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Buffalo Bills HC Sean McDermott speaks with media before start of training camp

Some key takeaways from Bills head coach Sean McDermott’s first media session of 2023 training camp

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK

Buffalo Bills training camp is officially underway, and head coach Sean McDermott took to the podium prior to the first practice.

Some takeaways:

Damar Hamlin is good to go

Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been cleared to practice today, and McDermott says they will be with Hamlin every step of the way.

“We fully support him and we’ll move at his cadence,” McDermott said.

After suffering cardiac arrest on an NFL football field, Hamlin is back, and will try to make the 53-man roster.

Middle LB Competition

The MLB competition could be considered one of the biggest battles at camp. Tyrel Dodson, Terrel Bernard, Baylon Spector, Dorian Williams, and A.J. Klein are the five guys competing for the job.

McDermott on when they will figure out the winner of the competition:

“We’ll know when we know.”

There is no rush to find a starter, but McDermott added the sooner they figure it out, the better. He also mentioned that he prefers that the MLB will have the green dot and call the defense, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the case. McDermott wants to put his defense in the best position to win games.

Stefon Diggs is BACK

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs is in attendance at camp and everything is good with Diggs, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, and quarterback Josh Allen, per McDermott.

Diggs has yet to speak with the media after the team’s defeat via the Cincinnati Bengals, besides an interview with Katherine Fitzgerald from the Buffalo News at the Super Bowl. Diggs talked about his frustration with not getting over the hump and the confusion of why they can’t get it done.

BIG NEWS: Diggs will be speaking to the media after practice today.

McDermott’s confidence in Gabe Davis

McDermott was asked about fourth-year wide receiver Gabe Davis, and McDermott responded that he has “extreme” confidence in Davis.

Davis is looking to be an elite WR2 this season. McDermott says Davis has a really good work ethic, and will be a good football player for a long time.

Von Miller

Star edge rusher Von Miller begins training camp on the PUP. McDermott was asked about Miller, and his timetable for return:

“He’s been through this before... he’s not one to slow down intentionally... he wants to be out there.”

McDermott added that Miller has healed quicker from his ACL than McDermott himself heals from a small cut.

McDermott seems to have confidence that Miller will be back on the field sooner rather than later, but they will listen to Miller and the training staff. Keeping him healthy come January and February is astronomically more important than getting him back Week 1.

Other quick notes

McDermott confirmed running back Nyheim Hines is out for the year and that it’s a big loss for the team.

After suffering an ACL injury last season, offensive lineman Tommy Doyle is ready to go. Some speculated that he would start training camp on the PUP.

McDermott is excited about new edge rusher Leonard Floyd and what he will bring to the defense, and says the team has “a lot” of work to do.

“One step at a time,” McDermott said.