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Bills practice notes Aug. 23 | Ken Dorsey evaluates offense heading into preseason finale 


The Bills braved the light rain Wednesday afternoon and got after it on the practice field ahead of their preseason finale against the Chicago Bears this weekend.

Before practice, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey spoke to the media about what he saw in the Bills' preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend, as well as his evaluation of the roster as a whole as the NFL's 53-man roster deadline approaches.

Tight end Dawson Knox missed the Bills' 27-15 loss in Pittsburgh due to a finger injury (he has returned to the practice field this week as a full participant). Dorsey thought that Knox's absence gave TEs Dalton Kincaid and Quintin Morris good chances to get comfortable with the offense in a game atmosphere.

"I thought it was a really good opportunity for Dalton to get some reps in some situations that maybe Dawson would be in at as well," Dorsey said. "And then also a really good opportunity for Q. Morris to come in and fill that role of Dawson when we were in some 12 personnel groupings."

Kincaid and Morris were both active in team drills again today. Kincaid caught a deep ball from quarterback Josh Allen on a fade route that would have resulted in a touchdown were the play not blown dead to continue with practice. In a later drill from the 3-yard line, Morris overcame double coverage to catch a touchdown pass.

Receiver Justin Shorter also took advantage of his snaps in the Pittsburgh game, catching five passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. Dorsey spoke on Shorter's size and his commitment to learn the offense as reasons behind his growth during camp.

"One of the biggest things is just obviously his physical presence out there, and his ability to play fast," Dorsey said. "He continues to grow from just a detail, technique standpoint of playing the position, whether it's releases, route stems, zone spacing, all those little nuance things that just come through experience and reps."

Allen and Shorter connected on a short touchdown pass during one-on-ones during today's practice.

The Bills ranked 26th last season in overall yards after catch. Dorsey emphasized his intentions to integrate creating space for receivers to move with the ball in 2023. A prime example in today's practice was another Kincaid catch. The 23-year-old ran a tight slant route, immediately turning up field for positive yardage after making the catch.

"RAC (run after catch) is such a huge part of this league," Dorsey said. "And we continue to stress that. Continue to try to make sure we are putting our guys in position where they can do those types of things. I think we've got guys that can do that."

One of the players Dorsey credited with the ability to run after the catch was Stefon Diggs. He also praised the nine-year veteran for his leadership during training camp.

"He's come in and just been great," Dorsey said. "He's provided a lot of energy for us every single day. … He's attacked every single day with a great attitude and great energy, and I think great leadership. … Love where he's at from a mental standpoint, and love what he brings to the table for this offense."

As expected, Diggs and Allen connected on several occasions in Wednesday's practice, including a deep post route and a pair of impressive touchdown grabs in the endzone.

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

Fullback Reggie Gilliam spoke to the media after practice, giving an update on his perspective of the new-look offense and the status of the fullback position as a whole.

"A lot of people would say that the fullback position is a dying breed," Gilliam said. "I think the opposite. … When you get an offense like this one, there really are no set positions. Anybody can be anywhere. And that's the beauty of it, what Ken Dorsey does."

Gilliam, who lines up all over the field during offensive drills, said that he makes sure to mix it up when training in the offseason.

"I train with every position," Gilliam said. "I train with DBs, I train with running backs, receivers, tight ends, whoever. Because I know my skillset can be so wide so you know, maybe I'm working this step with the receivers or this blocking technique with the tight end … because with Dorsey, you never know what he's gonna ask you to do."

On the defensive side of the field, edge rusher A.J. Epenesa spoke to the media on the benefits of having a loaded defensive line room and how he feels he is progressing in the fourth year of his career.

"I'm a huge believer in competition breeds excellence," Epenesa said. "Having good athletes around you that push you to be great or can teach me a thing or two when I have a question. … It's always nice to be able to learn things from some vets as well."

Epenesa finished 2022 with 6.5 sacks. He accredited his improvement with his growing confidence.

"Confidence in myself, confidence in my rush, confidence in my body weight and my strength," Epenesa said. "Just having that overwhelming amount of confidence to be able to push yourself through, propel your way through a rush or the run game. That mind game is majority part of the sport, I'd say."

The Bills have one more practice in Orchard Park before heading to Chicago for their final game of the NFL preseason.

Wednesday's inactive players:

  • QB Matt Barkley (elbow)
  • RB Jordan Mims
  • WR Khalil Shakir (ribs)
  • DE Von Miller (PUP, knee)
  • DE Leonard Floyd (rest)
  • LB Terrel Bernard (hamstring)
  • LB Dorian Williams (calf)

Other team news:

  • Quarterback Josh Allen is joining former Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo to announce that the 'NFL on CBS' streams on Paramount+ this season. Their advertisement can be viewed here.

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