1- O'Leary impresses in second preseason game
Coming into the Bills second preseason game, there was a metaphorical logjam at tight end for Buffalo. Behind Charles Clay, combinations of O'Leary, Jason Croom, Logan Thomas, Khari Lee and Keith Towbridge have been used throughout training camp.
O'Leary performed well against the Browns last night. He led both teams in receiving on the night with four catches for 70 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown catch from Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman. Bills head coach Sean McDermott seemed to be impressed with O'Leary's performance.
"He made a big play for us. I thought Nate [Peterman] did a good job of finding him," said McDermott. "Nick is a good football player. He's played a lot of snaps for us, so I was happy to see him reap the benefits of his hard work."
In his first season with the Bills, O'Leary was cut at the end of training camp, eventually being added to the practice squad and subsequently, the active roster. After participating in just four games that year, O'Leary improved steadily over his next two seasons; catching nine passes for 114 yards while participating in all 16 games and hauling in 22 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns last season.
2 – Dawkins confident in Bills offensive line
Entering his second season, and his second with the Bills, former Temple offensive lineman Dion Dawkins is holding the weight of some pretty hefty expectations as the starting left tackle. There have been a few questions surrounding this year's group after the losses of longtime center Eric Wood, and left guard Richie Incognito. However, Dawkins believes that the 2018 Bills offensive line could be primed for unexpected success.
"Our whole group is what I would call 'old heads','" said Dawkins of the Bills' offensive line. "They have a lot of starts, and they have played a lot of games. There are a bunch of leaders."
Leadership is, of course, a key concept to grasp in the NFL. Without it, offensive line groups falter when adversity strikes, and Dawkins believes that there is a lot of responsibility and accountability with the current group. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo appears to be the glue that is holding the group together, and Dawkins echoed that sentiment recently.
"They all know exactly what they have to do," he said. "It is just a big family. We all bought in, and coach [Juan Castillo] keeps us together as one."
The family mentality is one that head coach Sean McDermott has preached since his arrival in Buffalo, and the 2018 offensive line group seems to have adjusted well to his teachings.
3 – Streater redeems himself with nice performance in Cleveland
In 2017, Rod Streater generated a lot of attention with his play in training camp before an injury forced him onto the injured reserved list, essentially ending all chances of him contributing. As his quest for redemption continued, Streater performed well in the second preseason game for the Bills, the same game that ended his season a year ago. He caught two passes against the Browns second team defense, including a touchdown from Josh Allen early in the second quarter.
"I was on the sideline watching the two-minute drive," said Streater of the drive that ultimately ended with his touchdown reception. "I popped right in and got to score a touchdown, so it felt really good."
On his touchdown play, the pocket broke down around Josh Allen, and the play seemed to be a bit broke, but Streater says that he did not break off his designed route on the play.
"That was the play, we have a little back end line," he said. "Josh [Allen] did a good job. The safety came up to bite on him once he started scrambling. It was a really good play design."
Streater has performed well to this point, but much like the tight end group, the wide receiver group is brimming with competition. On his touchdown play, and on many others throughout the game, Josh Allen delivered the ball with more velocity than some receivers are accustomed to, but Streater noted that he was prepared.
"We run that play so many times in practice," said Streater. "It was a great throw."
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