Having quarterbacked the Buffalo Bills to a quartet of Super Bowl appearances while playing alongside Hall of Famers at running back and wide receiver, Jim Kelly knows what's it's like to have a quality supporting cast.
The Hall of Famer and Bills legend believes that current Buffalo QB Josh Allen needs a bit more help around him -- particularly in the running game.
"Josh can't do everything by himself, and I hope they find a way to get a star running back," Kelly told News 10 NBC Rochester this week.
Since Allen was selected by the Bills in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Buffalo hasn't produced a 1,000-yard rusher. A bell-cow back has seemingly been on the Buffalo wish list throughout Allen's tenure, but as Kelly hinted, perhaps it's been the Bills' offensive approach more than anything that's kept opportunities down for their backs.
"I always thought (Devin) Singletary was pretty good -- I just didn't think we used him enough," Kelly said.
Running back James Cook is entering his second season and former Patriots rusher Damien Harris is joining the mix to lead the Bills RB corps. Singletary, who was the Bills' leading rusher in each of his four years with the club, has moved on to the Houston Texans.
While Allen has taken down many of Kelly's single-season passing standards, Kelly's statistical prowess was complemented not just by the presence of future HOF wide receiver Andre Reed (along with James Lofton, Don Beebe and others), but by HOFer Thurman Thomas at running back. Thomas had more than 1,200 yards rushing in each of the Bills' Super Bowl seasons of long ago. While it was a different game then, the Bills' no-huddle offense was ahead of its time but balanced nonetheless.
Buffalo was seventh in the NFL in rushing last season (2,232 yards), but Allen eclipsed 700 rushing yards for his second season in a row and has had more than 400 yards in every year he's played. It's evidence to Kelly's take that Allen can at times be a one-man band when the Bills offense is on stage.
"When you've got a guy as good as Josh Allen, you tend to probably get a little greedy," Kelly said. "You want to use him more than you probably should, but (offensive coordinator) Ken Dorsey is doing a great job."
The Bills' offense has been impressive for a while now, but as Buffalo's best attempts at returning to a Super Bowl have come up short, questions of improvement will continue.
Kelly believes a star running back to help Allen could be the answer. Or perhaps simply more carries for the backs in house already could be of some assistance. More than anything, the all-time Bills great is just looking for a little more help for the Bills' current great under center.
Said Kelly: "I just hope that I would get that running game going to take some of the pressure off him."