The Buffalo Bills put on pads for the first time today at St. John Fisher College. Day three of training camp saw some good, some bad, and a whole lot of in between. There were some big storylines and some underlying things we will highlight below.
Josh Allen impresses
The Bills quarterbacks have been under a microscope during this quarterback competition and none more than the physically gifted rookie. He has been mixing in with the starters here and there and today impressed observers with his risk taking and arm strength.
“Two completions for Allen to start. One over the middle to Charles Clay. The other a swing pass to Shady. Other than the interception earlier, he’s looked really good today so far,” tweeted WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio.
Josh Allen last three throws:— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) July 28, 2018
1. Money toss over defender to small window for TD to Kaelin Clay
2. Beauty back shoulder toss complete to Cam Phillips
3. INT at goalline after not getting ball over DB. UDFA Ryan Carter nice pick.
“Josh Allen is making throws today that the other two quarterbacks don’t even think of making. His best day of camp so far,” said Dan Fetes of WROC in Rochester.
“Allen was definitely been the most consistent QB on the day. Minus the [interception] and a few throwaway balls early, he was making smart, consistent and challenging throws. Impressive to see from the rookie,” added WIVB’s Jenna Harmer.
@JoshAllenQB ➡️ @CALiboy4. pic.twitter.com/qR6B23xoP6— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) July 28, 2018
WGR’s Nate Geary and The Athletic’s Jon Ramsey both agreed it will be tough to keep Allen on the bench if he’s playing this well (and this much better than the other QBs).
Nick O’Leary is first camp injury
O’Leary was hobbled early in practice with a foot or ankle injury but returned to the field only to leave with trainers again later in the session. We don’t have official word yet, but with Monday and Tuesday off the field, it wouldn’t surprise us at all if they held him out of Sunday’s practice.
Kelvin Benjamin left with trainers at one point but returned with no limitations.
Battles to watch
Russell Bodine was back at starting center today, relegating Ryan Groy to the second team. They have been alternating days.
Trent Murphy was called a “three-down defensive end” by head coach Sean McDermott before practice and has taken every rep at left defensive end in camp, meaning Shaq Lawson is fighting for a backup role.
Kelvin Benjamin, Malachi Dupre, Jeremy Kerley, Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, and Brandon Reilly all got some snaps with the first-team offense today according to Mike Rodak of ESPN. Zay Jones remains sidelined. Geary said Dupre was a “mainstay”.
We discussed Allen in depth above, but Nathan Peterman was the man working with the first-team most often on Saturday and he was disappointing according to multiple reporters.
McCarron, working with the second-team, was safe most of the day. Ramsey said he “looked a good deal better than Peterman” so far.
Odds and ends
- John Miller looked good in the first day wearing pads. A good sign for the guard looking to re-crack the starting lineup after a down year.
- Zay Jones was working with trainers on the sideline again today.
- We haven’t heard Vontae Davis’ name enough, but he has been steady including tight coverage on Kelvin Benjamin, leading to a bobbled Josh Allen pass and a pick by Jordan Poyer.
- The Bills spent a good portion of today’s practice working on pre-snap checks, motion, and keys to help the QBs identify coverage.
Buffalo returns to the practice field Sunday morning at 8:45 for Christmas in July, the first theme practice of camp. You need a free ticket to enter and those that come through the gates will receive an ornament.