Offensive line competition in full swing as Bills open camp

Pittsford, NY (WGR550) - There’s a tough balance the Buffalo Bills have to strike this training camp when it comes to figuring out their starting offensive line. The team obviously wants to find the best starting five players they can, but given how many new faces they brought in via free agency and through the draft, they’ll have to do that while also giving each guy as much of a fair shot as possible.

Ideally, they’d love to have the unit set and know what they’re looking at by the time the third preseason game rolls around, but they also don’t want to jump the gun and make the wrong decision somewhere. There’s likely to be a heavy rotation throughout camp, especially the first two weeks before they play their first preseason game August 8 against the Indianapolis Colts. We may even see some players rotating every single day between the first and second team, much like last year they did at center with Russell Bodine and Ryan Groy.

All of that competition, and finding out who will line up where and win, started on Thursday with the first day of training camp at St. John Fisher College.

There was a very heavy emphasis on red zone offense, and especially red zone/goal line run plays. So, there could always be a chance they like some linemen in that situation in those packages specifically, but here’s how the first, second, and third groups looked on Day 1:

Bills starting OL in first 11/11 (note: it’s redzone/goal line run plays):LT DawkinsLG SpainC MorseRG FelicianoRT Ford

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) July 25, 2019

2nd OL today:LT WaddleLG TellerC BodineRG LongRT Nsekhe

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) July 25, 2019

3rd team OL today:LT WesleyLG AsiataC BoettgerRG McGhinRT McDermott

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) July 25, 2019

Elsewhere on offense, John Brown and Cole Beasley hardly came off the field while the first unit was working. Those two wide receivers were joined by Zay Jones mostly when the team went to a three wideout set, with others getting a few plays in with the group, as well. Andre Roberts and Robert Foster were mainly the next two wide receivers to get in that spot.

There was even more of a rotation at tight end. Jason Croom took the very first snap, but players were shuttling in and out all morning, including veteran Lee Smith and rookies Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney.


Injury Update:

Running back Frank Gore was scheduled to start training camp on the non-football injured list after “tweaking” something, as general manager Brandon Beane described it. However, Gore woke up feeling good and was ready to go and never had to be put on the list. He practiced in full.

As expected, tight end Tyler Kroft started camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a broken foot, and offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles was placed on injured reserve.

The Bills will be back on the practice field Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. Head coach Sean McDermott will join the Howard and Jeremy Show live at 8 a.m. on WGR.

Follow me on Twitter @SalSports