Practice number two for the Buffalo Bills is in the books. As is to be expected at this early stage, the defense seems to be ahead of the offense. There are some areas of concern beginning to flash, but if there are concerns about one grouping, it could also mean that there is a lot to be excited about regarding the other side of that coin. Here are some of the story lines out of camp from day two.
Defensive quick notes
Shaq Lawson was dominant according to multiple reporters. He abused Jordan Mills (per Grif) and Dion Dawkins (per Mark Ludwiczak), with Joe Buscaglia counting three “sacks” for Lawson on the day.
The second-team linebacker group included Matt Milano, Reggie Ragland, and Tanner Vallejo. Jay Skurski also noted that Shamiel Gary and Trae Elston were the second team safeties, so even with Baccari Rambo, the Bills could obviously use some more depth. Jerel Worthy looked great, according to Kevin Massare. Massare was talking about worthy’s penetration and not his dance moves, which were also pretty fantastic.
Plenty of special teams work early
Colton Schmidt was booming punts, including one that Chris Brown had at 62 yards with a 4.66 hang time. There wasn’t much in the way of specifics as to what was happening during the special teams portion, but they definitely focused on it to begin. If Schmidt can consistently kick with that kind of hang time, he may be able to hang on in his quest to remain Buffalo’s punter.
Sammy Watkins snared an off-target throw from Tyrod Taylor with only one hand, showing off his excellent catch radius. Later in the passing session with unguarded receivers, rookie Brandon Reilly made a nice grab on a well-thrown deep ball from T.J. Yates. Andre Holmes came out early for some extra reps, per Grif, and then had a big drop early in the practice session after two drops yesterday. Kevin Massare noted that Watkins absolutely annihilated rookie Tre’Davious White while blocking, driving the rookie around 15 yards downfield. We should probably note they don’t have pads on yet.
Although it seems that Yates had a better day today, hitting Walt Powell on a nice sideline throw where Shareece Wright was beaten badly off the line, Nathan Peterman took some reps with the second team today. In all likelihood, it’s part of the plan to ensure that both backups see reps with as many players as possible. It will be something to monitor going forward. Mike Rodak’s only tweet of the practice session noted that Peterman and Yates were “splitting” reps. Peterman’s day seemed to be pretty up and down, as John Wawrow noted late struggles after Jay Skurski talked about his strong start to the day.
Odds and ends
John Wawrow said that LeSean McCoy looks explosive and elusive. Chris Brown wrote about offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s press conference before practice, focusing on how he’ll allow head coach Sean McDermott to manage McCoy’s reps during the season. Also in that piece was a look about the backup running back role, where Brown speculates that it’s Jonathan Williams’s job to lose, but Dennison mentioned that Mike Tolbert would be in the mix, as well. Tolbert was in a chatty mood today, letting his defensive teammates know that they can’t tackle him after he caught a pass in the flat. John Miller looked “great,” according to Buscaglia. That’s good for him, as Dennison confirmed that there will be an open competition between Miller and Vlad Ducasse for the starting right guard job. There will also be an open competition between Jordan Mills and Dion Dawkins at right tackle.
Oh, and there was this
Sean McDermott, ladies & gentlemen #BillsCamp pic.twitter.com/ljJsNEussz— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) July 28, 2017