PITTSFORD, NY – Just days away from their first preseason game, the Bills were up early for practice on Monday at St. John Fisher College. Thursday night’s meeting with the Vikings will provide further clarity in regards to how well players are really performing at this point. Still, some names have really stood out over the first 10 days of camp and are making a move up the depth chart, while others already seem firmly cemented into their role.
Here’s five observations from Day 10 of training camp:
1) Easy day for Shady
He wasn’t given a veteran day off, but running back LeSean McCoy had a lighter workload on Monday, particularly during 11-on-11 sessions. On several occasions he lined up as a passing option for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, catching two passes on the day, but only once was he handed the ball as the feature running back – a play near the goal line that went for a touchdown. Meanwhile, primary backup Jonathan Williams took a healthy amount of first-team snaps at running back instead. There’s been a lot of talk about managing the 29-year-old’s reps throughout camp, that seemed to be the plan today, and why not, really? The Bills don’t need to see anything else from him. He’s looked like vintage Shady throughout the entirity of camp.
2) Micah Hyde anxious, but still limited
It appears that starting safety Micah Hyde is still easing his way back into participating fully after injurying his hip last week. At one point, Hyde put his helemt on and sort of jumped out onto the field in hopes of participating in 11-on-11s, but was quickly motioned back to the sideline and supplanted by Shamiel Gary. It’s good to see some enthusiasm from Hyde, but looks like the Bills are taking it easy with him at this point, especially with Thursday’s preseason game looming. Probably a smart move given the limited depth they have at the position.
3) Rod Streater with the ones
On Friday, Sean McDermott praised Rod Streater as the surprise of camp, an endorsement that turned into first-team reps for the veteran wideout during Monday’s practice. Streater supplanted Andre Holmes as the Bills No. 2 wideout opposite Sammy Watkins on alternating series early on in practice, then in the final session of the day mixed in on a two-minute drill drive and made one catch, as the offense eventually scored a touchdown. Despite some untimely drops throughout the first 10 days of camp, Streater’s hard work is paying off. We’ll see if that continues on the field against an actual opponent on Thursday.
4) First-team work for Reggie Ragland
Reggie Ragland remains one of the biggest stories of camp as Bills fans hope he’ll become a dominant linebacker after tearing his last training camp. To this point though, he’s seen little to no time with the first-team defense. That changed slightly on Monday when Ragland and five-year veteran Gerald Hodges served as the MLB and WLB of the Bills top defensive unit, during a drill centered around stopping the run. For what it’s worth, he was right back in his normal role as Preston Brown’s primary backup for the final 11-on-11 portion of practice, but perhaps his brief work with the ones is a sign of things to come.
5) Tyrod gets animated
In the team’s final session of practice, Tyrod Taylor put together a terrific drive, going 6-for-7 and connecting with tight end Charles Clay on a 20-yard touchdown pass– wait for it – over the middle of the field. It was impressive, so impressive in fact that an animated Taylor yelled “write about that” towards a group of onlooking reporters over on the sideline. And so, as he requested, here I am writing about it.
Next: The Bills are back at it, bright and early on Tuesday morning with an 8:45 a.m. session
Follow me on Twitter: @Spencito_