Here's the Bills news of note for Aug. 31st.
1 – Hughes helps his native Texas
The most pressing issue in Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes' life isn't getting ready for the NFL season. It's a much bigger issue, with much larger ramifications. Hughes grew up 20 minutes south of Houston. It's where he went to high school, and met his wife. Hughes' hometown is dealing with the devastation of flooding, as Hurricane Harvey dumped several feet of water in the area. On the John Murphy Show, Hughes said he felt it was important for him to help.!(http://bufbills.co/COVsQ1)
"Just to see our friends, and family impacted," said Hughes. "It was such a terrible storm and so many are in need. I felt like it was my time to step forward for my hometown, and fellow Americans."
Hughes said he's been in constant contact with his family, making sure that they are safe and dry as the flood waters continue to rise. Hughes said for this reason he wanted to do his part, to ensure that as many people as possible could be kept safe. He did that by making a $50,000 donation to the relief fund.
Hughes has also used his platform to spread his message to as many people as possible. Not only has he asked fans to donate, but he has also asked his teammates.
"I wanted to let everyone come into the day, and be able to focus on football," said Hughes. "But, then I asked them after (practice) Wednesday. We hit the gym, and then we finished meetings. So, I just let them know, 'Guys, there's a lot going on outside of football right now. I know were focused on our job, but if you can offer anything, it would certainly be much appreciated.'"
Hughes said he's been impressed with how players from the Houston area around the NFL have banded together to help the relief fund. He said the relief fund accepts food, clothing, and donations, which will be used to help displaced Americans who lost their belongings in the flood. For those that would like to donate, follow this link.
2 – Washington hopes to build on opportunity
When Marcell Dareus was sent home early before the Bills third preseason game against the Ravens, he was replaced in the lineup by Adolphus Washington. The second-year defensive tackle had an up and down game with the first team defense. Going into the final preseason game, Washington will continue to see a good deal of playing time, although Marcell Dareus is expected to play tonight.
Washington said he thought he played well against the Ravens.
"I'm definitely grateful for the opportunity out there," said Washington. "From what I felt like, there was no downfall with Marcell not being there. I definitely went out there and tried to play up to his ability. Just tried to make it no fall-off when he wasn't there."
Washington ended the game with a tackle, as he played about a half of game time. As the final preseason game approaches, and Washington gets more playing time, Coach Sean McDermott said there are certainly weaknesses that the defensive tackle must work on.
"A young player, Adolphus is a young second-year player," said McDermott. "Did some good things, I'm sure there's plays he'd like to have back, he got a little banged up. I thought he did a good job playing through that. A lot to improve on, that said, [he] got some good time with the one's in there, made some nice plays."
The area Washington said he struggled with most was maintaining his technique. If Washington wants to become a greater part of the Bills defense this season, a strong performance against the Lions could go a long way.
3 – Wenning trying to adjust quickly
The Bills signed quarterback Keith Wenning on August 28th, as both Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates missed practice due to concussions. Entering the final preseason game tonight, the Bills couldn't play with only one healthy quarterback in Nathan Peterman. For that reason, they signed Wenning to help the team execute the offense.
Being signed at the end of training camp, and just days before a game, Wenning acknowledged that trying to develop chemistry with the offense, and learn the plays has been challenging.
"It's tough," said Wenning. "I know a couple guys here. That's about it. Some guys I've been on other teams with. Coach Dennison, his offense, I'm pretty familiar with. That's been the biggest thing. As long as I know the plays, and how to run the offense, I'm comfortable. But, knowing the tendencies of my receivers, the tendencies of my linemen, and the linemen getting used to my cadence, that's the tough part."
Wenning played four seasons at Ball State, where he collected several accolades and garnered the attention of NFL scouts. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth-round of the 2014 NFL draft. He spent the year in Baltimore, where he became familiar with now-Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's offense. He was cut after the season. Last summer he played with the Cincinnati Bengals, but was later cut. He spent last season on the Giants practice squad.
As a player that has moved around the NFL throughout his career, he can't let any opportunity go to waste. Although he's certainly in a tough position heading into the final preseason game, Wenning said he has to make the most of it.
"I'm going to take every opportunity and run with it," said Wenning. "That's the big thing, knowing the offense, and being able to run it successfully. I'm just going to take it one play at a time, and trust the rest of the guys around me. I'm just going to try to do my best."