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5 players to watch during the Hall of Fame game

Posted Aug 3, 2014

Here are the players to keep an eye on at Fawcett Stadium for the Bills preseason opener in Canton.

It’s only natural for a fan’s eyes to be drawn to the newest talent added to the team in the offseason via free agency and the draft. That figures to be the case when the Bills open the NFL preseason with their Hall of Fame game tilt against the Giants Sunday night.

5. What can Brown do for Bills?

Middle linebacker Preston Brown has been a busy rookie. A third-round pick, Brown has been thrust into the backup middle backer role as well as one of the two linebackers in the top nickel package. Seemingly comfortable with making all the calls and checks at the line Brown will see a lot of the field on Sunday night.

4. Put Boobie in, watch him spin

The running back the players call ‘Boobie’ has proven far more athletic than some may have expected. Anthony Dixon has run with authority in practice and knows he’s being counted on to be a hammer in the run game. But Dixon has also shown a pretty diversified skill set along with some elusiveness that isn’t common for a man his size. Pass protection will be his key test moving through the preseason.

3. Can't harry Henderson

Seventh-round pick T Seantrel Henderson has been the starting left tackle for most of training camp in place of T Cordy Glenn (non-football illness). Henderson has shown impressive athleticism for a man his size (6-7, 331) and has demonstrated an eagerness to learn. How he handles Jason Pierre-Paul will be worth watching.

2. Tuel time

Expected to be the first quarterback off the bench after EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel could see a lot of playing time Sunday night. His decisiveness in the pocket and ability to sense pressure around him have developed nicely entering his second NFL season. Tuel’s confidence is in a good place after the offseason work he has put in. A good first showing would only help his effort to land the backup job to EJ Manuel.

1. The Watkins watch

He’s a highlight reel waiting to happen. Watkins has been very entertaining the first two weeks of training camp and the dynamic weapon will be on display Sunday night. He may not see much time, but he’s shown an ability to get off press and make plays and if one gives him a cushion a defender’s success rate isn’t much better. One of the top gate attractions in this game.