Benjamin, Glenn & Jones looking good for AprilThe Bills had three key contributors undergo surgical procedures this offseason in WRs Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones and OT Cordy Glenn. At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, head coach Sean McDermott expressed optimism that all three would be fit to participate at the start of the team's offseason conditioning program in April.* *
"All three of those players look like they're on schedule at this point in time," said McDermott. "I'm anxious to get those guys going."
Bills GM Brandon Beane said of the three, Jones has the longest rehabilitation schedule coming off surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder. So there's a chance his participation in the offseason conditioning program could be limited in scope.
Knowing that Jones played through his shoulder ailment left an indelible impression on coach McDermott.
"When you look at the shoulder injury that he had that was flying under the radar, I think it speaks to his toughness and resiliency," said McDermott. "I'm anxious to get him back as we move forward and have a second year that was better than his first."
Daboll to have heavy hand in offensive fitsWith a new offensive coordinator on the coaching staff in Brian Daboll, there is a new philosophy on that side of the ball. As a result, Buffalo's college scouting department will be leaning on Daboll for insight on the player skill sets that fit his offensive approach the best.
"He'll have a tremendous amount of input," said McDermott of Daboll. "The great part about Brandon Beane and his staff is they do a great job of listening. Obviously, Brandon will have the final say on the personnel end of things and he does a fantastic job. That said, philosophically we believe in two heads being better than one in this case. So, Brian will be deeply involved on the personnel end of things."
Buffalo's personnel department won't rule out any prospects who they believe can become quality NFL players, but they do have a better grasp on what physical attributes and abilities might play best in Daboll's scheme.
"Sean and I have spent a lot of time with Brian on how he sees fits by position," said GM Brandon Beane. "He's gone over that with his coaches that he inherited on the offensive staff. So we have a good idea of how he sees the fits. At the end of the day we're looking for good football players. Sometimes it's not an exact fit, but the guy is a good football player and Brian is a good coach, so he'll make it work."
Liking the Davis fitThe Bills made a proactive move with a free agent who was available before the market even opened, signing Vontae Davis on Tuesday. The veteran corner helps to bolster a position where Buffalo has three pending free agents.
"I give Brandon and his staff the credit," said head coach Sean McDermott. "To be able to land a free agent like Vontae Davis has a lot of benefits. A veteran player that fits into our system and has a number of starts obviously and ball production. That said every spot on our roster has to be earned and he'll embrace that mindset."
"He's been a number one corner most of his career," said GM Brandon Beane. "We vetted him out and did a lot of research. Had some people that had been with him in Miami and we did our recon on him in Indy and what happened last year. Brought him in and had a good visit. He and his agent circled back and we thought it would be a good fit."
Davis is widely expected to battle for a starting role on the boundary at cornerback, but McDermott believes the veteran offers some versatility as well.
"He'll start off outside and then go from there," McDermott said. "We have some flex with Vontae and Tre'Davious (White) as well. At this point in the year really nothing is off the table whether it's schematically, personnel-wise etc."