After a day off on Monday, the Bills returned to the practice field at One Bills Drive.
Before practice began, assistant head coach & defensive line coach Eric Washington spoke to the press about what he saw from the group in Saturday’s preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, which the Bills won 23-19.
All camp, coaches and players talked about the difference between "thud" practice, in which players don't fully tackle their teammates, and games against opponents with different logos on their helmets.
"All of a sudden, now they're no holds barred," Washington said. "You can go all the way, there are no restrictions or limitations."
The defensive line got to the opposing quarterback three times in the game and held the Colts to under 100 yards rushing.
"I saw our guys control the line of scrimmage for the most part," Washington said. "Do a really good job in the run game. I thought we collapsed the pocket and got some pressure outside of the sacks that we were able to accumulate."
Something that Washington would like to see improve is the offsides penalties committed by members of the defensive line. Greg Rousseau, Ed Oliver and Cortez Broughton all were flagged for either offsides penalties or neutral zone infractions in Saturday's game.
"We've got to do a little bit better job with our pre-snap discipline," Washington said. "And that's normal first game. All of the sights and sounds and what have you. And the good thing about that is that we had three in the first half and the guys really responded. And we had none in the second half."
Defensive end Boogie Basham, who had a sack as well as three total tackles, said that the game allowed him to employ some of the things he had been working on in the offseason.
"[Pad level] is something at the end of the year … that was one of the main things we needed to work on for this season," Basham said to the media after Tuesday's practice. "Just the whole offseason, just doing little stuff, help me knee bend, help my hips, just so that pad level is always consistent, never playing high."
Basham, who said he started doing yoga in the offseason to improve his pad level, said that his confidence enabled him to have a strong performance on Saturday.
"I feel like I did pretty good that game," Basham said. "For me, it's just all mindset and confidence. Going through camp, anything I do, I just pride myself on my confidence. … With good confidence, you're bound to have a good game."
The defensive line saw the additions of Poona Ford and Leonard Floyd in the offseason, two veterans who are ready to contribute to a Super Bowl-caliber defense. Basham said that both Ford and Floyd made a smooth transition to their new team.
"We all were close [last year] and we all played a season together," Basham said. "Adding those new guys in, they just fit in right away. … We like to joke around and all that, but once times get serious we all get to work."
The defense and offense both showed evidence of high effort in Tuesday's practice, which was one of the more intense practices of training camp.
"We're just working to compete and get better and we want to be great," quarterback Josh Allen said after practice. "Sometimes you go through practices like that where both sides want it really badly. … You need those practices, that makes your team better."
Allen did his part, finding Gabe Davis for touchdowns twice during practice. On the second, in a one-on-one drill, Davis made an impossible catch while being blanketed by cornerback Tre'Davious White which was likely the highlight of the day.
"It was a good catch, went over the top. Tre was in a good position. Gabe was able to come down with it. I think it was fourth down, so we needed it as an offense and we can rely on Gabe to make those types of catches," Allen said.
Wide receiver Andy Isabella, who the Bills signed in late July, had a strong practice, and connected with Allen on a few passes.
"Every time I walk past him in the locker room, he's got his playbook open, he's writing stuff down," Allen said. "He's got good body language, he's been easy to throw to. I know that he's impressed a lot of people."