It was a practice that was on the move. A rainy morning forced the Bills to initially move the 8 a.m. practice to 2 p.m., but that was later amended to 1 p.m. as threatening weather was again moving into the area late in the afternoon. The team was able to dodge the weather and get their work in. Here now are the four things to take from Thursday’s session.
Internal clock is ticking
“I think it’s just from working more with the O-line,” said Manuel. “Those guys have a done a great job especially this week picking up the defensive blitzes. We’ve been communicating very well at the line of scrimmage and that allows us to really pick it up. For me as a quarterback when you know you’re protected you can just sit back there and pick the defense apart and distribute the ball to those receivers.”
Manuel is spreading the ball around to more of his receivers so it’s not just top draft choice
“I just dropped back and threw it and he ran a great route and he ran that against (Stephon) Gilmore and that says a lot,” Manuel said. “Being backed up that’s kind of your dream as a QB to have a chance at a 99-yard touchdown reception. Sammy did a good job of stacking him and it was a huge play for us.”
Hogan slotting himself
After a strong spring Hogan was widely viewed by outside observers as the team’s fifth wideout. After two weeks of training camp the receiver is still on the ascent. Next to Sammy Watkins it’s very likely that Hogan has the next most receptions. Lining up as the primary slot receiver of late,
Hogan had a handful of catches Thursday as he was gaining consistent separation from coverage and looks at home in the slot. Just two weeks into camp however, Hogan is not taking any role he’s been afforded for granted.
“It’s a talented room that we’ve got. We see it every day,” Hogan said. “Sammy, Woody, Marquise, Mike they’re all making plays from top to bottom. When those opportunities are out there on the field you have to make them to prove to the coaches and the quarterbacks that you can be a guy who can trusted on the field.”
It’s readily apparent that his quarterback trusts him as Manuel has gone to him early and often on third downs.
“Chris has done a great job,” said Manuel. “He’s a guy who I would consider an ‘every dayer.’ He comes to work ready to go and very assignment oriented and he’s made some huge catches for us on these third down conversions.”
It’s not quite the way the French spell it when fencing, but it’s probably what offensive line coach Pat Morris was shouting after starting left guard
Richardson, who had a tough go of it at times in the first week of camp, is coming around now. So much so, that his performance with the first unit Thursday wasn’t bad at all.
“Cyril did a great job coming in filling in for a guy,” said Manuel. “So I’m very happy and especially those young guys the more reps they get the more it’s going to help those guys later in the season for us.”
By no means does Richardson feel he has his full game operating at peak efficiency yet, but he understands his whole rookie season is going to be a learning process.
“It’s a lot and that’s how it is with some things,” said Richardson. “It’s a different scheme, a different atmosphere and I just have to adjust. I’m just glad I was able to go against those guys like (Marcell) Dareus and Kyle (Williams). Those guys are great technicians and it’s great working against them.
Richardson wasn’t the only reserve who stepped in at the starting left guard spot. J.J. ‘Unga rotated in for a series as well as