1. Versatility helps in wide receiver competition according to McDermott
Head coach Sean McDermott wants his wide receivers to be versatile and willing to do anything in their roles. Receivers should be able to line up at multiple positions and show an eagerness to block downfield. As the Bills narrow down their roster those could be separating factors for guys on the bottom of the depth chart.
“I’m seeing a lot of competition,” McDermott said. “From top to bottom of the roster, those guys are working hard. They’re learning different positions, a lot of those guys know more than one position. You’ve seen Duke [Williams] show up and you see Ray-Ray [McCloud] and Zay [Jones] came up with a big play down the field. I think the competition level is high and intense. That’s a good thing for us.”
Duke Williams is the largest receiver on the Bills roster. He was key to both touchdown runs the Bills had on Friday, blocking the cornerback on the outside.
“That just gets me warmed up,” Williams said. “When I have to block that’s something that a receiver should want to do, you know that’s part of our game. Just like when the quarterback drops back and the running back is there to pass protect. It works both ways. We got to look out for our running backs and they have to look out for us. When I have to block I just make sure I get where I need to be and be physical against my opponent and continue to stand out.”
Williams’ size and willingness to be a blocker on the field could lead him to landing a spot on the 53-man roster.
2. What Bills need to improve on moving forward
McDermott didn’t shy away from what the Bills need to work on in the next two weeks leading up to the season during his press conference on Sunday. Buffalo pulled out the win against Detroit on Friday and are now 3-0 for the preseason but there are still things on the team’s to-do list.
“Probably similar to what I've mentioned after the game, I thought it was good work for us to go against Matt Stafford a good quarterback,” McDermott said. “You know, field position wise, we had some short fields, and I thought the defense did a good job, took the ball away at the end of the game. I thought those were some of the positives. Then we've got a lot of work to do in terms of some of the other areas as well in terms of playing better fundamentally communicating better, recognizing formations. Better, and just overall continuing to grow in our system playing more physical. So lot of work to do over the next couple weeks here.”
Scroll through to see the best photos from Buffalo's practice on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019.
3. How high is the Bills ceiling according to ESPN reporters?
If everything goes right for the Bills this year, what does that put their record at the end of the season? ESPN's NFL beat reporters weighed in on the teams they cover and gave their biggest variable on the season. The Bills ceiling is a 9-7 record.
Ceiling: 9-7 | Floor: 4-12
Biggest variable: Offensive cohesiveness. The Bills reworked their run game, receivers and offensive line over the offseason in an effort to give quarterback Josh Allen weapons -- and keep him upright. This defense shouldn't regress from its top-five finish last season, and it should keep the Bills in games. But how quickly their offense comes together will determine how many of those games the Bills will actually win. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques
The Bills have the third highest ceiling in the AFC East and the second lowest floor.
New England Ceiling 13-3, Floor 8-8
New York Jets Ceiling 10-6, Floor 5-11
Miami Dolphins Ceiling 8-8, Floor 3-13.