Sports

Stefon Diggs Tells Us Where Josh Allen Has Grown The Most During Their Time As Teammates

It’s very hard to find an expert who isn’t picking the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl this year. It’s a strange spot for Buffalo, a franchise that has so long been defined by its inability to get over the final hump in the quest for the first Lombardi Trophy in its lengthy history, but through two weeks, it’s hard to say they’re anything but the favorites. The Bills started the year by pummeling the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, 31-10, before annihilating last year’s 1-seed in the AFC, the Tennessee Titans, on Monday Night Football this week, 41-7.

One of the biggest reasons for the hot start has been Stefon Diggs, who leads the league in receiving touchdowns and is second in receptions and receiving yards to start the year. Diggs played a major role in Buffalo going from a pesky squad in the AFC to one of the best teams in all of football when he joined via a trade ahead of the 2020 campaign, and despite the emergence of other options in the passing game like Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox, Diggs is the No. 1 option in the high-flying Bills offense.

Uproxx Sports caught up with Diggs one day after he torched the Titans — he caught 12 balls for 148 yards and three scores — to discuss his “cool day at the office,” the Bills’ approach this season, his relationship with Josh Allen, his partnership with Snickers, and much more.

I want to start by asking what do you got going on Snickers?

This is my second year of partnering with Snickers, great people over there. We’re rewarding fans for submitting their rookie mistakes, with two chances to win two Super Bowl tickets to Arizona — everybody knows Super Bowl 57’s in Arizona — and a little bit of post-game action, anticipating some fun after that for the winner. And also, they can win each month, we’re doing a thing where they can win some prizes as far as some signed merch, some gift cards to NFLshop.com, can get your favorite jersey, just by submitting your rookie mistake. So, getting rewarded for doing the wrong thing, it’s a good deal.

I know you were an All-Rookie selection, but when you heard about this, and that fans will be highlighting their rookie mistakes, was there one from your first year in the NFL that you thought of?

No, I didn’t think of anything specific. But I do have a couple of, like, in game, I had some mistakes, I ran a couple wrong routes here and there and some things like that. But I always just sharpen them, bring my guys food and stuff like that. So at least off the field, I was doing the right stuff.

Yeah, so let’s talk ball. There’s one obvious place I got to start, which is how you do feel after last night?

It was alright, it was alright. It was a cool day at the office.

I have a lot of friends who are really big Bills fans, and I was talking to them before the game, and so many of them were more amped up for last night than most games. And they said it’s because after how intense and competitive last year’s game with the Titans was, they really wanted to see you guys win this. Was that the same mentality for you guys, or was it we’re not thinking about last year, we’re focused on what this week is?

It was more so focusing on a week ahead of us. Last year’s [game], it’s hard to hold on to those things, especially because, yeah, we lost, and it was early in the season as well. We had a loss at the end of the season that I probably will say is more something to think about than that.

But it’s also the regular season, you’re trying to stack wins each and every week. So trying to ignore the noise and kind of just focus on, hey, this is a brand new team. We’re a different team than we were last year, coming in with the confidence that everybody is doing their job, doing that one 11, and we’re trying to win, and we’re trying to win in convincing fashion. By that, you got to be consistent, and you got to work hard.

And Von said something interesting after the game, which was “we have an attitude of domination.” What does that mean to you and how you approach games, practice, your day-to-day, whatever else?

You always got to expect to win, and you expect to win because of your preparation. If you prepared the right way, you did everything you were supposed to do in your power, you at least put yourself in the best situation to win. But then from there, you got to take control, you got to put it in your own hands. We’ve got a team full of guys that, if you’re doing your one 11, if you’re winning your one-on-one battle, it’s gonna be some good things happening out there. We got a lot of talent on this team, and part of having a lot of talent is spreading it out and letting guys make plays, getting guys comfortable. Everybody’s just doing their job at this point.

You’re a couple weeks into the season. You have a new offensive coordinator in Ken, but he’s a guy who has been around your team for a while. Has he brought anything new or different? Or did he come in and say “we’re good at what we do, I don’t want to mess with that”?

He was around a team already, he was already a part of this team. It wasn’t like we brought a guy that didn’t know anybody or didn’t have a relationship — I knew Ken already, I knew coach Dorsey, coach Dorsey’s a great guy. We used to talk a little junk when he was in the quarterback room, but I still have the same amount of respect and love for him that I had when he was the quarterback coach. He’s around those quarterbacks and those guys that help you get the ball, so you better be nice to those guys.

But now that he’s the OC, I got complete trust in him. He’s over there drawing it up, he’s figuring out ways to do XYZ, and I’m just part of the show now, I’m just trying to be a part of his show now. He’s done pretty well, I know it’s still early, but I’m just happy that we’ve got so much talent that’s being utilized.

What’s it like going out there every day — in practice, games, whatever — with all that talent around you at wide receiver, at tight end, running back, offensive line, and with a quarterback who can get everybody on the ball? Is it just a pure iron sharpens iron attitude among you guys every day?

Every day. I feel like every day, it’s a competition level not only with yourself, but the people next to you. I refuse to let anybody slack, you just see these guys how hard they work me, I’m like, “y’all won’t catch me slacking, because one thing about being accountable, the only way I can hold you accountable is because I hold myself accountable.” It’s more like an everyday grind, and we know what we got to do: We gotta go. [Jordan Poyer] always comes to me before warmups and is like, Stef, we gotta go, we gotta. He screams it at the top of his lungs, we gotta go. And I’m like, you’re damn right.

And on that quarterback specifically, I don’t know if there is another quarterback and wide receiver duo in the league I like watching more than you two, because there’s just so much joy.

Yeah.

Was that a day one thing and what is about the two of you, both on and off the field, that has made that relationship so strong?

It was for sure a day one thing. I gotta attribute it to God, especially, just aligning where I am in my life now and in the past. He makes no mistakes, and meeting a guy like that, bro, I never want to be without this guy. He’s good in my book. I love him as a brother, I’m always pulling for him, he’s a hell of a talent, and everybody gets to see it. That’s my guy, man.

You joined the Bills right before Josh had his monster, breakout year, what is the area where you’ve seen the most growth from him from that first day?

Him being mature, him making good decisions consistently. Him making plays was already in his DNA, I think he sharpened up his arm a lot, too, like I’d be trying to tell him, “man, you got to take a little bit off that throw, you’re throwing it too hard.” He has just that special talent that, some things you can coach and then some things you can’t. And I think he has that talent that you’ll just be like this, “let me just sit back and watch him.” And I can’t sit back and watch, I gotta try to get open, but sometimes, I get caught up in like, damn, that’s a good quarterback.

I could ask about so many different guys, but the one I want to ask about, didn’t play last night, is Gabe Davis. Like I said, I know a ton of Bills fans, everyone loved him and then the nation learned about him with that game against the Chiefs. What is it about him that makes him so dangerous next to you, Josh, Dawson, Devin, everyone else in that offense?

He meshes well. He does everything — he blocks extremely well, he works extremely hard, he gets a lot of passes in, he has great hands, he’s a big receiver. He’s one of those guys that, look, you better look out for him, you gotta watch out for him. He got nicked up in these past couple of days, but he’s a guy, I guarantee, if this was a playoff game, he would have been out there. It was a regular season game, they probably held him back a little bit just as a precaution because we need him. I feel like that’s a guy that we need. I know I anticipate him being back this upcoming week, but that’s like little bro, and little bro’s coming into his own. I told him last night, look, you ain’t playin’ now, some of those balls, I gotta get a couple, steal ’em while I can. And he just said, bro, I got you, I’ll be back soon. So, I look forward to his return.

I’m fascinated in the Bills Super Bowl talk and whether that’s something you guys hear. Is that something you pay attention to, do you ignore it? What goes through your head when everyone on ESPN says “I think the Bills are winning the Super Bowl”?

People talk about it more than we talk about it, 100 percent. That’s the last thing that … I don’t bring it up in conversation, like, “damn, we’re gonna win a Super Bowl, I’m gonna win a Super Bowl.” Nah, that’s not in front of mind, front of my mind is what I’m doing this week and everything that’s in front of me. Don’t play with any food that’s in front of you, and your next meal will be your next meal, but worrying about the future too far ahead? Live in the present, be present, and embrace the present, right now is where we are. We can’t control where we’re gonna be, but we can control how we’re gonna get there, and the type of effort and the amount of effort we put in.

A colleague of mine spoke to Trevon recently and he said “I can ask him about stuff about receivers, and he can ask me stuff about corners or whatever looks or things we see.” What are the sorts of things that you get out of talking to your brother who plays the position on the field that is designed to stop you?

I’m asking him what is he looking at, like, when you see this right here, tell me what are you looking at? Tell me what routes you like. He knows that I can run any route in the book, but what do you like, what do you know? So like, I’ll give him that, and then with receivers, I’ll always give him body language, lean, fast guys — if he ain’t that fast, he gonna have to show you that he’s fast. Initially, guys can run by you, but it’s not that many blazers, everybody pretty much run the same speed. So, I just tried to give him the little things and the minor details, because corner is detail oriented. Somebody like me, I play a little bit unorthodox, I play with a different split, I play with a different route, I just do things differently so people don’t catch a bid on what I like to do. But for him, a receiver gotta run those routes, he’s got to be at the same depth, he’s got to be able to leverage everybody else. I think I got a little bit more freedom, so I try to give him the stuff for the vanilla guys so you can get you some.

And last one: 3-0 Terps vs. 3-0 Michigan this week. What do you think’s gonna happen?

It’s gonna be an exciting time. Michigan is a hell of a football team, but I believe in coach Locks. He got some good things going over there, get those guys the ball. He’s gonna keep making things exciting over there at Maryland.

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