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Top 3 things to know from Day 10 of Bills Training Camp

Buffalo Bills Training Camp at St. John Fisher University, August 07, 2023.
Buffalo Bills Training Camp at St. John Fisher University, August 07, 2023.

The Bills have 10 training camp practices in the books as they inch closer toward their first preseason game on Saturday afternoon against the Indianapolis Colts.

Here are three things to know about Monday's practice.

1. Christian Benford grabs another INT, a few jaw-dropping catches + other practice notes

Monday's practice was a little chippier and more physical than most. The team's been in camp for more than two weeks at this point and has only two practices left at St. John Fisher. Ed Oliver (back soreness), Isaiah Coulter (knee), Cam Lewis (groin) and Reggie Gilliam (groin) did not participate in practice. Dion Dawkins did not finish practice due to a "banged hand" and is considered day-to-day.

There were several notable plays during different team periods on Monday. One of the most notable plays had to be from Christian Benford who is competing for the CB2 spot. Benford had his third interception in the last two days. Kyle Allen came onto the field with just over one minute on the game clock as the team was practicing a hurry-up scenario. Allen threw a pass toward the sideline, but Benford jumped the route and made an athletic diving play on the ball just before going out of bounds.

"You can see he has a nose for the ball," Taron Johnson said of Benford. "He's doing such a good job at reading routes and reading what the quarterback is trying to do. He's obviously going to help us a ton this year."

There were also multiple highlight-reel worthy catches during the 10th training camp practice. The first came when Josh Allen and his offense were trotting down the field with one minute on the clock. On the final play of the drive with about 45 seconds left on the clock, Allen fired a ball to the corner of the end zone. The QB had a small window but fit the ball into Trent Sherfield's hands as he dove to the ground for the touchdown. Allen had great placement on the ball, but it might have been an even greater catch by Sherfield with the way he was being tightly covered by Taron Johnson and Tre'Davious White.

The other two jaw-dropping catches came during the final 11 on 11 period of practice. Josh Allen threw a bullet over the middle of the field to Dalton Kincaid who was blanketed by Tyrel Dodson. As the ball was going toward the ground and Dodson tried to make a play on the ball, Kincaid somehow stretched out one hand to make the catch before hitting the ground. It looked like there was no chance at making the grab because Dodson was also going for the ball, but Kincaid found a way to pull it in with one hand right before it hit the ground. He's had a lot of great catches this camp, but this has to be one of his best.

On the next play, Kyle Allen tossed a ball to the sideline for WR KeeSean Johnson. Johnson and Alex Austin both went up for the ball because it was placed high, but Johnson was able to get more air and basically palmed the ball with one hand to bring it down for a catch. It was an incredible grab by Johnson.

Other camp notes — WR Tyrell Shavers has been pretty consistent throughout the last few practices. He had a few nice catches during today's practice – one in tight coverage and one on a play that he had to come back to and adjust his route to make the catch. CB Ja'Marcus Ingram, CB Alex Austin and CB Kyron Brown all had pass breakups. Gabe Davis also had a few notable catches and has been consistent throughout camp. The defense picked up a few would-be sacks, one came from LB Dorian Williams.

2. Why Leonard Floyd feels like this defense suits his style of play

Edge rusher Leonard Floyd is having fun getting used to life as a Buffalo Bill.

"It's been progressing well," Floyd said of learning Buffalo's defense. "It's been going good, it's camp. I treat camp like, I learned from an old school coach you gotta build calluses during camp. And day by day, me and the guys, we've been grinding and getting better every day."

The eight-year veteran is in a new system with the Bills and feels it's going to allow him to have a great season.

"I don't have to drop nowhere near as much," Floyd said of playing in a defense with four-man front. "In a 3-4 I drop every other play. (In) this defense, we attack."

Floyd loves to attack because that means he and his teammates are getting after the quarterback.

"That leads to getting tackles for losses and hits on quarterback and sacks," Floyd shared. "I definitely love that."

Something Floyd also loves in this defense is their ability to rotate through defensive linemen. The vet has never experienced that before.

"This is my first time I've been around a collection of players where we can rotate and everybody's bringing an A1 mentality," Floyd said. "You can depend on the guys. This is my first time being around it. My other teams it was all on me. You couldn't really believe in the player behind me. But I like it though, it'll keep you fresh."

The 30-year-old Floyd, who has 29 combined sacks in the last three seasons, believes the trust he has for his new teammates will pay off come Week 1.

"Being around these guys I know with the rotation everybody can eat," Floyd said."

3. The Taron Johnson affect

The Bills are thankful to be heading into their sixth season with one of their biggest weapons on defense by their side in nickel/slot corner Taron Johnson. Johnson may be overlooked by some, but he's played a significant role in Buffalo's ability to be one of the best in the NFL over the last several seasons.

"I think he's arguably one of our best players," defensive backs coach John Butler said. "Definitely one of our most consistent. Just thinking about the things that we ask him to do, on any snap he could be covering Tyreek Hill in the slot, or he could be tackling Derrick Henry in the B gap. That's not something that there's a whole lot of people in this world that can do."

"He has a good feel for what we're trying to get done," Sean McDermott said. "But he's also a dog. He's physical, he's tough, even though he's not maybe the biggest guy, he's very physical."

Johnson logged nine passes defensed, six tackles for loss and one interception last year.

With the job of acting as a linebacker on one play and a corner on the next, Johnson wants to make sure he's staying as versatile as possible in Year 6.

"Just making sure that my man coverage is always as good as it can be," Johnson said of what he wants to improve. "Making sure I'm strong, so that when I'm in the box, they can't… I mean, they probably can tell the difference between a linebacker and a nickel, but for me, I just want to have the same mindset as the linebackers and playing downhill like that. And as far as the knowledge of the game, just keep studying and just keep trying to find the pieces to the puzzle."

The coaching staff values what they have in their former fourth-round pick, which is a big reason why Johnson has consistently been out on the field for most snaps during previous seasons.

"If you just look at us over the last couple of years, when we have an opportunity to keep him on the field and put him on the field, we do," Butler said. "Even if some people might not believe that he should be out there based on what the offense is doing, we do it because we feel like he's not only capable, but one of our best players and a guy that we need to have out there as much as possible."

Scroll to see the best photos from Day 10 of Training Camp at St. John Fisher University.

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