Bills' McDermott looking forward to this week's mini-camp

The head coach gave Josh Allen some first team reps

Paul Hamilton
June 12, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) - The Bills kicked off mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday. Camp will go for three days and then the players and coaches will be off until training camp start at the end of July.

Sean McDermott said there are no unexcused absences, but some did not practice including, Tenny Palepoi (illness), Zay Jones (knee), Logan Thomas, Malachi Dupre and Matt Milano (hamstring). Trent Murphy did some work, just not the team periods as he continues to rehab from an ACL injury.

Mini-camp is really no different than OTAs other than it's mandatory. McDermott said, “Pretty much the same style practice.”

McDermott has been very impressed with the team during the spring. Up to this point, it’s all been voluntary, but most of the players have been in Orchard Park. The head coach said, “They’ve done a tremendous job, being in Buffalo, working their tails off, the coaches have been teaching and it’s been a good environment around the building.”

It seems like LeSean McCoy never drops off in his performance despite turning 30 next month. McDermott knows McCoy from when they both spent time in Philadelphia. He said the running back never fails to impress him, “Just to watch his habits off the field in terms of the way he takes care of his body and for a runningback to accrue the number of yards and to be as healthy as he’s been for the most part, is really a testament to the way he takes care of his body.”

In his career, McCoy has gained a combined 13,470 yards rushing and pass receiving.

The coaching staff can’t really get too much out of these camps as far as who is better at what position. McDermott said, “This time of year with no pads and it’s tough from the standpoint of the interior line play, there’s very little contact, so the evaluation part is a challenge, so it’s a little bit easier at this time of year to evaluate some of the skill position players on both side of the ball.

“You have to be careful not to make too early of an evaluation or a final evaluation on a player until you put the pads on.”

Josh Allen has been taking third team reps all spring with Nate Peterman and AJ McCarron both taking first team snaps. McDermott said he may tweak that just a bit because Allen has earned more, “Josh will be with the third group like he’s done before, but what we’ll do periodically is give Josh some reps with the ones and that’s all part of his development plan.”

During each practice during the spring, you see the media write who is playing on the first and second teams. McDermott said none of that is even close to being written in stone, “This time of year there’s not a set depth chart. We’re looking at our roster trying to find and evaluate players and there’s a lot of different reasons for doing what we’re doing, so at every position, you’ll see some twos play with the ones.

“Once we get into the second, third and certainly the fourth week of training camp, that’s when we’ll start to really try to build some continuity with ones so then it carries forward into the season.”

We in Buffalo know all about quarterback competitions. Since Jim Kelly retired, there have been quite a few of them. There is a certain time in preseason that McDermott will want to have that set, “It’s in pencil at this point in time. There will be a time in training camp where we need to be decisive and be reminded of that for the betterment of the team.”

The Bills have still not announced when training camp will be.

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