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Bills practice notes Aug. 16 | Ken Dorsey shares an update on the QB2 spot


Ahead of Wednesday's training camp practice, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey met with the media to discuss his offense's performance against the Colts and the position battle at the QB2 spot.

Against Indianapolis, Kyle Allen finished 8 of 15 for 122 passing yards and threw one interception. Matt Barkley was 14 of 15 for 172 passing yards and threw two touchdown passes. While Barkley had a better day statistically, Dorsey said the two graded out similarly.

"I know that Matt's numbers were what they were, and he did a great job. But at the end of the day, really, both of them graded out very similar," Dorsey said. "So I think they both came in and were very effective for us. And I thought Kyle did some really good things. And obviously, there are some things he can learn from."

Allen had a couple of big-time throws on third down against the Colts. The first came in the 2nd quarter where he connected with Khalil Shakir for 20 yards on a 3rd & 12 play. The next one was a 3rd & 20 play where Allen found Marcell Ateman for a 21-yard gain.

In the third quarter, Matt Barkley threw a deep ball to Tyrell Shavers for a 22-yard score to give the Bills a 4-point lead.

Dorsey still thinks the competition is close due to the talent between the two.

"When you look at just that competition, I think it's very close between the two of them, which is a testament to the two of them because neither one of them are playing bad football," Dorsey said. "It's not like it's close because both of them are playing bad. And obviously in practice there's going to be good days, rough days and everything. I think we see that from the quarterback position kind of as camp has gone. But at the same time, I think both of them are doing a very good job."

Dorsey said the staff is looking for consistency, accuracy and good decision making out of whoever wins the job. When it comes to managing reps, the OC says at times it's a juggling act because they're trying to get Allen up to speed on the offense compared to Barkley who has played in it before.

"At times, Matt's reps tick down a little bit," Dorsey explained. "So there were days where we had to do that just to see Kyle in some of these different situations that Barkley's been exposed to within the offense in the past. At the same time, you want to make sure when it's a competition between two guys that you're giving both guys an opportunity. There is a little bit of a juggling act there in terms of making sure we're seeing exactly what Kyle can do because he is new to us, while at the same time, giving both guys an equal opportunity."

Allen and Barkley each had a few impressive plays during Wednesday's practice. During the end of one team period, Barkley threw a TD pass to Marcell Ateman in the corner of the end zone. Barkley was able to fit it in a tight window. Ateman bobbled the pass at first due to the coverage but was able to reel it in to score. Allen also connected with Ateman on a nice play by both the QB and WR. Ateman had a good day of practice Wednesday after posting two catches for 41 yards in the preseason opener.

During a two-minute drill, Allen linked up with KeeSean Johnson for a few good passes to move the ball down the field with just seconds left on the clock. On one play, Johnson caught Allen's pass near the sideline and did a great job of pulling it in with Christian Benford right on him trying to knock it out.

It wasn't just Kyle Allen and Barkley, Josh Allen also had his fair share of standout plays. During team drills, Josh Allen threw a laser over to Trent Sherfield near the sideline. Sherfield had to get up to pull it in showcasing his athleticism on the play. During a two-minute period, Allen was flushed out of the pocket to his left and threw across his body to connect with Khalil Shakir who was moving the opposite way in traffic. It was a tough throw to make, but Allen made an uncomfortable situation where he faced pressure look easy.

The defense also had a few notable plays. One came from Taylor Rapp when Dawson Knox caught a pass and was heading out of bounds. Rapp was there to punch the ball out before the play ended. The safety is starting to feel comfortable in this new defense but knows there's always more ways to learn and grow.

Rapp isn't quite sure how he will be used in Buffalo's defense this season and doesn't mind how it shakes out as long as he can help the Bills achieve their goals. One thing he does want to put on display when playing is his versatility.

"I like to think that I'm a very versatile piece," Rapp said after practice. "And even dating back to my college days at the University of Washington, just being able to play different things, drop down, play different techniques, play different positions, whether it be a pass down, third down, rush, blitz, cover, drop down in the box, play high, everything. I kind of carried that on going through my last four years with the Rams just being able to play multiple positions. So, just being a versatile piece and Coach JB, John Butler our DB coach always talks about the more you can do, so just being able to try to just show I can do multiple things. I can take the complex defense from multiple positions and being able to apply it on the field at multiple positions and doing multiple things, that's all that really matters."

Scroll to see the best photos from Day Fourteen of Buffalo Bills Training Camp

Other defensive plays that stuck out from practice:

  • Boogie Basham recovered a fumble during a team period.
  • Damar Hamlin had an impressive pass break up. Kyle Allen threw a good ball to KeeSean Johnson in the corner of the end zone, but Hamlin was with him stride for stride and was able to tip the pass before going into Johnson's hands.
  • On another play, Matt Barkley tried to link up with Tyrell Shavers in the end zone, but Alex Austin was there to break it up.
  • Toward the end of practice, Josh Allen threw a pass over to Stefon Diggs but Kaiir Elam forced an incompletion.

Injury updates from practice:

  • Damien Harris (knee) returned to practice.
  • Gabe Davis (general soreness), Baylon Spector (back), Terrel Bernard (hamstring), Cam Lewis (groin), Eli Ankou (calf), Von Miller (knee/PUP) did not participate in practice.

Scroll to see the best photos from Day Fifteen of Buffalo Bills Training Camp.

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