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Interview: Washington Football QB Kyle Allen

Every week All-Pro Reels will bring you day by day coverage of the Washington Football Team through the eyes, ears and lenses of our content creators.

ASHBURN, VA -- October 21, 2020

On how they performed in third down situations against the Giants:

“I think that was a big emphasis coming in that week that we needed to be better on third down, we needed to extend the field. I think we were 8-of-15 or something like that on third down. It’s obviously a big improvement in that area. I think we played well for a big amount of that game on offense. Obviously, the two turnovers on me are unacceptable. We stalled a couple times in the red zone, too, which I wish we got a little more points out of it. We sustained a lot of long drives, we just needed to get a little more out of them. At the end of the day, it was 19-20. We’ve got to be better.”

On recovering from his fumble to score a touchdown:

“In the moment, it was just a heartbreaker at first. It was the worst thing I could’ve done in that situation. At the same time, there was still time left on the clock. There was still time to go down there and write the situation. I think walking off the field I was just thinking what an idiot I was to fumble right there. But you get on the sideline and [offensive coordinator] Scott [Turner] was in the headset saying: ‘Hey, we’re right back on the field.’ And [QB] Alex [Smith] is right there saying: ‘Hey, we’ve got one more series. We’re right back on the field. We’ve got to go.’ It was just kind of a refocusing, taking a breath and realizing what was there. It’s a new situation. We’re down a touchdown, two-minute drill, let’s go tie the game up.”

On his mentality:

“I wouldn’t call it gunslinger. I think it’s more of a mental toughness than anything. I think you’re right by saying that. I think it’s just developed over my career. If you look back on my career and what I’ve kind of gone through—a highly-touted recruit, go to [Texas] A&M, I battle it out, I get benched, I transfer, I get benched, I go to the league as an undrafted guy where you kind of have to have that mental toughness and battle through those kinds of stuff to even have a chance. It’s kind of just become who I am as a player. I think I’m a lot better just for going through those things. I think it shows up a lot on Sundays now. So, I think the mental side of the game obviously at quarterback from decision making is huge, but at the same time the mental toughness part is just as big, and I pride myself in that area.”

On getting the receivers on the same page:

“I think it’s a group effort. I think when you’ve got young guys or guys that aren’t used to playing, it’s a group effort. Number one, it’s on them to get themselves ready. But number two, it’s kind of on me, it’s on the coaches, those other guys in that room to tell the leaders to just make sure throughout the week that whatever their responsibilities are for the week, they’re 100 percent prepared and they’re ready to go. You see it around the league. You see it in our division with the Eagles. They’ve got a bunch of guys that have never played before, and they’re out there making it work every now and then. For us, it’s a group effort. We’ve got guys that are hurt. We’re going to have guys getting their opportunity. There was a time where it was me getting my opportunity two years ago when I was the third string and two guys in front of me got hurt. I had to be ready and prepared to go. Hopefully, these guys will take advantage of their opportunity. I know the guys that we’re bringing out there and playing have all the talent to do it. We’ll see.”

On RBs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic in the pass game:

“I think they’re really versatile players. I think they’ve been a staple of our offense this whole season. I think we’ll try to keep them on the field as much as we can and try to get them into good situations and try to put them in places where they can be successful. The more they grow and the more they get better—J.D. has been in this league for a while, so he understands it a little. The more AG grows and gets better and gets more comfortable, the more he’s going to be given. They’re two very skilled players, both in the run game and the pass game. We’ll try to give them as much as we can.”

On being a part of the Dallas-Washington rivalry:

“I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch many of them growing up as a kid. I’m a west coast kid. So, I didn’t see many. The Dallas-Washington games weren’t on my TV most of the time. We were getting the Cardinals-Rams game or something like that, usually. But you understand the rivalry. I think all the NFC East teams have a great rivalry against each other, in my opinion. But I think this Dallas game is big in that fact. I think for us, this division is so tight right now and it’s very volatile. I know we’ve been in a tough position and we’ve lost some in a row, but it’s all in front of us. I think we’re hopeful this week, we’re working hard this week and it’s going to be a really good matchup.”

On where he has improved:

“I think just all the practices, all the games, the more you play in this offense. I think this is a really highvolume offense starting with Scott’s dad Norv [Turner] who ran this offense forever in San Diego and even in San Francisco with Alex back in the day. It’s a very high-volume offense, so the more time you spend in it the more you get to nuance with all the plays and the more you feel good about it. For me, it’s just getting the little nuances and all the plays and being able to get deeper in those reads and feeling things earlier in the plays. I think I can feel myself out there on game day compared to last year getting through my reads quicker, understanding where the ball needs to go quicker and understanding when there’s not a play to be made, when to get out of the pocket and make a play. I think it’s just the comfortability of the offense because it is a highvolume offense.”

On how Smith helps him in the offense:

“It’s helpful. I think it’s helpful throughout the whole week. I think even though he’s done everything in his power to get back to the active roster and even when he wasn’t suiting out for game day earlier in the year, he was preparing his ass off. He was having those conversations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays. We’re in there grinding on tape and talking about different looks and talking about different situations. He’s been as locked in as anybody in this building. He’s been extremely helpful for me and everybody in that room.”

On having mistakes to clean up:

“In my opinion, I know the type of player I am and I expect that out of myself. I expect to make those plays. I expect to be able to make those plays without the critical mistakes. I don’t think there’s a comfort in it, I just feel like I let the guys down a little bit. Obviously, interceptions, they’re going to happen. Fumbles are going to happen. But I expect more out of myself if that makes sense.”

On having a coach that makes aggressive coaching decisions:

“I think what he’s trying to do here—and I totally understand it and love that he’s doing it—is we’re trying to create a winning mentality around here. We’re trying to learn how to. I think that was his whole design. He wanted to go for two and wanted to see what we were made of. I think it’s more about the mentality. He said it the whole week and he said it on Sunday: ‘We didn’t come here to do anything else but win. We didn’t come here to tie. We didn’t come here to go into overtime. We didn’t come here to lose. We’re here to win.’ I think it’s an aggressive mentality. He’s been that way ever since I’ve been with him. Sometimes it’s going to work, and sometimes it’s not going to work. You’re going to live with it. I think for him and for this team, it’s just about creating that mentality coming in and thinking you’re going to win, coming in with a plan to win.”

On being one win away from being tied for first in the division:

“It’s amazing. It’s incredible. I think that’s why a lot of times in this building, people just need to take a step back and take a breath and understand where we’re at right now. I know it sucks we’ve lost a bunch in a row. It sucks. Nobody wants to be a part of that. But, when you step back and look at it, we’re one game out of first place. You look at the tape on Monday, you figure out what you did wrong, you wipe it and you go onto the next week. I think we’re a young team. I think we’re growing every week. I think we’re getting better. We’re a very young team that didn’t have an offseason. I know no one else did, but it would’ve been great for us to have those reps and get better and going into training camp and going into the season with how young a team we are. I think you can see week-to-week we’re growing as a team. We’re understanding situations better. We’re getting better. For us to have those growing pains and still at this point be only one game out of first place is incredible. I think as a team we’re looking at that very hopeful and understanding the situation that we’re in.”

On if the team’s youth limits the offense:

“I don’t think we’re limited. I think that we challenge everyone to take on as much as they can on the offense. I think we know our limits, but I wouldn’t say we’re limited. I think we’re a high-volume offense and we challenge everyone week-to-week to understand their responsibilities and understand what we can do. If you put in the work and you study during the week and you know your assignments, you can play at a high tempo in this offense. I know Scott puts a lot of trust in his guys to understand this and learn this high-volume offense because when you can and you can play confidently and fast, it’s great. I think the guys are understanding that, they’re learning that week to week, they’re figuring it out and you can see guys getting more comfortable.”

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