Pittsford, NY (WGR550) - The Buffalo Bills opened their 2019 training camp with four straight morning practices, finishing up at St. John Fisher College early Sunday afternoon before getting a day off on Monday.
Here are some notes and observations from Sunday’s practice, as well as the first four days overall:
Center Mitch Morse and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander had maintenance days. Tight ends Jason Croom and Dawson Knox did not practice with hamstring injuries. Several other veterans practiced, but didn’t take as many reps as usual.
The chemistry between quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Cole Beasley started to show up much more than it had the previous three practices. Both were on the same page on several plays that resulted in completions for good gains.
With Alexander not practicing, the starting defense primarily ran a nickel package with Taron Johnson on the field as the third cornerback with Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace. When the second unit came in, Lafayette Pitts was a part of that group. Pitts, Kevin Johnson, and E.J. Gaines all rotated from outside cornerback to slot cornerback.
With Morse not practicing, Jon Feliciano got work at center, along with Russell Bodine. Spencer Long played right guard. Cody Ford continued to start at right tackle, with Quinton Spain at left guard and Dion Dawkins at left tackle.
Josh Allen has had ups-and-downs the first four days, and those have been streaky each way. I’ve generally liked a lot of what I’ve seen, mainly because the positive streaks have lasted longer than the negative ones. The last two days, he did a good job of waiting until later in the play to find an open receiver or getting out of the pocket too early. He had a pass Sunday that was clearly well behind the intended receiver. White picked it off and probably would have scored if it were a game, but Allen came back with three excellent throws for completions in the next 11-on-11 series.
The wide receivers haven’t changed much, as far as the reps. The top-five are clearly John Brown, Cole Beasley, Zay Jones, Robert Foster, and Andre Roberts, with Ray-Ray McCloud and Isaiah McKenzie right there as the next two. Cam Phillips (who made an excellent diving catch Sunday on a throw from Allen), David Sills, Victor Bolden, Duke Williams, and Nick Easley are all a little behind them. They all get opportunities, but not as many as the first seven mentioned.
LeSean McCoy didn’t take many reps Sunday, but he has been the No. 1 back every day, with Frank Gore and Devin Singletary behind him, but both getting plenty of touches. With McCoy taking a break, T.J. Yeldon and Senorise Perry got more chances Sunday. Perry had a terrific touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone on a ball thrown by Matt Barkley.
The next practice for the team will be on Tuesday morning. However, that will be a media only session. The next practice open to the public will be Wednesday morning at 9:45 a.m.