1 - Deonte Thompson always 'wanted to be' in Buffalo
Buffalo brought in a familiar face during the bye week, signing wide receiver Deonte Thompson to a one-year deal.
The veteran wideout, who is now in his third stint with the Bills, never wanted to leave in the first place.
"It's great," Thompson said. "You have no idea, man. I'm excited. My family's happy. This is the place that we wanted to be. It just didn't work out in free agency. But, God doesn't make any mistakes, so it came back around full circle."
Thompson initially signed with the Bills late in the 2014 season, suiting up for Buffalo in its final game of the campaign. A foot injury kept Thompson sidelined for the majority of the 2015 preseason, and he was eventually released via an injury settlement.
Noticing a lack of speed in their receiving corps, the Bills re-signed Thompson midway through the 2017 campaign. The veteran made an immediate impact, reeling in four passes for 107 yards in his first game back. Thompson finished the season as Buffalo's leading wide receiver, totaling 430 yards on 27 receptions.
After a short stint with the Cowboys, Thompson finds himself back in Orchard Park, with his speed once again being the primary motivation behind his signing.
"They know I can run," Thompson said. "That's definitely something I bring to the table. They're familiar with me. They know what I did last year. I'm a familiar face to them. They know what to expect and they know what they're going to get out of me."
Thompson noted that the feeling within the locker room has not changed since the last time he was in it, a testament to the culture that head coach Sean McDermott is building.
"It feels great," Thompson said. "It feels like I never left. The same guys, same locker room, same everybody. It's pretty good."
2 - What Corey Thompson has learned from Bills' defense
In the 2018 season, Buffalo's practice squad has been a breeding ground for young, hungry players who typically make impacts once their numbers are called. Levi Wallace, Ryan Lewis, and Robert Foster headline the list of once-practice squad players who have carved out roles for themselves in the Bills' lineup.
Corey Thompson now has the opportunity to do the same.
The undrafted linebacker was released by Buffalo in its final cutdown to 53 players before the 2018 season. A strong work ethic and consistently strong practice outings motivated the team to promote Thompson to their active roster after the bye.
Thompson is eager to join a Bills' defense that is currently one of the league's best.
"In the weeks prior, I loved watching our energy and our effort going out there," Thompson said. "We play hard. We play hard. It feels good to be a part of that. To be able to sit back and soak in everything that's happening on the field, it just helped me grow as a player."
Getting reps on the practice squad allowed Thompson to progress as a player, and he feels as though he's already adapting to the professional game.
"The main thing is my football smarts," Thompson said. "Just knowing how to play football, basically. In college, it's like playing checkers. In the NFL, it's like playing chess. There's more going on. There's a learning curve that I went through, and I'm still learning right now. I feel like this transition has helped me grow a lot."
A former LSU Tiger, Thompson is used to playing on the same defense as Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White. The 24-year-old is excited to share the field with the lockdown defensive back yet again.
"It feels nice," Thompson said. "It feels good. Familiar faces are always good to be around. That'll be fun."
3 – LeSean McCoy gives back to community through coat drive
Western New Yorkers currently find themselves gearing up for yet another cold and bitter winter. Bills' running back LeSean McCoy is doing his part in making sure that children from around the region have winter coats in time for the area's least favorite season.
McCoy will take part in the Bringing Christmas Downtown coat drive at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Visitors who donate one new child's coat will have the opportunity to meet the former All-Pro and will also receive an autographed photo.
This is the second consecutive year in which McCoy will participate in the event. Last year, McCoy and his Shades of Greatness Foundation donated coats to the city of Rochester.
Coats donated to the city as part of the drive will be given to children at the annual Bringing Christmas Downtown event on Dec. 15.
Tuesday's function will start at 5:00 p.m. and will run through 7:00 p.m. If you wish to get involved but are unable to attend Tuesday's event, you can donate coats at Rochester City Hall through Dec. 3.