Orchard Park, N.Y. (WGR 550) - While there were a couple notable absences from the Buffalo Bills' first practice with media availability at OTAs, overall, there was tremendous attendance. In addition, the energy felt a lot like a training camp practice under a warm sun outside the ADPRO Sports Training Center.
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On the offensive side, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, lineman Greg Mancz, and running back Latavius Murray were the only players not there.
Diggs' absence allowed other receivers to get more reps and take advantage of them, as quarterback Josh Allen noted about free agent signee Trent Sherfield.
"I love what I’ve seen from Trent so far," Allen told the media after the session on Tuesday. "The dude works extremely hard. He’s one of the hardest working guys on the team. He doesn’t complain about anything. He’s rolling right now, and I don’t know if he would’ve gotten those reps without 'Stef' [being absent]."
Gabe Davis, who is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, was another receiver who particularly stood out, making several catches, including one toe-tap on the sideline.
Tight end Dawson Knox also made several nice grabs in traffic.
Center Mitch Morse was on the field, but did not participate in any activities.
Defensively, First-Team All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano was the only player not present, while defensive end Von Miller, as well as safeties Jordan Poyer and Damar Hamlin, and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips were all there, but did not participate.
Cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Taylor Rapp caught my eye, each for different reasons.
White, now a year-and-a-half removed from his torn ACL on Thanksgiving night in 2021, showed great change of direction and movement. A terrific sign for him and the team.
Head coach Sean McDermott praised White and his offseason work when he met with the media prior to practice.
"'Tre' has had a tremendous offseason," McDermott said. "Anything 'Tre' does doesn’t surprise me. I remember the player we drafted and the person, and he’s just wired the right way. He faced a huge challenge last year, and to watch him work through that and then to take it to even another level this offseason, from what I’ve seen, doesn’t surprise me. But I also don’t take it for granted. He’s a heck of a person and a heck of a player."
As far as Rapp, he seemed to always be in the right spot and, very often, around the ball. His role in the defense is going to be very interesting to watch. He can play all over the field and basically be used like a chess piece for McDermott, when it comes to different weekly and down-to-down matchups.
OTAs will continue on Thursday this week, and again for two more weeks before the team has mandatory minicamp starting June 13 through June 15. There will be no media availability again until next Tuesday.
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