Though it’s still not real football Buffalo’s coaches have been busy formulating plans and developing decisions on what they can and cannot do with specific players, position units and their respective schemes in OTAs. Here now are the top five roster developments from the second week of organized team activities.
5 – O-line experimentation
Head coach Doug Marrone and offensive line coach Pat Morris have been mixing some line combinations over the first two weeks. It seems as though the aim is more to judge the versatility of the talent they have on hand more than finding the best combinations. Testing Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston at left guard with the first unit were the most notable moves of the week.
Other players who have been on the move thought include Cyril Richardson, who flipped from right guard in week one to left guard in week two. Antoine McClain went from right tackle to right guard and Mark Asper went from center to guard and back to center.
4 – LB Brown being trusted early
Third-round pick Preston Brown is being given a lot of responsibility for a rookie. Much like Kiko Alonso last year, Brown has been handed play calling duties as the middle linebacker. Granted the Louisville product is still running second team behind veteran Brandon Spikes, but when Spikes has been held out of team work Brown has run with the ones. On Thursday even when Spikes was participating in team work, Brown got some first team nickel reps.
3 – Schwartz rotating safeties through
For most of the first week of OTA practices the top safety combination was Da’Norris Searcy and Duke Williams, with Aaron Williams not yet cleared for team work. In the second week of practices it was largely Searcy and Jonathan Meeks.
Schwartz has made it plain that no one will win the vacant safety job alongside Aaron Williams in OTAs, but the Bills defensive coordinator is giving a fair look at each of the candidates vying for the position.
2 – Depth is showing
Buffalo’s collection of talent might be the deepest it has been in some time, and it’s showing on the field. With a good number of starters still sidelined from team work in practice due to offseason procedures backups have been given extensive playing time during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 in the OTA sessions.
Where the depth of talent has shown the most is at cornerback, offensive line, safety and wide receiver.
1 - New additions making early impact
Between free agency and the draft Buffalo has added almost a dozen players, who have made an impact in the practice setting during organized team activities. Whether it’s been Brandon Spikes batting down passes, Corey Graham making interceptions, Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins high pointing the ball for receptions or Chris Williams and Cyrus Kouandjio capably resetting the line of scrimmage in the run game, the additions appear as though they will raise the level of play on both sides of the ball this season.