1. Beasley, Kroft and Morse undergo surgery
As OTAs opened up this week for the Bills there was an injury list that left some of Buffalo’s newest offseason additions sidelined.
Free agent signees Cole Beasley, Tyler Kroft and Mitch Morse all either had or will undergo a surgical procedure for an injury.
“Tyler Kroft sustained a broken foot (Monday). He’ll have to surgery today,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “Cole Beasley and Mitch Morse both underwent surgery a few weeks ago and are working back to getting healthy. They both underwent core muscle procedures.”
McDermott described Beasley and Morse’s conditions that required surgery as the groin/abdominal area. No timetable was given for the return of any of those players.
Center Russell Bodine is still coming off offseason shoulder surgery and is not practicing. Neither is Frank Gore, who is coming off foot and ankle injuries from last season. Undrafted rookie WR David Sills will be limited with a hamstring. Defensive backs Taron Johnson and Rafael Bush are both participating on a non-contact basis.
2. Jerry Hughes impact is critically important
On Tuesday morning there were reports of a contract extension for Jerry Hughes. Coach McDermott didn’t refute those reports and commented on Hughes’ value to their team.
“Getting to know him and watching him develop off the field and watching him trying to take his game to another level has been enjoyable to watch,” said McDermott. “We’re excited about that. Obviously, his contract extension is not signed and done yet, but we’re excited about him.”
Hughes led the defense last season in sacks (7), tackles for loss and forced fumbles last season. McDermott values sacks, but there is more than just sacks in determining how successful a pass rusher is.
“If you watch the tape, when it comes to affecting the quarterback, whether it’s getting him off his spot, affecting his vision or his arm, the way the ball comes out, there were a number of those since I’ve been around Jerry made by him,” McDermott said. “You know we value pass rushers, so he was a big piece of that last year. Our goal is he’ll continue to grow and improve and evolve. You’ve got to be able to get there with your front four.”
3. Josh Allen off to a good start
QB Josh Allen enters his second NFL season as the entrenched starting signal caller. With that comes added responsibility, but McDermott believes Allen has handled all of it well to this point.
“I’ve been impressed with his methodical work ethic and approach. It seems like he understands the work that he and we have to do this offseason to get us to where we’re trying to get to,” he said. “Then offensively, he’s done a great job of putting his arms around some of the players that we did sign through free agency and some of our draft picks. That’s a great quality to have in terms of the humility that Josh possesses in the way he was raised. That’s the first step to leadership a lot of times.”
As for on the field, McDermott liked what he saw initially from Allen in the first OTA practice of the spring, but cautioned there is a lot of ground to cover between now and September.
“I thought he had a good day Monday,” McDermott said. “Certainly more work to do the rest of the week.”