Second-year players stand out, rookies earn praise at Bills Minicamp


The Buffalo Bills opened their minicamp this Tuesday at One Bills Drive with a lot of jobs up for grabs. Let’s look at some of the highlights of the first day of practice:

Head coach Sean McDermott spoke to the media before the first practice and quickly confirmed that the rookie QB Josh Allen would receive some reps with the 1st team offense this week, despite continuing to work mostly with the third stringers. He also said it was “earned” by the young signal caller, and it was part of the plan for him. In his first opportunity with the starters, Allen went 4 of 6, completing short passes to Jeremy Kerley, Kaelin Clay, and Andre Holmes. He also completed a beautiful 15-yard touch pass to Kelvin Benjamin down the sideline, just before having a laser tipped by Micah Hyde and intercepted by fellow rookie Tremaine Edmunds. Allen’s eagerness to learn from his mistakes is very encouraging.


Allen also had some designated runs called for him, including a speed option. The option was only utilized in the NFL 41 times last season for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Typically, it’s a part of a team’s short-yardage packages. Allen’s athleticism is underrated, and that’s an area where he can be very dangerous. Neither AJ McCarron nor Nathan Peterman offers this type of threat to opposing defenses.


Speaking of Nathan Peterman, he started with the first stringers today and took advantage of his opportunities. He was the most impressive quarterback in this session and looks more confident and decisive with his passes than last year. This version of the offseason has benefited him because he has gotten more time to digest the playbook and isn’t playing catch up as most rookies have to. Have most Bills fans written him off? Stay tuned for Nate Geary’s piece on that subject.


The first team offensive line was the same for the second consecutive week, with Dion Dawkins, Vlad Ducasse, Ryan Groy, John Miller and Jordan Mills. Rookie Wyatt Teller practiced mostly at RG, and veteran free agent addition Marshall Newhouse worked as the 2nd team LT, again showing his versatility. More and more it’s looking like Groy vs Bodine at center is the only contested competition.

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A surprise in this session was rookie UDFA WR Robert Foster starting opposite Kelvin Benjamin with the 1st team offense.


Foster has speed to burn and played under OC Brian Daboll at Alabama, but never produced much. He’s has a great opportunity in Buffalo.


On the defensive side of the ball, Shaq Lawson started at DE opposite Jerry Hughes, but Owa Odighizuwa is opening eyes. McDermott called him “an intriguing prospect” and said he’s having a great offseason so far. Trent Murphy still isn’t taking any team reps, coming back from injury.

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Another guy who McDermott raved about was second-year CB Tre’Davious White.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”22″]“I think Tre’Davious White came back prepared and has picked up right where he left off after last season. I’ve been extremely pleased with his progress.”–Coach McDermott[/perfectpullquote]


White’s experience and game speed shined through last season; he was one of the best players in the league at his position. After having early success, young players often take their foot off the gas, but from the look and sounds of it, it doesn’t appear White falls into that category.


After practice, star running back LeSean McCoy addressed the media and talked a bit about the losses of Eric Wood and Richie Incognito on the OL, saying they will be missed, but that it’s time for other guys to step up. But his biggest take was on the Bills’ 1st round pick Josh Allen.


McCoy went on to compare Allen to Tre’Davious White, in that he could contribute very early in his first season. If Shady is correct, the Bills may have finally found their franchise QB.

Notable Injuries

  • Sophomore linebacker Matt Milano is struggling with a hamstring problem and missed practice again. Veteran Ramon Humber took the bulk of the reps in his place.