Here's the Bills news of note for August 5th.
1 - McDermott wants the Bills to be aggressive
The aggressive mindset of coach Sean McDermott has been evident so far at training camp. Every play ends with coaches screaming from the sidelines for the defense to punch and pull at the ball. The defense, as instructed by McDermott, has attacked the ball during team drills. On the Howard Simon Show, McDermott said this mindset can be applied to any situation in a game.
"I think it's more of a calculated aggressiveness," said McDermott. "The research we've done leading up to a game, we're in that situation and we've got a chance to put the game away. Sometimes as a football team, as one transforms the culture and tries to turn something around that hasn't been here for 17 years, there's a lightbulb that hopefully comes on by taking that type of approach. That we are serious, we are contenders, and we are a legitimate threat to the rest of the league. That comes in time and through a process."
Not only will the Bills be aggressive in forcing turnovers, they'll be aggressive in all facets of the game. For example, if the research they've done before a game makes them confident they can convert on fourth down, then they'll take the calculated risk.
Above all, McDermott said the Bills simply need to approach games with a new mindset. They can't let the opponent dictate games, and they can't sit back and regret opportunities they should have taken.
This aggressive mindset has certainly been evident in training camp, and could pay dividends for the Bills this season.
2 - Taylor working on chemistry with Jones
After a week of training camp practices, Tyrod Taylor is still building chemistry with the new offensive talent. One of the newer faces among the wide receivers is rookie Zay Jones. Taylor said that he's still working on establishing a rapport with him. Here's what Taylor had to say.
"I think it's been pretty good," said Taylor. "I haven't had many reps with [Zay Jones]. He's played the 'F' in some occasions in our three receiver sets, but I think whenever the defense allows me to get the ball to him, I definitely think we are on the same page."
Jones has largely been running with the first team, playing the slot in three receiver sets. Taylor said that Jones is doing a good job of continuing to understand the offense as they add more plays and patterns.
Taylor recognizes that Jones was a high draft pick by the Bills this past offseason and could factor heavily into the offense. He said that he often gives the rookie pointers, so Jones can be as successful as possible this season.
3 - Taiwan Jones excited for opportunityEarlier in the week the Bills signed running back Taiwan Jones. The six-year veteran has been used largely as a kick returner during his NFL career. After his first practice with the Bills on Thursday, Jones said that he's thankful for the opportunity.
"It was more so because they chose me," said Jones. "They gave me a chance to come out here and workout for them. I was out there and I want to show them something that they like."
Although Jones took reps at running back on Thursday, he will find it hard to earn snaps in the Bills' crowded backfield. The kick return specialist will have to win a roster spot through special teams. He's competing against Brandon Tate and Rashad Ross for the primary kick returner role.
Jones thinks he could certainly be an asset on special teams for the Bills.
"Definitely speed," said Jones. "Whatever they need, that's what I've been doing all of my career so hopefully I can bring a lot to them… when it comes to returns, a lot of it is instinct. Coach did a good job of relaying to me what I needed to do. I just took it to the field and applied it."
Jones spent the last six seasons with the Oakland Raiders where he severed in a myriad of roles. He took snaps on offense, defense, and special teams. Jones has shown that he can be a valuable playmaker in the NFL, but he'll only have a couple weeks to prove that to the Bills.