1 – A mindset change for Josh Allen
It was a spirited first day of practice as players were eager to get the 2022 campaign underway at St. John Fisher University on Sunday morning. With a new season comes a new mindset for Josh Allen and his teammates. One that Allen laid out after the morning session.
"We've got to come out here and find ways to get better and improve on ourselves," Allen said. "Nothing that we did last year is going to carry over to this year. Nothing that we're going to do next year is going to affect us this year. It's a brand-new season. We're a new team. We're a different team. We've got new pieces. We've got a new offensive coordinator. We've got a new mindset. So again, just trying to find what our identity is that's what training camp is for.
"Hopefully by the time we leave St. John Fisher, we know what type of team we are mentally and physically. And we can start developing game plans and go from there week by week. But there's no higher expectations than what we have for ourselves in the locker room. I think if you're a team that doesn't have Super Bowl or nothing in your minds, I don't think that you're doing it the right way. That's the main goal to win World Championships and we've got to find a way to get it done."
Allen said his teammates share that vision and was ready to begin the process of building this year's squad in a championship contender.
2 – Miller wants snaps
Buffalo made a gigantic free agent signing in the form of Von Miller this past offseason. Miller, at age 33, showed last season that he can still bring the heat on the pass rush. But the Bills defensive front has largely subscribed to a rotational system in which as many as eight defensive linemen rotate in and out throughout the course of a game.
For his entire career, Miller has been a high snap count player. Whether the coaches decide to pace him through the 2022 season remains to be seen. But on day one of training camp Miller made it clear what he wants. A whole lot of snaps.
"Whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to do it, but I like to be on the field," said Miller. "You can't make plays if you're not on the field. And I hate that feeling where I come off the field and the other team throws the ball, or they make a big play down the field. I feel like I could have been in there to affect that. So, I'm going to try to be on the field as much as possible.
"Of course, I'm going to listen to my coaches, the GM. They've got a plan that that obviously works. I'll always listen to those guys, but I want to be on the field. I want to be on the field to make plays. That's why they brought me here and as long my body says the same, as long as God says the same, I want to be on the field as much as possible."
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier did say in the spring that he plans to continue rotating players in and out on their defensive line. However, Frazier has never had a pass rusher the caliber of Von Miller during his tenure as Buffalo's defensive play caller. I would expect that Miller will play as much as he wants and coach Frazier has already intimated that when they need a play on defense, Miller will be on the field.
3 – Plays of the day
There was a heavy focus on the red zone on day one of training camp. All the team segments took place in that area of the field. It gave both sides of the ball the opportunity to jump into executing plays in tight space.
"Red zone is typically a pretty tough day for the offense," said Allen. "It's just a smaller area but coming out here and just trying to go out and execute make the right decisions. And guys are flying around right now were pretty juiced up. So, we'll take a take a look at the film, but again, it was exciting to get back on the field and actually run some real plays."
Those players turning in highlights on Sunday included rookie LB Terrell Bernard, who raked a ball from the hands of Dawson Knox at the goal line during 7-on-7 to force an incompletion.
DT Tim Settle intercepted a pass from Case Keenum and ran it the other way for what could've been a touchdown.
LB Tremaine Edmunds broke up a pass by Josh Allen that was intended for Stefon Diggs over the middle.
CB Tim Harris had a pass breakup on a Case Keenum pass that had Tanner Gentry targeted.
TE Quintin Morris showed good hands on an over-the-shoulder grab in the back of the end zone on a pass from Keenum.
Morris may have only been outdone by WR Gabriel Davis, who elevated to make a leaping, twisting catch in the back of the end zone while also tapping both feet down before his momentum carried him over the end line.
Jake Kumerow caught a touchdown pass just before going out of bounds over the left sideline for a score, and rookies Khalil Shakir and James Cook contributed touchdowns during the segment.
By Allen's account the tempo was good even if the execution wasn't airtight yet.
"To go out there and have days like this where some things didn't work, that's obviously why we do this on the first day," he said. "Let's figure out what's going to work, how we can fix things, and how we can improve. So, to come out here throw ball around, have guys flying around, feel some bullets at my feet, have guys running full speed, getting pressed, seeing some different coverages from our defense right now... it's just the flow of football. I know it's not it's not real live football. It's not getting hit, but it's staying close."
Scroll to see photos from Day One of Buffalo Bills Training Camp