Saturday marked the first padded practice for the Buffalo Bills during training camp and the physicality level ramped up significantly. Cornerbacks were able to jam wide receivers, tight ends were able to practice ‘wham’ blocks and the first fight of training camp broke out. After getting bumped into by Dawson Knox on the sideline, Micah Hyde shoved the rookie back, and a small skirmish ensued that included Cody Ford. Another short shoving match, this time involving Tommy Sweeney, soon followed. Welcome to the NFL, rookies.
After a couple up-and-down sessions to begin training camp, quarterback Josh Allen had his strongest day at Fisher on Saturday. He was able to hit Cole Beasley and John Brown for several big gains during individual drills early on and when 11-on-11 scrimmages started Allen’s strong play continued with various bombs to Brown. Few reporters mentioned any mistakes by the young quarterback, with some even declaring it his best practice as a Buffalo Bill.
Before practice, coach Daboll revealed that rookie Cody Ford would remain at right tackle, with no plans to move him inside, for the foreseeable future. As if to back up Daboll’s assertion, Ford was again the starting right tackle for the team throughout practice struggled a few times against Trent Murphy and rookie Darryl Johnson. Ford’s situation leaves Spencer Long and Jon Feliciano as the primary competitors for the right guard spot, with Feliciano getting the start today. Free agent Quinton Spain has locked down the left guard position for three straight days.
Levi Wallace was the starter today at outside corner and had a several poor snaps against Duke Williams and John Brown. It looks like the second-year player’s lack of deep speed and physicality is really holding him back from grabbing ahold of the starting role.
John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Zay Jones remained the first wide receivers out the door, but Robert Foster was able to mix in some. While Foster eared a few mentions, Brown had his best day of training camp, managing to corral a fair amount of deep passes from Allen and developing a connection.
Despite Sean McDermott assuring that Ed Oliver had a ‘long way to go’, Oliver was able to earn starting reps today opposite Star Lotulelei during the first session of 11-on-11. No word on how the rookie acquitted himself, but it can be assumed that he will be sprinkled in more and more as training camp moves forward.
Yet again, tight end Jason Croom was the only Buffalo Bill missing from practice, while dealing with a hamstring injury.
After making a diving catch from Matt Barkley, wide receiver Robert Foster came out of practice in pain and favoring his right shoulder but was immediately back in the next series after being checked out by trainers.
Towards the end of practice, Dawson Knox was seen waking over to talk to a trainer and to rubbing his hamstring. With most of the team’s tight ends nursing injuries, this situation bears watching.
- Some new offensive wrinkles: Pistol formations, jet sweeps, spread formations, Dion Dawkins pulling.
- The offense spent most of the time in heavy (22, 21-personnel) passing formations. This kept the defense in base and, from reports, this seemed worked in the offenses favor.
- The first big play for Robert Foster of training camp came in the form of a long touchdown play against Lafayette Pitts.
- Punters! Apparently, Corey Bojorquez out-performed Cory Carter in today’s session.