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Bills Today: Zay Jones to face brother

Posted Aug 10, 2017

Rookie WR Zay Jones looks forward to facing his brother in his first NFL game, CB Tre'Davious White expresses excitement about the start of the preseason and WR Anquan Boldin brings more than experience to the locker room.

Here is the Bills news of note for Aug. 10th. 

1 – Zay Jones to face brother

The sibling rivalry between Zay Jones, and his brother, Cayleb, isn’t anything new. But, the two will have a chance to face-off in a new setting. Cayleb Jones is a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, who are set to play the Bills in Orchard Park on Thursday.

Although Zay Jones certainly has a lot to prove in his first game action in the NFL, he said he’d like nothing more than to show he’s the best receiver in the Jones’ family.

“We all compete at a high level and we all want to be great,” said Jones. “I don’t think one brother would admit that the other one is better, but I’m pushing them in the workouts…So, I’m excited for that matchup just to show him that I’m the better receiving brother in the family.”

The paths the brothers took to reach the NFL couldn’t be more different. Coming out of high school, Cayleb Jones was a highly sought-after recruit. Ranked the 21st best wide receiver in his recruiting class by ESPN, Jones didn’t have trouble garnering scholarship offers. Jones committed to the University of Texas. After an off the field issue, Jones transferred to Arizona where he showed his true potential. After two successful seasons with the Wildcats, Jones surprisingly went undrafted. Jones found his way onto the Vikings practice squad last season, and is now fighting to make their roster.

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Conversely, Zay Jones received little attention coming out of high school. He accepted one of the few scholarships offered to him and attended East Carolina. Over his four years with the Pirates, he blossomed into one of the best receivers in the country. By his senior year, Jones totaled 158 receptions for 1,746 yards and eight touchdowns. He also sky-rocketed up draft boards, and was ranked as one of the best receivers in the 2017 draft. Unlike his brother, he was drafted by the Bills in the second-round.

Zay Jones said he didn’t let his tough journey through college get him down, even as he saw his brother succeeding in Arizona.

“Cayleb was a five-star recruit,” said Jones. “Then, there was little old me, at the time a little undersized. A lot of people passed on me. They didn’t see me at a level that my older brother was. I never lost sight of who I was as a person and player. I always took what I was doing seriously.”

In the end, Zay Jones said the past doesn’t matter. He said he couldn’t be more grateful for his opportunity, and to have a chance to play against his brother in the NFL.

2 – White excited for first preseason action

On Thursday, rookie first-round pick Tre’Davious White will experience his first action in an NFL game. Although the first team defense will likely only see a quarter of play, White said that he couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.

White laid out his goals for his first preseason game. 

“To win, to dominate, and to do the techniques and the fundamentals that my coaches have been teaching me,” said White. “Just try to go out and compete well, and try to play together as a team, and communicate well in the back end.”

The rookie corner has seen steady snaps with the first team on the outside. White will look to continue his impressive training camp with steady performances in the preseason. White said that he isn’t worried that he’ll be surprised by anything on Thursday. He said that he’s been fortunate to play against great wide receivers who have prepared him for the game’s best.

3 – Boldin bolsters culture in Buffalo

The Bills added to their wide receiver depth on Tuesday with the signing of veteran Anquan Boldin. Although he will soon be 37 years old, Boldin’s production on the field hasn’t waned over the years. Not only does Boldin provide the Bills offense with another receiving threat, he also offers years of experience and leadership. Here’s what general manager Brandon Beane had to say on the Howard Simon Show.

“When Sean and I preach culture, this guy embodies the culture,” said Beane. “He a guy who’s a pro’s pro, and something we’re looking for on our team. History has shown that it’s one thing to preach culture and it’s another thing for a guy to model it.”

There is no greater example of Boldin’s character than his Walter Payton Man of the Year award. In 2015 Boldin was given this honor for his charity work. In 2004, the wide receiver created the Anquan Boldin Foundation, which works to help fund educational opportunities for underprivileged children. 

Not only is Boldin a model player off the field, he’s a true leader on the field and in the locker room. Tyrod Taylor recalled the work ethic of Boldin during their time together in Baltimore.

“He treats every day with the same mentality, with a work horse mentality,” said Taylor. “I remember our receivers coach in Baltimore always use to try to give him days off. He would never take those. He wants to continue to keep working and get better.”

As Beane stated on the Howard Simon Show, even if Boldin is only in Buffalo for a season, his impact on the younger players on the team will last for years.