Sunday’s practice started off with some injury updates for the Buffalo Bills, and progressed to include some answers to questions regarding the depth chart. Some veterans were given a lighter workload today, providing some younger players a chance to show their stuff. Here are the major story lines from day four of camp.
Charles Clay among those held out of practice
While we knew early that Charles Clay would not practice, we learned once practice began that Brandon Tate would be held out, as well. He was listed as day to day after yesterday’s practice session. Marcell Dareus missed his second consecutive practice with a tweaked hamstring. Ronald Darby was limited with an ankle injury. None of the injuries appear to be anything serious, and the team escaped today’s workout without further injury.
Tough day for Yates
T.J. Yates continued to struggle on the day, throwing a brutal interception to Matt Milano during 7-on-7 work. While he also threw a nice deep ball on a post route to Rod Streater (more on him below), the negatives seem to be outweighing the positives with the veteran.
Lawson continues great camp
The buzz about Shaq Lawson, the Bills’ 2016 first-round draft choice, continues to grow. He has been an absolute monster against the first- and second-team offensive tackles. Both Jordan Mills and Dion Dawkins are probably having nightmares about him each night. He put a filthy move on Mills that would have given him a free shot in the backfield. Overall, the second-year man seems to be ready to break out in Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defense.
Rod Streater looking great
The veteran appeared to be an afterthought in the wide receiver pecking order, which has almost exclusively included a top-three of Sammy Watkins, Zay Jones, and Andre Holmes, but Streater has done well for himself in the early parts of camp. The former member of the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers made a nice grab on the aforementioned post pass from T.J. Yates, and has been generally impressive. Look for him to continue earning more opportunities as camp goes forward. It would not be surprising to see him as the 4th receiver ahead of Brandon Tate.
Linebacker shuffling today
With veterans like Ramon Humber and Lorenzo Alexander taking some reps off with the first team, there were plenty of juggling with the linebacking corps this morning. Tanner Vallejo, the second linebacker drafted by the Bills in April, was working in with both the first team and the second team. He also was working at both WILL and SAM, so the coaching staff apparently wants to cross-train him at both spots. Gerald Hodges, who had been working mostly with the third team as the middle linebacker, worked with the second unit some today.
Logan Thomas running with ones
With Clay sitting out, it was Logan Thomas who ran most often with the first unit at tight end. Jason Croom worked in for Clay during the first camp practice, but Thomas even caught a pass from Tyrod Taylor that was thrown...wait for it...down the seam in the middle of the field. Twitter nearly imploded in Bills-land. Thomas is a special athlete, so if he can prove that he is able to handle the tight end position at the professional level while limiting any mistakes that would come from inexperience, he can definitely find his way onto the roster.
Odds and Ends
Mike Tolbert is a beast, and poor Kevon Seymour, who was starting in place of Ronald Darby today, found out the hard way. He tried to tackle “the Toldozer” one on one. It did not end well for Seymour, as Tolbert ran right through him. He’s a big, tough dude who could definitely carve out a role behind LeSean McCoy this season...The passing game seems to be struggling, both due to inaccurate passes and dropped passes, with the majority of the drops coming from Andre Holmes. Mike Rodak noted the struggles on the whole, while John Wawrow focused on the difference in apparent chemistry between Tyrod Taylor/Zay Jones and Taylor/Sammy Watkins. He appears to be on the same page with Jones, while he doesn’t appear to be clicking with Watkins very well. It’s still early.