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Bills Today: McDermott on developing QBs this offseason

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1 - McDermott on developing QBs this offseason
At least for now, the quarterback competition will be put on hold, with players getting to relax for a few weeks before coming back at the end of July for training camp.

For head coach Sean McDermott, he - alongside his offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and the rest of his offensive staff – will have to come to a decision at some point on which one of the Bills three quarterbacks will win the starting job come September.

When he joined One Bills Live, he praised the effort and work ethic he’s seen from his QBs so far.

“All three young men have worked extremely hard,” said McDermott. “They’re active learners and they’re really excited to grow, and they love to take coaching, they’re leaders in their own respective ways. As I’ve said before, Nate and A.J. are working with the ones and twos, and Josh is working with the threes. Josh did work some with the ones throughout this week. We will continue to do that periodically through training camp, and we’re just going to stick with the plan and adjust it when and where need be. I’ve been pleased with the work they’ve put in to this point.”

Beyond picking which QB becomes the starter, the second-year head coach has another question that many fans are patiently awaiting the answer to. If Allen does not start the season, how long will the Bills wait before putting him on the field?

McDermott reminded that he focuses on the philosophy of trusting the process.

“I mean you pick a player, regardless of position, and you expect – and fans expect – for that player to play at some point,” said McDermott. “And that’s the case. Josh is going to play at some point, whether that’s this year or next year remains to be seen. It’s all about putting players in a position to be successful. When they’re ready, they’ll go in the lineup… The important thing right now is establishing a good foundation of fundamentals, habits on and off the field, and that he is comfortable with each step in the process.”

2 - Bills TEs feel confident in the new offense
People may be forgetting that tight ends can catch the ball too. With all the talk about the receiving corps this offseason, one shouldn’t forget that players like Charles Clay are still around and trying to excel in a new offensive system.

For Clay, McDermott’s preaching of building continuity is helping the eighth-year tight end feel comfortable while focusing on coach Daboll’s new playbook.

“We’ve got some new faces in here but they fit well,” said Clay. “Within our organization there are guys who work hard and that’s kind of the makeup of our team. I’m excited, man. New offense, I feel great. The same tight end room, so there’s some continuity knowing those guys and still being able to learn from them is still a big deal.”

Learning was the key word for second-year player, and another member of the TE room, Jason Croom. A UDFA last season, Croom is trying to work his way onto the Bills roster.

“There’s been a lot of learning, and everybody came in here to learn a new offense and everybody’s handling it well,” said Croom. “We’ve got a good support system with each other, we look to each other for help. We try to figure out how other people learn stuff, and we can take their techniques and use it.”

Without giving away the playbook and plans for the new offense, Clay said that he feels like this can be a successful season for the Bills offense.

“A lot of it is matchup driven,” said Clay. “I don’t really want to give too much away... just in the way that the coordinator thinks, he thinks matchups first. We still have to see how it is game-planning wise but as far as installing the offense now it’s a lot of moving around and things like that... I think it will be a lot of fun.”

Buffalo Bills: No Bills players in NFL Mocks receiver rankings

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NFL Mocks recently posted a list of the top wide receivers in the NFL, but no one representing the Buffalo Bills made the cut.
The Buffalo Bills wide receivers don’t need any extra motivation heading into the 2018 season.

But the news cycle is slow right now, so let’s throw in some motivation.
NFL Mocks released a list of the top 32 wide receivers in the NFL, and to the surprise of no one the list did not include a Bills player. We shall see how this list holds up at season’s end.

It is hard to project a Bills receiver among the best in the NFL right now due to all the uncertainty at the position. However, the team is not without talent.

Kelvin Benjamin stands out as the top candidate to turns heads this year in Buffalo. He is getting a full season with the team and all the coverage surrounding him at minicamp is overwhelmingly positive.

Fans must also remember that the 2018 season will only be Benjamin’s fourth full season in the NFL as he missed the entire 2015 season with an injury. He had a combined 16 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 receiving yards in his first two years with the Carolina Panthers before the 2017 season.

Benjamin is capable of being a 1,000-yard guy once again if the quarterback can get him the ball.
Outside of Benjamin, the Bills have a free-for-all at the position. Zay Jones currently slots in as a starter, on paper, but someone like Jeremy Kerley is gunning for that spot. So are rookies Austin Proehl and Ray-Ray McCloud. Both fit best in the slot and there may only be one spot among them, but if they both end up making the team as Beane guys, some more established players could be let go.

Five things we learned during the Bills’ offseason program

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The head coach discusses his impressions of Josh Allen after the mandatory mini-camp. Sal Maiorana
ORCHARD PARK — The horn blew Thursday afternoon signifying the end of the Buffalo Bills’ mandatory mini-camp and, thus, the start of a nearly six-week summer vacation, so you can imagine the whoops and hollers that filled the windy air along One Bills Drive.

You can argue how much no-pads OTA and mini-camp practices in the spring mean to the future success or failure of an NFL team, so I never read very much into what takes place during these two-plus months of touch football.

But for the Bills, this time was valuable on two fronts: They were installing a new offensive system coordinated by Brian Daboll, while trying to figure out who their quarterback will be come opening day; and given that their offense could very well struggle, it was a time for the Bills to hone in on improving an already pretty good defense because that unit may be required to lead the way in 2018.

In saying he was “very happy” with how the offseason program went, coach Sean McDermott added, “The second year when you go through it, you see progress in areas that not everyone sees because it’s not obvious, it’s not on the scoreboard, but it’s in there. Every corner of our building, we have to pick up points and I’ve seen that this offseason. We’re further ahead this year than last year, still a lot of work to do, and now this time off, it’s a chance to hit the reset button and get some rest for our players as we head toward Rochester.”

Here are five things we learned during the Bills’ two-month offseason program:

Josh Allen isn’t the starting quarterback
Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen hopes to work his way in front of Nathan Peterman (2) and AJ McCarron on the depth chart.
The Bills’ first-round draft pick was eased into his transition to the NFL, and McDermott made no bones about it — Allen operated with the third-team because at this early stage, he was behind A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman not only in experience and NFL status, but in viability. It figures to be a long haul for Allen in his quest to become what the Bills are hoping for, their long-term franchise quarterback. And it may not happen in training camp, either.

“Brian Daboll and David Culley have done a nice job of acclimating Josh to the system in the right dosage,” said McDermott. “Really, to Josh’s credit, we’ve not held back all that much to this point. One of the things that goes a little bit under the radar is understanding the defense as well; before you walk, you’ve got to crawl and a big part of the learning curve for quarterbacks is understanding the opponent and the defense and the way defenses work in this case.”

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