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Top 3 things to know from Day 12 at Bills Camp

Posted Aug 13, 2017

Nathan Peterman may be making a move at QB and the newest Bills get acclimated to their new surroundings.


1 - Peterman gets second team reps
He didn’t know until veteran QB T.J. Yates told him. Rookie QB Nate Peterman moved up to the second team offense and got almost all the second team reps in practice Sunday. Whether the promotion is permanent remains to be seen, but after an encouraging performance in the preseason opener and solid reviews from teammates, Peterman looks to be making a move for the backup quarterback job.

“It was good. I’ve been taking reps with Ryan Groy and those linemen a little bit,” said Peterman. “It was a good transition and I was thankful for it.”

Peterman was unofficially 7-8 passing during the team periods. Then when running a two-minute drill in 11-on-11, the rookie QB had 1:27 on the clock with a drive start at his own 30-yard line.

Peterman ran a successful running back screen to Jonathan Williams that got a first down. After a pass to Brandon Tate went wide and incomplete, he completed his next three passes moving the offense down to the 22-yard line.

After a 2nd-and-4 pass to Jordan Matthews was broken up, he tried to go right back to Matthews, but they had a miscommunication. Peterman threw the quick out, but Matthews ran and out and up and the ball went incomplete.

So facing a 4th-and-4 from the 22-yard line and needing a touchdown to win with 17 seconds on the clock, Peterman was patient in the pocket and found Tate streaking to the end zone back side and hit him for the touchdown.

“Great play by him,” said Peterman of Tate. “I saw the safety drive it at the last second so I tried to put it behind him and he made a great adjustment to make the catch and make the play.”

Peterman was 5-8 passing on the scoring drive and was effective in taking what the defense gave him on the possession.

At this stage of camp everything is installed. Now comes the refinement stage, which Peterman sounds ready for at this point.

“Throwing a little different formation and motions to get creative with (the plays),” he said. “It’s great for me to have that basis of knowing where all five guys are no matter how we call it. Just to know the spacing of it. I think it’s helpful and the more reps I get the better it comes.”

2 - Gaines and Matthews getting acclimated
For the newest Bills, E.J. Gaines and Jordan Matthews did a good job of blending in on Sunday. Right away Gaines was lining up with the second team at right cornerback.

“I just told the coach to just throw me in there and see what I can do and he definitely did that for me,” said Gaines. “So we’ll go watch the film and see how I did.”

Toward the end of practice, Gaines broke up a pass intended for Jordan Matthews on a short out route.

“Man it took too long if you asked me to make a play on the day, but getting out there and making plays and getting guys excited for me,” he said. “It’s fun.”

Matthews was rotated in steadily through the course of practice. He was worked in for some first and second team reps. He was targeted four times and made a pair of receptions.

The receiver lined up both outside and in the slot through the course of practice.

Though Matthews finished practice, he did go to the locker room afterwards to be evaluated for a chest injury. An update is expected Monday morning on his condition.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott knows time is not on the side of Gaines and Matthews, but he’s been pleased with their approach since they arrived.

“Right now it’s about terminology and getting comfortable, so that they can go out and execute and play fast,” said McDermott. “Both were at walk-through this morning and have done a nice job of getting up to speed to this point, but that’ll be a process as we go through the next couple days, as well.”

3 - Offense takes two minute drill
The aforementioned second team offense finished their two-minute drive with a touchdown to win their series. The first and third string offensive units also performed well.

Tyrod Taylor and the starters had a drive start at their own 30 with 1:27 on the clock. Taylor got a great one-handed catch from Nick O’Leary that got a first down right away on the first play of the drive.

After a pass wide of Zay Jones, Taylor hit Jones on two straight plays moving the sticks again. On a 2nd-and-1 Andre Holmes couldn’t come up with the pass for the completion, but Taylor came back to him on the next play and he converted the 3rd-and-1 for a first down with 25 seconds left at the defense’s 41-yard line.

After spiking the ball on first down to stop the clock, Taylor couldn’t connect with Jones over the middle, so on 3rd-and-10 and needing a field goal the offense ran the ball to the middle of the field to line up the field goal attempt.

The third team offense had 1:43 on the clock and started at their own 30. T.J. Yates hit his first two passes to Dez Lewis and Daikiel Shorts to move the sticks. After a Greg Mabin pass breakup on a pass intended for Walt Powell, Yates hit Jason Croom underneath for a first down.

Then he connected with Joe Banyard out of the backfield with 52 seconds left to advance into the defense’s territory. Then Yates’ best throw came on a 2nd-and-5 from the defense’s 45-yard line when he dropped a pass over the outside shoulder of Rashad Ross for a 22-yard pickup to the defense’s 23-yard line.

With 35 second left the offense called a run play to again get the ball centered for a 38-yard field goal attempt for a successful possession.

Bonus notes
CB Shareece Wright got starting cornerback reps opposite Tre’Davious White, but left practice early with a thumb injury. Greg Mabin replaced him with the starters.

Anquan Boldin, Andre Holmes, Zay Jones and Rod Streater were among those who rotated in with the first unit with Jordan Matthews also sprinkled in.

Shaq Lawson was worked back into the team segments of practice, but did not take part in the two minute drill defense. Max Valles stepped in for him.

With Kevon Seymour out, Marcus Sayles served as the second team nickel corner in subpackages.

The catch of the day went to Brandon Tate, who made a ridiculous one-handed catch fully extended parallel to the ground on a situational Hail Mary play in the end zone for a touchdown.

 

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