1 – Allen earning respect, trust from vets
The NFL game is one built upon a foundation of trust. Without trust, each member of a team or coaching staff is unable to fully commit to their job, and the team suffers as a result. A quarterback must be able to trust that his receivers will run the correct routes, a linebacker has to trust that the guys next to him will fill in the correct gaps, and this trust even goes across the line of scrimmage. To be fully invested, defensive players need to know that their offense is capable of performing at a high level, and vice versa. Recently, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander spoke on the Jim Rome show about his trust in Josh Allen.
"He has my respect, but he is earning my trust," said Alexander of the Bills rookie quarterback. "That is the biggest thing when you have new guys, especially young guys, that you are depending on. They look good in practice, they are doing all of the things right way, but how are they going to respond in games?"
Alexander continued to rave about Allen throughout his interview, but also noted that there is still a lot for the young quarterback to take in as he adjusts to the NFL game.
"I am very pleased with his growth and where he is going," said Alexander. "There are some technical things that he can work on like every player in this league, but he is definitely going to be a guy that this organization can lay their hat on."
2 – TE battle rages on
For years behind guys like Mark Campbell and Robert Royal, uncertainty has filled the air at the tight end position. Conversely, in 2018, Buffalo has an abundance of tight ends who appear ready to contribute to the 53-man roster. Unfortunately, most teams keep at most four and usually three tight ends on their final roster.
Behind Charles Clay, the Bills boast Nick O'Leary, Logan Thomas, Khari Lee, Keith Towbridge, and Jason Croom. Bills head coach Sean McDermott recently commented on the competition at the position.
"It is going to be a difficult decision," said McDermott. "There are a lot of good football players at that position. It seems like someone else flashes each day."
Most recently, McDermott says that he has noticed a couple of guys in particular.
"We saw Nick [O'Leary] in the game the other night and Jason [Croom] the other day," said McDermott when asked who has impressed him recently. "There is some good competition there."
Usually with competition at the NFL level, teammates can sometimes feel as though they are competing against each other rather than competing with each other. However, Jason Croom feels that the competition in the Bills locker room is beneficial for everybody's growth individually, and as a group.
"In our room, we have talent everywhere," said Croom. "Everybody can add value to this team. We all compete, but at the same time we are trying to help each other."
3 – This Bills RB is getting national recognition
Throughout training camp and the preseason, there are many new names and faces that NFL do not recognize. This could be due to the expanded preseason rosters, or just due to the fact that some players take a longer path to success in the NFL. However, Bills running back Marcus Murphy is quickly garnering some national attention for his preseason performances. Bleacher Report recently put together a list of players who have performed well throughout the preseason that NFL fans may not have heard of to this point, and Murphy made the cut. Here is what they had to say about the former seventh-round pick.
A 2015 seventh-round pick who returned punts for the Saints as a rookie, bounced around some practice squads and resurfaced to get some carries for the Bills late last year. Murphy ran for a touchdown in the preseason opener and couldn't quite reach the pylon for a second touchdown last week. Murphy has both versatility and the Bills' preference for gutsy try-hards on his side.
Murphy has shown his versatility off to the Bills coaching staff, returning both kicks and punts as he has surged up the running back depth chart. Most thought that Murphy would be behind Chris Ivory and even Travaris Cadet on the depth chart, but the 26-year-old has taken the majority of his recent reps with as the team's number two running back.
He is known mostly for his ability on special teams, but that could change in 2018 with the Bills. With just eight carries for 41 yards in three NFL seasons, Murphy is poised for a breakout year at the running back position in Buffalo.
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