1. What the broadcasters are looking for in tonight’s Bills-Panthers game
Bills play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon went on One Bills Live Thursday to preview the Bills upcoming matchup with the Carolina Panthers during Week 2 of the NFL preseason. Catalon spoke about what he will be focusing on as the Bills begin to try to cut their roster down to 53 players.
“Offensive line is still one of the top storylines. I want to see how they mix and match and how they attack it this week and Cody Ford will be the guy I’m focusing in on,” Catalon said. “I think Josh Allen continuing to get timing with the wide receivers and the body language of them. Allen wants to see how they’re reacting when they get a push or the defense has a certain thing.”
“The running back room is pretty squared away to me, they need to throw the ball to get Allen on the same page with these receivers as they continue to develop continuity and chemistry.”
Catalon also spoke about how he wants to see head coach Sean McDermott use his challenge flags. The NFL introduced the ability to challenge pass interference this year and while the rule of pass interference hasn’t changed it will be interesting to see how it is interpreted when the flag is thrown. Last week, there were 17 challenge flags thrown on pass interference and two calls were overturned, including one made by McDermott where the ball was tipped off a lineman’s arm.
Catalon will also look at how the offensive line and offense deals with a 3-4 defense. The Bills won’t play another 3-4 base this preseason and the first two opponents of the regular season (New York Jets and Giants) each employ it.
2. Devin Singletary labeled a rookie riser by NFL.com
NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt selected his list of top 10 rookie risers based on factors including preseason buzz, taken from players drafted in round two of the NFL draft or later. Among them, is Bills rookie and third-round pick Devin Singletary.
The Bills did not have a running back need going into the draft, having signed Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon to complement LeSean McCoy. But Buffalo couldn't resist grabbing Singletary, based on how highly he was ranked on their draft board. And he's already showcasing the skills that helped him rush for 4,287 yards and 66 touchdowns at Florida Atlantic, racking up 48 scrimmage yards on 12 touches against the Colts. ... He's the kind of player who will have a tendency to make something special happen whenever he's on the field.
No other rookie from the AFC East made it into Brandt’s top 10 list.
3. Two Bills sophomores ready to break out
USA Today’s Touchdown Wire released its list of 22 second-year breakout players for the 2019 NFL season. Included on the list are two Buffalo Bills, Tremaine Edmunds and Levi Wallace.
Edmunds and Wallace both excelled at the end of last year and have put themselves into good positions to be the full-time starter at middle linebacker and as the corner opposite Tre’Davious White.
Here’s what they wrote about Edmunds.
Edmunds might have more “upside”—there’s that dreaded draft word—than anybody else on this list … Edmunds lived up to his potential in his rookie season with 13 total pressures, 90 tackles, 38 stops, two interceptions, and five pass breakups. Edmunds is only 21 years old coming into his second NFL season, and as his on-field acumen matches up with his ridiculous athleticism, the sky’s the limit.
Here's what they wrote about Wallace.
Undrafted in 2018 despite picking off three passes for Alabama and allowing a 47.3 passer rating in the 2017 season, White made believers of those who had doubted his size-speed combination with a dynamite rookie campaign in which he excelled down the stretch, allowing 10 catches on 19 targets for 94 yards, eight yards after the catch, and an opponent passer rating of 84.1. Wallace is projected to be the Bills’ starting outside cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White in 2019, and he’s earned that designation with his ability to trail receivers downfield and break up passes.