Coming off their final preseason performance against Cincinnati, Bills fans voiced concern about the readiness of Buffalo's starting offensive line. Head coach Sean McDermott firmly stated that the five men up front will be ready for their Week 1 matchup with Baltimore on Sunday.
"They'll be ready to go. They're preparing now just like our entire team to make sure they're ready," McDermott said. "We've got a group of guys who take a lot of pride in working for things. Now they've come together. There may not be a whole lot of outside faith in them, but I think they've embraced that. There's not a name on our board that's a household name and those guys take a lot of pride in their work."
It should be noted that Dion Dawkins was a missing element in the Cincinnati preseason game as he sat out with a hip ailment.
McDermott reiterated his overarching philosophy that to play good football it starts up front on both the offensive and defensive lines. Obviously more free agent resources were utilized to bolster the defensive front. But Buffalo's head coach is resolute in his belief that his starting five on the offensive line will get the job done.
"I am extremely confident in those men, number one because of their work ethic," he said. "I know good things happen when you work hard and do things the right way."
Right cornerback and nickel corner still to be determined
While the roles of starting quarterback and starting center have been finalized for Buffalo's offense, the starting right cornerback and nickel cornerback roles for the team have not.
"That's one of the things we're looking at as to whether it's going to be Phillip (Gaines) or Taron (Johnson) inside," said McDermott. "With Phillip (competing) outside, there's a little bit of flexibility (we're working through) there."
Gaines is still competing with Vontae Davis for the starting right cornerback role on the boundary. Davis' efforts in winning the job have been applauded by his head coach knowing he was coming back from offseason groin surgery.
"I have really enjoyed working with Vontae," McDermott said. "It's a credit to his work ethic. He's off to a good start and a credit to our training staff and the work he's put in. He's really adjusted to our method of doing things, the way we practice and do things off the field. I'm extremely proud of the way he has approached his job since he's come here."
Davis had his ups and downs in the preseason having not played competitive football for several months after his season was shut down last November due to his groin surgery. If the defensive staff doesn't believe he's all the way back to form, Gaines could get the nod outside, thereby making rookie Taron Johnson the nickel corner for Sunday's game against the Ravens.
Kyle and Trent back practicing
The level of their participation won't be known until the first injury report of the season comes out late in the afternoon today, but veteran defensive linemen, Trent Murphy and Kyle Williams are both back in the practice fold with their teammates this week.
"I'm not going to get into injury report status at this point," said McDermott. "Kyle and Trent are out there practicing."
Murphy did not make an appearance in any of the team's four preseason games due to a groin injury that was sustained early in training camp and was aggravated a second time in Murphy's bid to return to practice.
Williams missed the last two preseason games after suffering an undisclosed knee injury in the Cleveland preseason game.
The defensive co-captain feels fortunate that his knee injury wasn't worse.
"It's kind of the cost of doing business, but a guy comes flying in like that almost full speed, it definitely could've been much worse," he said.
McDermott confirmed that both Murphy and Williams did return to practice in the team's extra day of preparation for the Ravens on Monday. Williams said he only did a little bit of work in Monday's session.
Both Murphy and Williams were moving very well in practice here on Wednesday.