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Dawkins gets more work at left tackle


Dawkins gets more work at left tackleHe got a little work at left tackle in practice Friday, and it was expanded at Sunday's practice. Dion Dawkins is no stranger to playing on the left side, but for the vast majority of training camp he's been stationed at right tackle in a competition with starter Jordan Mills. But every passing day that Cordy Glenn doesn't practice, which included Sunday, head coach Sean McDermott has to prepare the rookie for the possibility of starting on the blind side.

"To have a plan in place and to continue to look at things, we're going to go and move in that direction a little bit more just so we're ready," McDermott confirmed. "We're cautiously optimistic about Cordy. Having said that we want to make sure we're moving in a direction that if we need to execute with Dion on the left side we're ready to do that."

Cam Jefferson's raised fist leads to dialogueIt went largely unnoticed, but on Thursday night at Philadelphia, reserve OT Cam Jefferson held a raised fist during the national anthem. Head coach Sean McDermott talked to his player about it Saturday and decided to do more listening than speaking.

"You always want to know with your players what's going on in their lives," McDermott said. "Just like you guys have detailed in great length how we share in our morning meetings and the stories behind the individuals on this football team. As we continue to build this football team you've heard me say before that we're building this thing around the love for one another. This to me is a great example of that. I want to know what's going on in our players' lives and let them know that we support them and care about them as people off the field and then as players on the field."

After speaking with Jefferson about it he came to a conclusion on his player's decision and addressed it with the team Sunday morning.

"We talked about it as a team and what I want all of our players to understand is 'A', that we're going to support them," said McDermott. "Everyone obviously has their view on things. I think the key word here is respect. We respect Cam's opinion. We respect and acknowledge what's going on. And it's important that we communicate and a big part of communication is listening. And I did a lot of listening Saturday. That was very healthy.

"We had a good conversation this morning as a team about it. I thought it was a healthy meeting and conversation. I think again the key word in all of this is respect. Respect this situation. Respect the communication end of things moving forward and then respect the process of what's going on in this country and this world."

So how will McDermott address any future statements made by players either figuratively or verbally?

"It all to me comes down to respect," he said. "When a player or anyone in this case takes an initiative to make a stand for something, if it's ethical, I want them to know that I'm going to support them and we're going to support them. It gets down to the respect word. We respect what's going on and in this case Cam's decision and then the process that's going on around all of us. We acknowledge it. I think that's healthy when you do that. It's part of real life."

Defense off to encouraging startGranted it's the preseason, but Buffalo's defense is off to a strong start. Through the first two preseason games the Bills defense ranks fourth in yards per rush against (2.8), fifth in interception rate (4.17%), sixth in yards per play (4.33), ninth in yards per game (285.5) and 10th in third down defense (31%).

"It's definitely a positive for our defense," said Worthy. "We're just trying to build and move in the right direction. Trying to lay these bricks every day. Becoming a good defense is hard work overall and it takes dedication from everybody every day. So we're trying to go out there and finish our plays. We feel like if the D-line plays well up front then everybody plays well behind us. We just try to lead by example."

For head coach Sean McDermott, who has made his career on that side of the ball, he's optimistic about what that unit can accomplish this season.

"I'm very encouraged and proud of the progress that they've made," he said. "I think the coaches and players have both been doing a phenomenal job. They're playing fast and more and more confident with every day that passes.

"It's a result of their hard work. The communication between the coaches and the players is flowing in a healthy manner. That's good. That being said, and we talked about this as a staff and a defense, as coach (Leslie) Frazier addressed the defense, we can't get comfortable. We have to continue to work, continue to improve and work to defend the best in front of us every day. There's a pretty big challenge ahead of us in terms of the offenses and the quarterbacks that we're going to face on the schedule so we need to continue to work."

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