We had our first bit of fireworks at Buffalo Bills training camp on Friday morning.
About midway through the session outside the ADPRO Sports Training Center, during one of the 11-on-11 team portions of practice, defensive tackle Ed Oliver and rookie offensive tackle Spencer Brown got locked up after a play. Punches were thrown, and Oliver ripped Brown’s helmet off. Then the 6-foot-8, 311-pound Brown dove on top of the 6-foot-1, 287-pound Oliver.
Other players came running in and a huge pile was created with the two near the bottom. Everything seemed to get separated pretty quickly and both players returned to their respective sidelines.
After practice, when asked about what happened, Oliver shrugged it off with a smile.
“Just a little scuffle, competition," Oliver said with the assembled media. "I had to be the first one [to fight in camp], like always (laughing). It is what it is. Just friendly competition. I might go into the locker room and we might go eat together, you never know. We’re family in the locker room. It’s just competition.”
Running backs update:
Aside from the skirmish, another notable part of practice were the Bills' running backs.
I write this with the obvious note that there are no pads and there is no live tackling right now, but the backs had a really good day. Devin Singletary broke off two long runs. Matt Breida and Zack Moss each had one, as well.
None would probably have been as long if the defense was allowed to tackle them, but each player looked really good getting into and out of the hole and breaking free. Breida also continues to show off his versatility as both a runner and pass catcher.
Kumerow and Gentry impress:
As he continues to be part of the storyline coming out of the Aaron Rodgers saga in Green Bay, noted as one of the players Rodgers did not like the Packers getting rid of last year, wide receiver Jake Kumerow continues to impress at Bills training camp, both in 1-on-1 drills and in regular offensive team work against the defense.
Another receiver that has caught some attention is Tanner Gentry, quarterback Josh Allen‘s former teammate at the University of Wyoming. He’s been very consistent in his route running and ability to catch the football.
Allen and the quarterbacks:
Speaking of Allen, he continues to stack really good days with another sharp performance on Friday. Even when there seems to be good coverage and some plays, he’s challenging the defense and connecting on tight throws. He threw a perfect strike down the field to tight end Dawson Knox for a would-be score, and another between a couple defenders to Gentry, who had to go low, but made a terrific grab to keep it off the ground.
Allen also hit Gabriel Davis with a perfect pass in traffic, but the second-year receiver had it bounce off his body and into the air. It looked like linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was closing fast and may have forced Davis to take a peek at him before corralling the football.
But Allen went right back to Davis the very next play for a short gain.
Defensively, although some of the names behind Edmunds and Matt Milano may not be really recognizable to many fans, the Bills linebacker depth is very good. There is a strong competition for spots amongst a group full of versatile players, several of them who could start for many teams in the NFL. All of them can also play special teams.
It’s, arguably, the deepest unit on the entire football team, along with wide receiver.
While most of the talk at cornerback centers around the competition between Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson for the starting spot opposite Tre’Davious White, rookie Rachad Wildgoose is turning some heads, as well. He seems to be involved in the action all the time.
Beasley and Diggs sit:
Wide receiver Cole Beasley received a veteran rest day and did not take part in Friday’s practice. Beasley was still on the field the entire time, still helping out and talking with his position group. Stefon Diggs did take part, but stopped taking any reps about halfway through, and stood on the sidelines without a helmet, also getting added rest.
The team will be back at practice Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET. It will be held at Highmark sSadium and open to the public. Fans will need a ticket to attend, but tickets are free and available at the team’s website.
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