Bills wrap-up 'hyper-competitive' minicamp; Next stop: training camp

Notes and observations from Day 3

Sal Capaccio
June 15, 2017 - 2:58 pm

Photo: Nick Wojton (@Nick_Wojton)

The next time the Buffalo Bills take the field as a team it will be for training camp on July 27.

Players and coaches wrapped-up their offseason program Thursday. The practice was originally going to be inside New Era Field, but inclement morning weather forced it to be moved inside the ADPRO Sports Training Center.

Center Eric Wood described the final three day mandatory minicamp as “the most competitive one” he’s ever been around. The nine-year veteran called the sessions “hyper-competitive.”

Here are some notes from the final day of work:

— Wide receiver Sammy Watkins continued to increase his workload, getting more reps in 11-on-11 work against the defense. In one of those sessions, Watkins caught back-to-back passes, including a wide receiver screen. Bills fans have been clamoring to see the team throw Watkins screens, something he was highly successful doing in college, but hasn’t been used for much at the NFL level.

—The offense had a much better day throwing the football overall, especially in the red zone. Multiple TD passes were thrown by Tyrod Taylor in the red area while the starters were going against one another.  

—But with good offense comes bad defense in these practices. In full-field work, the defense lost receivers multiple times, often resulting in big plays. To the QBs' credit, whoever was throwing usually found the open man to make that happen.

—In three wide receiver sets, the starting group included Sammy Watkins and Andre Holmes on the outside and Zay Jones in the slot.

—On rookie QB Nathan Peterman - on multiple occasions this week I saw him make throws that were nearly picked off because he either didn’t anticipate fast enough or didn’t have the velocity to get it there. On Thursday, he threw an out pattern from the far left hashmarks to the right sideline. The ball got there too late because he didn’t have enough velocity. Joe Powell had a good chance to intercept it, but it went off his fingertips. But he had plenty of time to jump the route in front of the intended receiver. On Wednesday, Peterman didn’t throw a curl route soon enough. It was after the receiver had already turned, and the DB on the play easily got his hands on it to knock it down after coming from behind the wide out. With all that said, Peterman did do some nice things. Thursday, he escaped the pocket one play when the rush came too quick, scrambled right, and hit Nick O’Leary on the sideline as he was going out of bounds. He got both feet in. Peterman seems very comfortable in the huddle, running the offense, and in the pocket. When he knows where he wants to go with the ball right away, he gets it there with no problem, and it’s usually the right read. But when things are going fast and he has to anticipate or make a longer throw, the very shortcomings written about him coming out of college show up. Defensive backs and defenses as a whole aren’t going to get slower for him. So he needs to get faster and throw with some more zip once training camp comes around.

—Rookie CB Tre'Davious White conitnued his strong offseason, and particularly minicamp. He has had several interceptions and knocked balls away numerous other times. He came up with another pick early on Thursday (I believe it was the very first play) in red zone work.

—OT Cordy Glenn sat out once again due to an ankle injury.

—CB Shareece Wright didn’t participate after being declared day-to-day with a calf injury. Head coach Sean McDermott said it’s nothing he considers serious.

—A league source has informed me that linebacker Gerald Hodges’ deal with the Bills is for the veteran minimum salary for one year.

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