CAMP COUNTDOWN

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Camp Countdown: No. 25 - Five offensive playmakers to watch at camp

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It’s no secret the Bills offense will have to improve when they take the field this season. Buffalo struggled with injuries and having a rookie quarterback with an inexperienced supporting cast didn’t help. For the Bills to prove doubters wrong in 2019, these five playmakers will lead the way.

1. Quarterback Josh Allen

Allen knows he’s in charge of the offense this season. There are no more competitions to distract him and no more fighting for reps during training camp. Allen is the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills.

With that, Allen will have to improve on his numbers and show that he’s every bit the player Bills fans saw at the end of the 2018 season. He’s been training hard this offseason in California with QB coach Jordan Palmer and has gotten some help from Jim Kelly in installing a bit of the K-gun back into the offense.

Allen also has a new positional coach with Ken Dorsey.

“He did some really good things at Carolina so we are thankful to have him here,” Allen said. “The type of relationship we have where we can bounce ideas off of each other and he’s been back there, he’s played the position, he’s seen it from a quarterback’s perspective. I think when you have a guy like that in a room, you really respect him. You really can understand what he’s saying and what he’s thinking because he has gone through all that stuff. There is no hesitation or doubt in his mind what he sees and that we can relate it and try to match up our ideas together.”

Allen will need to put his improved ball location and decision making on display to lead a group that needs to make strides in production and consistency.

2. Wide receiver Cole Beasley

Beasley believes he can be a stud in Brian Daboll’s offense and the Bills do too, signing him to a four-year deal this offseason. In 2016, Beasley led the Dallas Cowboys in targets (98), receptions (75) and yards (833) and is confident he can put up similar or better numbers.

Beasley will be spotted in Allen’s ear consistently throughout training camp, trying to get on the same page as his QB, especially after missing the balance of the spring after core muscle surgery. Their relationship has been slowed by Beasley’s injury but he thinks they’ll be good to go before training camp begins.

As a former QB himself, Beasley is used to having the ball in his hands every play and wants the case to be the same for him as a receiver. Beasley is an expert at being a reliable target for his quarterbacks and works had to get open on every play.

3. Wide receiver John Brown

Brown and Allen seem like a match made in heaven. Brown loves to run deep routes and Allen loves to throw them. Brown is known for his elite speed and has a knack for getting behind corners and safeties.

Brown is best when he’s catching the ball in stride and can create separation between himself and the defender. His size might not scream No. 1 wide receiver, but he’s not afraid to match up with anyone.

Going against Tre’Davious White and the Bills secondary in the preseason may be what Brown needs to unlock his full potential as a wide receiver.

4. Tight end Jason Croom

Croom is the only tight end left over from the 2018 season. With free-agent signing Tyler Kroft’s status up in the air after suffering a broken foot, the starting tight end job is Croom’s for the taking.

Croom played in 15 games last season and accumulated 22 catches, 259 yards and one touchdown.

Croom’s main competition will be rookies Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney. Each earned their fair share of reps this offseason with Croom and Kroft out. Still, Croom wants people to know the Bills will be better in 2019.

“What excites me is the energy, the momentum we had ending the season,” Croom said, “We understand we didn’t have a lot of experience, and everybody is motivated. We know we’re better than what we put out there. You would see flashes. We’re going to put it all together.”

5. Running back LeSean McCoy

Like the rest of the offense, McCoy struggled with an offensive line that didn’t do its job effectively. McCoy has the worst statistical season of his career as a result.

McCoy, who has been heavily doubted by the critics all offseason, is currently slated to be the Bills top running back but they could go to a committee if free agent Frank Gore and rookie Devin Singletary impress Bills coaches at training camp.

McCoy has made the Pro Bowl three-times in his Bills career and expects to return to form as a top running back in the NFL under the revamped line in front of him.

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