The Buffalo Bills begin their mandatory minicamp in Orchard Park today and all 90 players are expected to be in attendance. OTAs are in the rear-view mirror and training camp is a month away so this week’s camp is the last time we are going to see the players for a while.
The Bills are planning on taking the field at noon on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and media members are able to be in attendance each of the three days (unlike OTAs when only one day a week had media access). Head coach Sean McDermott will speak before practice on Tuesday and Thursday.
Players who miss minicamp can be fined up to $84,435 but no Bills are expected to hold out. Kelvin Benjamin has a year left on his deal and should be angling for a long-term extension but a poor 2017 and recent comments from general manager Brandon Beane make that prospect unlikely at this time and a holdout would be counter-productive.
Here are the storylines we will be watching:
Will Josh Allen get more than third-team reps?
To this point in the offseason program, Nate Peterman and AJ McCarron have been splitting reps with the first-team offense while Allen has been squarely running with the threes. If he's going to get more reps, it will need to come at the expense of the two veterans.
Who will line up opposite of Kelvin Benjamin?
With Zay Jones recovering from surgery, the receiver position is even more up in the air than it might normally be. Whoever is earning rotations with the first-team offense would seem to have an inside track to a roster spot. The team rotated the position heavily in OTAs, so we are looking for someone who is consistently getting more reps.
What is the defensive line rotation?
Is Shaq Lawson on his way out? Is he still splitting reps with street free agent Owa Odighizuwa with Trent Murphy on the sideline recovering from knee surgery? And what is going on the top two defensive tackles, especially with regards to Adolphus Washington? Even without pads, we will get a look inside the rotation.
Which offensive line combination is favored?
Again, without pads on it's more difficult to determine how they are actually playing but is Ryan Groy or Russell Bodine taking first-team reps at center? Is anyone else getting reps at first-team guard beside Vlad Ducasse and John Miller?