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Bills Today: Kelso sees big opportunity for Allen

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1 – Kelso sees big opportunity for Allen

The Bills will play their most important preseason game of the season today in a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The third preseason game is known for being close to a dress rehearsal for the team’s first regular season game. With Josh Allen getting his first career start, former Bills safety Mark Kelso offered his thoughts on tonight’s game.

“If this offense continues to evolve under coach [Brian] Daboll, it will be interesting to see what they do,” said Kelso.

Of course, with Allen starting his first game, Kelso talked about what he expects from the Bills’ rookie quarterback.

“Now it is an opportunity for Josh [Allen] to take the reins,” he said. “I think he has played pretty well in the preseason. His throw to [Rod] Streater last week was fantastic.”

Kelso says that Allen will still need to do quite a bit more to earn the starting nod in the first regular season game of the season against Baltimore, but he noted that a good performance against Cincinnati could swing things in his favor.

“If he plays well, I would not be surprised at all if that gives him an opportunity to be slated as the starting quarterback in Baltimore on opening day,” Kelso said. “I think he has to sustain drives. If he can put together some eight and 10-play drives, and they can put points of the other side of it, I think that is the information that they need to say that he is going to start on opening day.”

Practice photos of the Buffalo Bills as the team gets set to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3 of the 2018 preseason.

2 – Alexander emphasizes consistent effort

Since coming to Buffalo in 2016, Lorenzo Alexander has become a bona fide leader both on and off of the field. Alexander went undrafted in 2005 and has since played for Carolina, Baltimore, Washington, Arizona, Oakland, and Buffalo. As he prepares to kickoff his 12th NFL season, Alexander shared his thoughts on the Bills’ matchup with the Bengals tonight.

“The biggest thing for us, I think, is the whole week leading up to the game,” said Alexander. “It gives young guys, and old guys as well, a chance to feel out the process.”

The grind of a regular season NFL week is unlike anything you might see in training camp or in the first couple of weeks in preseason, and Alexander noted that the third week gives guys the opportunity to get used to the regular season structure. Alexander emphasized patience, especially for young players trying to make the 53-man roster here in Buffalo.

“You have to work while you wait, because you never know when you are going to get your opportunity,” said Alexander. “You are either going to have negative or positive exposure and it can really dictate your future with the team, or your career in the NFL.”

Alexander also mentioned that trust plays a big role in who makes the final roster, and who is looking for a job in the first week of September.

“Coaches don’t necessarily play the best players, they play the players that they can trust,” he said.

3- Bills CB bouncing back nicely

After the Bills signed veteran cornerback, and former first-round pick Vontae Davis, questions arose surrounding his ability to contribute immediately. Davis suffered a season-ending injury in Indianapolis in 2017, and he has been diligently working towards a role that could see him as a key contributor to the Bills’ defense. Early on, coaches noted that he was still in the process of returning to game speed, but he has made a significant jump since those comments were made.

“I think just watching how he competed this week in practice, I’ve seen a jump in his play,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Friday. “I’d like to see that carry over to Sunday afternoon as well. He missed a lot of football last season for sure and so he’s steadily going in this direction [pointing upwards], which is good.”

The Bills’ secondary was one of the most productive position groups last season, and Frazier says that Davis is doing all that he can to join forces with an already prolific group.

“It’s not easy coming in and jumping in as a starter with a group that had so much success a year ago,” he said. “I think he’s handled it well.”

Davis says that his transition was made easier by some of the veteran players in the Bills’ secondary, and that they have steadily progressed since the spring.

“It’s been good because Micah Hyde and Poyer are very good communicators, so they’ve been helping me a lot,” Davis said. “The thing is just the repetition just working with those guys from training camp to now has helped me a lot. As far as communicating we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were in OTAs.”

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