Buffalo Bills Training Camp: August 1st Thoughts
Day two of Buffalo Bills Training Camp was held on another beautiful day in Pittsford, N.Y. It also drew what looked to be a bigger crowd than Friday’s opening day. Here are three takeaways:
1) Watkins, Woods could be dangerous 1-2 with right QB
May 26, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiverSammy Watkins
(14) catches a pass during the organized team activities at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
When the Buffalo Bills drafted Sammy Watkins fourth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, everybody knew what they were getting. Very agile and quick, great hands, could turn any catch into a touchdown, etc. But a year beforehand, the Bills drafted a wide receiver out of USC by the name of Robert Woods, and he’s en route to being a steal as a second-round pick.
Woods made a couple beautiful catches in 2014, with the highlight being against the Jets in Detroit. He made another great catch today, jumping up and back towards the line on a fly route to haul in an underthrown ball by Matt Cassel. He also showed great concentration on a beautifully thrown ball by EJ Manuel into a small window, hauling it in and avoiding the big hit from a safety barreling in on him.
Watkins was, well, Watkins. He made a couple great catches on badly thrown passes, and even froze the No. 1 corner on the chart for the Bills, Stephon Gilmore. It was an in-then-out double move, and Gilmore was frozen in his tracks as Watkins made the catch near the sideline.
2) Rex showing glimpses of defensive creativity
Jul 31, 2015; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan speaks to the media after a practice session during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
When Rex Ryan was hired as the Bills’ head coach, everybody knew that this ferocious defense of 2014 was here to stay. Everybody also knew that it was time to fear this defense a little more because of the creativity that Ryan’s mind has.
He showed that during practice today, inserting himself into the defensive playcalling and was not afraid to throw in a little something to spice it up. On one occasion, he blitzed the corner and Manny Lawson ended up on Marquise Goodwin (not the best matchup, but the pressure forced the non-throw).
On another play, the corner came again, but this time it was the safety stepping up and Manuel was flushed from the pocket for a three-yard run on a ball that most fans thought he should’ve thrown down the sideline to Goodwin.
This is just a small taste of the things Ryan can do with this versatile defense come Week 1.
3) Consistency will be key in deciding starter at QB
It is the key to everything. If a player can be consistent, they have a very good shot at making the roster. Well, so far, all four quarterbacks in the competition have not been very consistent (albeit after two days, but still a valid point).
Manuel had the hot arm yesterday, but today was overthrowing open receivers in the end zone and throwing behind pass catchers on crossing routes. He had one 7-on-7 series where he did not complete a single pass on five tries.
Matt Cassel was about the same as he was on Friday, making some good throws and some not so good. Tyrod Taylor did pretty much the same he did yesterday, dropping in a beauty to MarQueis Gray on the run, but other than that was not on target too often.
Matt Simms channeled the talents of his father for a little while, throwing a few very nice passes in succession. But he came back down to earth once the receiver route-running drills commenced, a drill that both Simms and Taylor struggled in.
Other news and notes from Twitter:
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