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Buffalo Bills training camp: Day 6 observations

The Bills’ defensive line gets the best of the offensive line on Day 6

NFL: Buffalo Bills Training Camp Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

During Sunday and Monday at Buffalo Bills training camp, the offense had the edge over the defense. On Tuesday, that vibe changed. The defense dominated the day, making quarterback Josh Allen frustrated. Head coach Sean McDermott wasn’t in attendance due to a personal family matter.

Here are my observations:

Ed Oliver — best player on defense

Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver signed an extension during the offseason, a four-year deal worth $68 million. The Bills need more consistency from Oliver, who has shown at times he can be dominant, but at other times can disappear.

Oliver has been nothing short of dominant thus far throughout camp. During one rep on Tuesday, Oliver won a battle against offensive guard Connor McGovern, getting into the backfield almost instantly after the ball was snapped.

Oliver was winning reps frequently, no matter who was in his path.

Defensive line dominates/O-line struggles

Defensive ends Leonard Floyd and A.J. Epenesa both had themselves a good day on Tuesday. Floyd showed his ability to get to the quarterback during team drills, getting a sack or two against left tackle Dion Dawkins.

Epenesa won a rep against Spencer Brown during team drills, and was able to get a sack on the quarterback. Epenesa has been getting a lot of reps so far off the edge, looking like he is third on the depth chart with edge rusher Von Miller yet to return from injury.

After a couple positive practices for Brown, the third-year offensive tackle struggled throughout the whole day on Tuesday. Dawkins also had trouble winning on the left side during team drills.

The issue with the offensive line on Tuesday was that when three guys won their rep, there was always one or two guys losing their rep. The five guys up front couldn’t win all of their reps in one play. The pressure from the defense was giving them trouble, leading to miscommunication. The offensive line also had a couple of false starts throughout practice.

Damar Hamlin interception

Bills safety Damar Hamlin put the pads on Monday, his first time being in pads since his scary injury in the beginning of January.

On Tuesday, Hamlin had the play of the day. Quarterback Matt Barkley had pressure in his face, and tried to throw the ball to wide receiver Andy Isabella. Instead, Barkley threw it right into the hands of Hamlin, who was able to make the play.

Hamlin said on Monday that he does have some fear stepping onto the football field again with pads on, but his faith is strong — stronger than any fear.

Gabe Davis shines on offense

Wide receiver Gabe Davis continues to show-out during camp. Davis is heading into a contract year, and is looking for a new contract with the Bills.

Davis was dominant during team drills, lining up all over the place. That’s a good sign for both Davis and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Davis was lined up on the boundary against cornerback Tre’Davious White, was able to get across his face, and hauled in a ball on a shallow drag route.

Dorsey said they are trying to get Davis more involved at all three levels of the field, and that has been the case so far in camp. Davis caught the pass of the day from Allen, a bullet in-between the cornerback and safety on the boundary.

Great throw and catch between the two players. Davis has been one of Allen’s favorite targets since the pads went on Monday.

Matt Milano>Dalton Kincaid

After rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid won some reps against linebacker Matt Milano on Sunday and Monday, Milano got the best of Kincaid on Tuesday.

Allen had time in the pocket, delivered the ball down the right side of the field to Kincaid with Milano in coverage, and Kincaid couldn’t come up with the reception. Milano blanketed Kincaid, so Kincaid tried to use Milano’s body to reel it in, but Milano didn’t allow that to happen.

Other important Bills notes

  • Jordan Poyer with a veteran rest day/Tim Settle DNP
  • Greg Rousseau lined up in the interior. Rousseau has been moved around during the first week of camp.
  • Kaiir Elam had his best day so far, both during one-on-ones and team drills. During a rep against wide receiver Trent Sherfield, Elam locked him down.
  • Tyrel Dodson gets the starting middle linebacker reps, ending the normal cycle. Linebacker Baylon Spector was in-line to start on Tuesday, but it was Dodson instead.
  • Quintin Morris remains consistent.