1. Coaches won’t tolerate fights in joint practices
There will be no fighting during the two days of joint practices between the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers this week. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera emphasized that sentiment on Monday.
"If anybody fights then we'll pull them out and throw them out of practice and they'll have to be disciplined,'' Rivera said.. "We're not here to fight. That's bulls---.
"What we're here to do is learn from each other and help each other win. That's the most important opportunity to come out of this.''
The two teams will participate in joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
The coaching staffs planned to get together on Monday afternoon to go over practice scripts and field positioning, according to ESPN staff writer David Newton. Before practice on Tuesday, McDermott will address the Panthers while Rivera addresses the Bills to reinforce the no fighting message.
"Basically [tell] them, 'Hey, we're not here to fight. We're here to help each other get better. The truth of the matter is we don't face each other, and if we do that means we're both in the Super Bowl,''' Rivera said.
"It's a great opportunity to work against somebody different, somebody you don't know and they don't know you. So you've got to line up and play true football. To me, a guy fights out of frustration because he's getting beat, because he's getting stopped. I don't want it.''
McDermott spent 2011-16 as Rivera’s defensive coordinator. The two staffs hope that the joint practice is a learning experience.
The teams also said there will be no live periods of tackling, even though both practices are in full pads.
Photos of the Buffalo Bills as they travel to Carolina for joint practices with the Panthers and the team's second preseason game.
2. Beasley and Allen are already improvising
Josh Allen and Cole Beasley only had one reception for 13 yards during Thursday’s game against the Colts, though another catch was called back after a holding call.
Beasley ran an in-route but quickly shifted the opposite direction to try and get separation from the linebacker covering him. It worked and would have been a five-yard gain without the penalty.
“That whole route was an improvisation,” Beasley said Friday. “(Josh) kind of thought I was going to go one way and I came the other way. It was good patience by him and he still got it to me on time. That’s what you want to see. It’ll be like that sometimes. Sometimes he may not kind of know where I’m going. But as long as I don’t do too much he won’t throw it; he won’t let it go. I made a quick decision and it was definitive so he was able to hold on to it and get it to me.”
The two are still building chemistry but the willingness to change his route on the fly and for Allen being able to find Beasley is a good sign for how far along they are. After all, Beasley missed the majority of OTAs and minicamp after core muscle surgery.
3. Shaq Lawson knows where to go in Spartanburg
Shaq Lawson might be paying for a couple meals in South Carolina. The Lake Wylie, SC native and Clemson University standout is familiar with the area the Bills will be practicing in this week.
Word has gotten around to some teammates that Lawson knows the spots to go to in Spartanburg but others like Cole Beasley still need some info.
“I’ll be seeing where he’s going to head and I’ll make the trip with him,” Beasley said.
Beasley probably won’t be the only Bill tagging along. Buffalo hasn’t played down in Carolina since September 17, 2017.