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Top 3 things to know from Day 9 at Bills Camp

Posted Aug 6, 2017

Sammy Watkins' status after a minor scare at practice, a quarterback update and K Stephen Hauschka is impressing early.


1 - Watkins okay after minor scare
When he twisted his surgically repaired left foot awkwardly when he turned to come back to a pass during individual drills, Bills fans were concerned. That concern grew when he walked to the athletic trainer tent to get checked out. But in the end all Sammy Watkins did was get a fresh tape job and return to practice.

“My footing got bad, I overextended on my route,” said Watkins after practice. “I usually don’t do that, but on that play I overextended and tweaked my ankle, but I’m fine.”

Watkins was initially held out of any and all team work once he returned, but he managed to convince the staff to let him take a few snaps.

“At first he wouldn’t let me go,” said Watkins. “But I was like, ‘Please let me go test it out, so I can steal a couple of plays.’ Once I caught the ball and ran another route I was like, ‘I’m fine. It’s no problem.’”

Watkins got a total of just four reps, two in 11-on-11 and two in 7-on-7, but the fact that he did participate after the ankle twist was certainly an encouraging sign.

“Yeah probably ice and I’m fine,” said Watkins about the plan for tonight. “I’ll be out here tomorrow probably catching passes, scoring. I’ll be fine.”

2 - QB update
Tyrod Taylor had a high completion percentage in Sunday’s practice as most of his throws were in the short to intermediate range. He completed nine of his 12 pass attempts in practice during team segments. His best pass was the one he threw over the middle to Brandon Tate for an 18-yard gain.

Taylor’s only mistake came on an attempted pass down the seam to Charles Clay as S Jordan Poyer came out of nowhere to make the interception on the play.

Head coach Sean McDermott is encouraged by Taylor’s progress with the offense.

“He’s done a good job, he really has,” said McDermott. “He’s got the background from it with his time with Rick (Dennison) in Baltimore. And then, he just continues to get more and more comfortable, as does the entire offense. I felt there was a lot of positives from the offense the other evening. They moved the ball and were consistent.”  

T.J. also went 9-12 passing with his best throw coming on a 20-yard shot to Rod Streater on the right side of the field on the first play of the second team’s drive the field series.

Nate Peterman was 5-8 passing Sunday and worked the middle of the field particularly well. His best throw was a shot over the middle to Walt Powell to beat the blitz and make the play despite having a hand in his face. The completion went for first down yardage.

3 - Hauschka puts his long distance leg strength on display
Stephen Hauschka is a proven kicker in the NFL, but he’s new to Bills fans. If they had any doubts, they’ve been put to rest through the first week and a half of training camp.

Hauschka has such a smooth kicking motion that it never looks like he’s ever kicking the ball hard, but the distance the veteran kicker puts on the ball is impressive.

That was on display against Sunday. At the end of a play-it-out drive where the drive for the offense lasts as long as they can keep converting for first downs, Hauschka had to come on for a 57-yard attempt.

Hauschka, with his easy swinging motion bombed the 57-yard attempt right through the uprights with plenty of distance to spare. The kick would’ve easily been good from 60 yards.

“His success over the years – his numbers speaks for themselves,” said McDermott. “[Stephen]’s in a good place I believe, mentally. He’s tracking the ball well so he’s done a nice job.”

Bonus notes
LeSean McCoy was especially elusive Sunday on his carries during team work. Defenders were lunging and waving at the Bills feature back.

Shareece Wright made a great play to break up a bomb from T.J. Yates that was intended for Walt Powell.

Kevon Seymour had great position on a pass breakup on a pass from Yates that was intended for Jeremy Butler.  

Reggie Ragland made a great read on a run play and got to the hole to meet Mike Tolbert and keep him from gaining yardage.

DeAndre Coleman rotated in for some second team reps at defensive tackle with Adolphus Washington.

Trae Elston rotated in for a few reps for Shamiel Gary, who has been spelling Micah Hyde (sore hip) at the starting safety spot.

Michael Ola lined up at left guard with the second team for the second straight practice after playing mainly offensive tackle through the first week of camp.

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