’s a collaborative effort with me and [offensive coordinator] Scott [Turner] and all the other quarterbacks in the room. We’re all just trying to speed this process up because we didn’t have all that OTA time, so we’re all just talking as much as we can, communicating when we’re not on the field, watching all the plays, getting as many mental reps as possible. We’re all on the same page. I think that’s going to be really important this year. The team’s that are communicating the best and are all on the same page will probably have the most success. So, that’s what we’re trying to do the most.”

On watching QB Alex Smith’s recovery:

“It’s incredible. It’s awesome. It’s inspiring to watch. I wasn’t here the last, his first one or two years almost of grinding and seeing him through all the stages. But to see him at the end of the stages and watching his documentary and to see all that he went through and the gruesomeness of the injury and then to see him back out there and have a smile on his face when he takes some reps finally and really see him climb from basically ground zero to all the way up to where he’s close to being where he wants to be. It’s incredible to watch. It’s fun to watch him go out there every day. It’s just pure love of football. It’s really pure.”

On having experience in this offensive system:

“It’s similar. I think there’s going to be a lot of differences. You know Scott, it’s his first full year as OC. It’s the same system, but he’s calling plays so there will be some differences. But, I’m comfortable. I like it. I’m working every day to really just hone in on all the recent stuff. But it’s three years in so I’m comfortable, I’m able to communicate to a lot of players on the field. That’s what I’ve been trying to do the most is just get everyone on the same page, on the same line, so when we go out there on Sunday in a couple weeks we’re all ready to go.”

On having RB Antonio Gibson who was also a former receiver:

“Antonio’s learning fast. He’s starting to play a lot faster and he’s starting to play a lot better. In the last two years, we had [Carolina running back Christian] McCaffrey back there, who is receiver-running back extraordinaire, obviously on another level. It’s nice. It’s been really nice. We have a couple guys who can do that. Really our whole room is really good out of the backfield and running the ball. So, it’s great to see. It’s great to see his progress the last couple weeks. In a short amount of time he’s picked up a lot of things really well.”

On having the ability to spread the offense:

“I think it’s just the way the game’s going. I think a lot of teams are trying to do that. I think they’re trying to get a lot of backs who aren’t just run-down-the-hill backs and pass protection. You want to get them out and spread the field out. I think it gives defenses fits. I think it gives them another thing they need to worry about. So I think you see a lot of teams around the league trying to do that with some of the guys, at least have some guys on the roster that can do that. It’s just the way the game’s going. It’s an important facet to a lot of teams, including ours.”

On the differences between Turner and Norv Turner’s offenses:

“There are not really crazy specifics. I think there’s different things scheme-wise we’re going to get to. I don’t want to get into anything deep, but it’s Scott’s offense now. He’s putting his stamp on it. It’s evolving just like any offense it should every year. It’s evolving with the times. It’s evolving with what happened last year with the trends and the personnel that we have, too. So, I think Scott’s always been really good working around the personnel you have in the room, trying to get the best out of everybody.”

On the receiver room:

“It’s good. I appreciate a receiver room that’s really hard working that wants to get better and go out and competes every day. You see that in a lot of these guys. We’ve got a really young room, but for them to have that attitude of wanting to go out there every day and get better and working hard and fighting for the ball and contesting catches. You see that out of these guys. As a quarterback, that makes you more comfortable going their way. So, I appreciate that out of them. They’re getting better just like everyone else is as we’re going through this sped-up training camp. Everyone’s getting better quickly and catching up quickly.”

On where he is now in training camp compared to previous years:

“It’s interesting, I feel like we’d almost be in preseason game two. We’d almost be 20, 30 practices deep. It’s a lot different. No OTAs as well, so it’s a lot different. It’s a faster learning curve. You can’t make as many mistakes. We’ve got to get it right, right now. There’s a more sense of urgency around the building. I think there’s a more sense of urgency in everyone out on the field because we’re three weeks away from a game, two weeks away from game week. So, I think just the way you approach it, we had a lot of time in Zoom meetings and a lot of time to ourselves. So now it’s time to go. We’ve got to have that urgency.”

On getting a feel for playing with new teammates:

“I think that’s what the challenge is coming in here for everybody and getting a feel for everyone in the offense. I think that’s what we’ve been really trying to hone down. You don’t get that feel from OTAs, those 14 practices and all those phase two practices. When it’s just the offense you just don’t get that type of feel. For me it’s just been trying to really get the body language down of the receivers, of the backs, communication of the o-line. Everything’s sped up, everything’s faster. So, that’s been a big challenge for me. It’s been fun getting to know a new group of guys and then figuring them out.”

On when he felt he mastered this offense:

“I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered the offense. I think from a quarterback perspective you’ve got to be in year 10. It’s Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, late in their career type guys when you’ve mastered the offense. I’m only in year three. There’s a bunch of new looks the defense is throwing at us, there’s a bunch of new things on offense we’re doing this year. I think really mastering an offense is year-to-year. I think you come into it with a mindset that you’re starting from scratch and you’re figuring it out again. For me, yeah there’s more familiarity. I can get through things quicker than I did two years ago. But, from a mastering perspective, I wouldn’t say that at all. I’d say I’m still working every day to get it down to a tee.”

On Head Coach Ron Rivera’s speech about his diagnosis:

“It was tough, man. That was tough. His speech when we were in Carolina and he got fired from there and he gave a speech, there were a lot of guys that were in the room with him for eight, nine years. Me only being there two years but him meaning so much to my career and poured a lot into me, that speech was tough for me and a bunch of other guys in that room. And then on Saturday hearing that news, it just hit hard. I feel for the man. He’s one of the best men I’ve been around. He’s been through so much over the past couple months with everything and he’s handled it incredibly well. I know he’s going to handle this incredibly well and I know we’re all thinking about him. We’re all going to have him in our prayers and his family, in mine too. But he always says he’s got broad shoulders. He can handle it. If there’s anyone that can handle this, it’s him. I feel for him, but I’ve got faith.”

On Rivera returning to his football intensity after his diagnosis:

“That’s him. That’s him. He’s top-notch. He’s world class. We expected him for that, too. We respect him for it. We know he’s going to give us his all no matter what, and we’re going to give him our all, too.”

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