1. Wide receiver Duke Williams eager to make his mark
It's proven difficult for CFL transfer Duke Williams to make an impact in the Bills receiving corps, but it hasn't changed his approach to training camp. Williams has tried to make the most of every chance he gets and did so in practice Monday. Williams made some plays with the second team offense including a touchdown catch on a fade route with tight coverage during the red zone period.
“That’s definitely my game. See ball, get ball," said Williams. "Every time I see that ball I want to go get it. I’m a big body and I’m good on contested catches.”
Williams isn't concerned that his reps have been limited through the course of training camp. He's made sure to nail down his assignments so he's ready when he is put on the field during team segments of practice.
"I’m just out here to make the most of my opportunities whatever reps I get," he said. "Whenever coach calls my number I’m here to compete.”
The size receiver is especially eager to compete on Thursday night in the Bills preseason opener against Indianapolis.
“I’m excited. It’s been a long two years for me, but I’m back now (in the NFL)," said Williams, who got his first NFL opportunity with the Rams. "I’m thankful to the Bills for giving me this opportunity and to be able to play this game. Thursday night is going to be a lot of pressure off my back because I’m definitely going out there to dominate and stand out and be one of the players who stand out and finish plays and show them that I want to be a Bill.”
2. What starting spot is still up for grabs according to ESPN?
The Bills are still working to figure out their offensive line. Some positions like left tackle, left guard and center seem figured out when everyone is healthy, but the Bills coaches have seen only a handful of practices with the entire line available.
ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques says that the right guard spot will be the position battle to watch through the rest of training camp.
If everyone is healthy, the Bills' starting left tackle, left guard, center and right tackle are set. The problem is everyone is not healthy. Injuries to center Mitch Morse and guards Quinton Spain and Spencer Long have shuffled things around through the Bills' first week of training camp, but some combination of Spain, Long and Jon Feliciano will have to man the guard spots. So far, it appears Spain is the team's best option at left guard, with Feliciano and Long duking it out on the other side.
The Bills have even moved rookie lineman Cody Ford from the right tackle spot to the guard position. Ty Nsekhe plays right tackle in those instances.
Ford could be the most intriguing of the bunch at guard. The athletic lineman would be able to help out on plays that require the guard to pull to the other side of the line and lay a block down in the open field.
For now, the positions are still being worked out and every lineman has said that nothing is currently set in stone.
3. Coaching interns get valuable experience at Bills training camp
Since 1989 the Buffalo Bills have participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
During training camp the Bills added three interns to their staff.
Callie Brownson (Dartmouth) - offense
Corey Woods (Atlanta Legends/Limestone/Kutztown) - offense
Leonard Johnson (Former NFL player) - defense
The Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship is designed to expose talented minority college coaches to the methods and philosophies of summer NFL training camps. Walsh introduced the idea to the league in 1987 when he brought in a group of such coaches into his San Francisco 49ers training camp. Eventually every NFL team became a participant in the program.
The program’s objective is to use NFL clubs’ training camps, offseason workout program and minicamps to give coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately gain a full0time NFL coaching position.
Leonard Johnson played with the Bills in 2017. He decided to retire at the end of 2018. Johnson sent resumes out to four NFL teams and three colleges. His previous work with head coach Sean McDermott set him on a path to return to St. John Fisher for another training camp.
“The best thing that I’ve taken away from this experience is just being able to be in a position where I can learn the whole scheme of things,” Johnson said. “As a coach, all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. I’m learning a lot. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to come on.”