Bills' Jackson on the field for the first time

The former UB quarterback is participating in Bills rookie minicamp

Paul Hamilton
May 10, 2019 - 4:17 pm

Photo: Brian Spurlock - USA TODAY Sports


Orchard Park, (WGR 550) - The Bills are in the middle of their rookie minicamp, and Friday was a time for them to get on the field.

This is a great opportunity for these young players to get individual reps and coaching that they won’t get once the veterans arrive. None of the players will be evaluated from this camp because they're not in pads and have very little of the play book.

There was a very strong wind in Orchard Park, and it didn’t help former UB quarterback Tyree Jackson or Sam Straub throw the football at all. Both were off, and Sean McDermott said all were jittery as early as Thursday, “I thought they were nervous, to be expected. It’s a good group. We’re off to a good start. There’s a lot of work to get done. I don’t think you really know about a draft class until you’re two or three years down the road. All those draft grades, that’s for all you guys out there. We’ll know a little bit more once we get going, in particular once we get to training camp.

“Today is good to get acclimated to the systems, but at the end of the day, it’s not really football until we get to training camp where pads come on and the physical element is added.”

Jackson didn’t get drafted into the NFL, so he signed as a free agent with the Bills. He couldn’t wait to get out onto the field, “It was so exciting, we finally get back to what we do and play football, but we’ve got a lot of work to do and it’s a good feel around here.”

Jackson has played football all his life, but this is the NFL so of course he was nervous, “Every time you go out there for the first practice with a new team, you might be a little nervous, but once the ball’s snapped it’s football and we’ve got a lot of really good rookies out there, so it was fun to get the ball to them and compete.”

Jackson was determined not to answer questions about not being drafted. He wanted to live in the moment, “I’m just so happy to be here. I know everything here is earned and I’m going to have to go out there and earn each day and compete.

“I just feel happy to be here. Everything happens for a reason and it’s such a blessing to be here.”

Once Jackson didn’t get drafted, it was a no-brainer for him to pick a team, “There was nowhere else I wanted to be other than here. Just having the relationship with the Bills, knowing the fans and how much they care and love their team and I was just very excited once I talked to coach Dorsey and coach McDermott.”

Things may have gone better for Jackson had he transferred from UB to a bigger school. He would’ve been able to show that his late season slump with the Bulls really wasn’t him. I asked him if he was sorry he didn’t transfer instead of opting into the NFL Draft and there was no second guessing at all, “No sir. I walked into the facilities when we first got here and I was so happy to be here.”

Jackson was out in California working out with Josh Allen and Sam Darnold. He loved getting to know the Bills' QB1, “Josh is an awesome quarterback, so getting to learn from him and be around him was good.”

Minicamp continues for the players on Saturday. 

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