1 – GM Brandon Beane discusses the Bills' process to get to 53 players by Saturday's deadline
Saturday marks the deadline to finalize each team's 53-man roster for the regular season and Bills general manager Brandon Beane is working to find the right combination for the season opener in Baltimore. Beane talked yesterday about how tough the cut-down process will be, and what the process is like.
"We will meet with these guys Saturday morning, but we will cut it [the roster] down Friday," said Beane during Thursday's Bills-Bears broadcast. "We will know what the roster will be, and Sean [McDermott] and I will meet with each and every one of them."
Beane stressed that it is important to be honest throughout the process, as each player has performed to the best of their ability throughout the whole offseason and training camp schedule.
"We think it is important for them to hear from us," Beane said. "We want to answer any questions they have and try to shoot them straight. I feel the best thing to do is to be as honest as you can be."
Although the cut-down is a tough time for everyone involved, the Bills will also be focused on players who may or may not be let go from other teams. Beane noted that the Bills were active at the end of last year's preseason, and that things could be similar in 2018.
"We put in for four claims last year and got three of those guys," he said. "Once we get our group down to 53, it doesn't mean that we are done. We have looked at where guys are getting reps around the league over the last couple of weeks."
2 – WR Ray-Ray McCloud III makes the most of his opportunity in preseason finale
As a sixth-round pick out of Clemson in this year's draft, Ray-Ray McCloud has made his share of plays during camp and in the preseason. McCloud hauled-in Josh Allen's first career touchdown in the team's first preseason game against Carolina. In the fourth preseason game, McCloud displayed his ability to contribute in the return game. Bills head coach Sean McDermott was impressed by McCloud's showing.
"I thought he had some juice out there, both on offense and on special teams," said McDermott.
McCloud returned one kickoff for 32 yards and three punts for 44 yards as the primary return option against the Bears, showing some of the elusiveness that he was known for at Clemson. His lone kickoff return, and his final punt return put the Bills in fantastic field position to put points up on the board, an important feat for an NFL returner. McDermott also said that even with his lack of experience, McCloud showed poise in Chicago.
"I thought he looked like he was really under control," McDermott said. "He made some positive plays and got up the field, which is important."
McCloud says that his performance in Chicago was a result of his focus on continually improving.
"I was trying to make plays, make great decisions, and be disciplined with the ball," he said. "After that, make plays."
Unfortunately, a knee injury forced McCloud to miss the end of the Bills comeback win and his status is still uncertain moving forward. The young wide receiver/return specialist certainly performed at a high level in the final game action before the roster cut-down deadline comes on Saturday.
3 – Catalon impressed with Peterman throughout the preseason
Andrew Catalon is well known as the television voice for the Buffalo Bills preseason games and on CBS an NFL play-by-play voice. During an appearance on Thursday's edition of 'One Bills Live', he offered his opinion on who the Bills best option would be to start the first regular season game in Baltimore. A.J. McCarron, Nathan Peterman, and Josh Allen have all been competing for the job since the spring, but Catalon believes that Peterman has been the most impressive.
"I think that he has been the best quarterback this summer; both at training camp and in the games," said Catalon.
Peterman's preseason stats have certainly been impressive, and in his second season with head coach Sean McDermott, there is a level of trust that may go into the final decision. Ideally a decision on a starting quarterback would be made sooner than after the final preseason game, McDermott says that with all the variables in play, an earlier decision just was not plausible.
"I think the ultimate goal is that you know who your starting quarterback is when you come into the spring and into the fall camp," he said. "We're still working through that with our situation, which is to be expected a little bit with drafting Josh [Allen] this year and having a young player in Nate [Peterman] and then AJ coming in through free agency."
Although the decision is coming later than some, including McDermott, would have hoped; he says that the competition is driving all three of the competitors to perform at their highest level.
"There's been good competition there and all three have played at a high level," said McDermott.