The first week of Buffalo Bills training camp came to a close on Sunday morning, and those four days of practice have left fans and reporters with plenty to talk about.
Here are the biggest stories from each day of practice.
Last season, Bills fans grew weary of former offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s predictable and unoriginal play-calling. When Brian Daboll left Alabama and replaced Dennison as the Bills’ offensive coordinator back in January, expectations were high and fans hoped that he could add some creativity to a previously dull offense.
On Day 1 of training camp, Daboll did not disappoint.
Of course, people in attendance were only able to see a small portion of the playbook, but it looked promising. Tight ends and running backs were split out wide, some run-pass options from Alabama’s offense last season were visible, and a focus on isolating receivers was apparent.
Some believe that the team’s success hinges upon an innovative scheme that will help to mask the inefficiencies of an unaccomplished offense. Day 1 of training camp instilled some confidence in them.
DiMarco in slot. That's new.— Buffalo Rumblings (@BuffRumblings) July 26, 2018
Straight out of the Bama playbook from last season pic.twitter.com/cF3mzzQdIj— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) July 26, 2018
Brian Daboll’s plan for the quarterbacks thus far in camp has been to give each of them a chance to play with the first-team offense. On Day 2, it was AJ McCarron’s turn, and he made a few big plays worth noting.
At one point, McCarron threw a beautiful deep ball to Kelvin Benjamin, who caught it in front of cornerback Tre’Davious White for a decent chunk of yardage.
While the other two quarterbacks also rotated in with the ones, the takeaway from the day was that A.J. McCarron looked comfortable and generally in control of the offense.
Day 3: Josh Allen’s big day
On Day 3 of training camp, the pads officially came on, and the team as a whole was visibly fired up, including rookie QB Josh Allen.
Allen has been under the microscope since setting foot on the practice field. On the third day of camp, he showed off his physical skills and impressed just about everyone in attendance. He was consistent, made some NFL-type throws that the other two quarterbacks haven’t been able to make, and started off with two straight completions.
Many believe that Josh Allen has an actual shot at earning the starting role by the first game of the season. If he puts together more practices like he did on day 3 and shows well in preseason action, that notion could become a reality.
Wheel route for TD by Allen, dropped it in the bucket, then a nice back shoulder fade. 2 real nice ones early— YardsPerPass (@YardsPerPass) July 28, 2018
On the fourth day of Christmas, err...I mean training camp, the Bills organization introduced its first of six “theme days” for the fans. Sunday was “Christmas in July,” and everyone enjoyed doting on the reindeer.
The players, however, weren’t feeling so warm and fuzzy, as several scuffles erupted between them throughout the day. In one instance, Jordan Mills took off his helmet and Shaq Lawson threw some punches.
First scuffle of Bills training camp comes on second play of 11-on-11. Jerry Hughes and Jordan Mills tangle.— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) July 29, 2018
Sal Capaccio noted that OT De’Ondre Wesley and LB Deon Lacey even got in on the action by shoving each other around a bit.
A little pushing and shoving now between OT De’Ondre Wesley and LB Deon Lacey after the play. Nothing more comes of it.— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) July 29, 2018
Although intense, onlookers were impressed with how quickly the players shifted their focus back to the football field after the disputes ended. Coach Sean McDermott was most likely pleased with that outcome as well.
The Bills had a day off from practice on Monday, and they practice on Tuesday in a session closed to fans. Public sessions resume on Wednesday, August 1, at 8:45 in the morning with a “Princess and Super Hero” theme day. No tickets are required.