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How Dalton Kincaid and Curtis Samuel are using OTAs to settle into new roles on the Bills offense

Buffalo Bills players and coaches take part in the annual Tug of War competition at One Bills Drive on May 1, 2024.
Buffalo Bills players and coaches take part in the annual Tug of War competition at One Bills Drive on May 1, 2024.

As the Bills gear up for the 2024 season, players and staff members are using OTAs to improve upon last season, learn a new system and much more. Among players who are doing so is tight end Dalton Kincaid and wide receiver Curtis Samuel.

Kincaid's first year in the NFL is behind him and he's ready for more in year two. The tight end finished his rookie season with 73 catches for 673 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

"He's amazing, just his feel for the game," wide receiver Kahlil Shakir said of his teammate's skillset. "And, even in the run game, just him making blocks. Sometimes the transition can be a little tricky from college to the NFL. And he stepped right into the fire, was going crazy and dealt with it like a professional."

Ahead of his sophomore season, Kincaid is taking advantage of having a full offseason.

"Last offseason I didn't really get to train much until I got here for OTAs because I was hurt," Kincaid shared. "I don't want to say it's been more fun but just being able to participate in workouts and stuff in February and March, as opposed to last year when I'm just sitting there kind of watching everybody workout and I'm doing my rehab. I feel a lot better…I definitely think there's a difference in terms of last year and this year."

One of the biggest things Kincaid wanted to focus on this offseason was adding to his strength.

"That was a big emphasis for me this offseason was getting stronger and faster and changing terms of my diet, focusing on that as well," Kincaid shared. "So, especially being back in Buffalo...being in the weight room a lot more was something I wanted to focus on this offseason."

While Kincaid has a year with the Bills under his belt, similar to new offensive players, the tight end is learning how the offense will operate under new offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

"Joe has been awesome in terms of his mentality and his energy every day," Kincaid said. "It's contagious as an offense and as a whole. I think we all feel that especially coming out in practice. But the playbook has changed, I wouldn't say a ton but there's a lot of changes and tweaks we've made from last year.

"So, I think the creativity and kind of freedom he has right now in terms of just testing things out, especially in OTAs, is super helpful."

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Someone who has had a full season with Brady as OC is new wide receiver Curtis Samuel. The two spent 2020 together in Carolina. Samuel saw career highs that season in catches (77) and receiving yards (851).

"He's extremely bright and he can play any of the positions," Brady said of his WR. "He can play inside, he can play outside, he can play in the backfield, whatever he needs to do. So, I don't see any difference in the style of play (from Carolina to now). (He's) one of the best blockers I've been around. So, the more Curtis Samuels on your football team the better."

"I'm grateful for each team I've been with," Samuel said. "Each one was a great experience for me. But I'm here, I'm just looking to start something new. I know I moved around a little bit, but (I want to) just understand the playbook and just have fun."

Samuel is one of eight new wide receivers that haven't ever been a part of the Bills roster.

"I'm getting more comfortable day by day," Samuel said. "I think really what helps is just the guys we have. This is a great group of guys, the receiver room. I'm telling you we are just having a good time enjoying ourselves, the quarterbacks, everybody, the whole team. It's just a great environment, so that's the thing I love the most."

Aside from learning a new playbook, Samuel is also taking the time to get to know his new teammates.

"Even though you put in work on the field, you get to be around guys," Samuel said of the importance of OTAs. "You get to build out that bond and that chemistry, and that's what you need to go far enough in playoffs."

"We act like we've known each other for a while. We enjoy each other's company. We just try to go out and be the best we could be."

Samuel finished last season with 62 catches for 613 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 16 games. Now that he's on the practice field getting to catch passes from quarterback Josh Allen, the WR is eagerly awaiting getting to do that in a game.

"Coming here, playing with a guy like that, I'm excited for it," Samuel said of his QB. "He's special."

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