Top 3 things to know from Day 3 at 2021 Bills training camp

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Matt Breida (22) Buffalo Bills Training Camp, One Bills Drive, July 30, 2021. Photo by Sara Schmidle

The Bills are one practice away from finishing up their first week of training camp. The team had their third training camp practice and will host an open practice for fans at Highmark Stadium on Saturday before taking Sunday off.

Here are three takeaways from Friday's practice.

1. Running backs show out

Practice number three was all about the running backs. Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and Matt Breida all had a share of impressive runs and receptions. Fair warning, it's tough to tell the length of each carry just because there's no tackling or pads right now.

One thing that's evident is Devin Singletary's strength is definitely translating to the field. Singletary said he worked on his strength and quickness during the offseason to become a better player in year three. Watching him in camp, you can tell there's an added power to his step that starts at the line of scrimmage and goes into the second level. Singletary had couple of strong runs where he put his vision, strength and speed on display.

Before the first practice, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he was anticipating seeing Singletary's improvement after watching him in minicamp.

"I'm seeing a young man now that has taken the offseason and attacked it head on," McDermott said. "He's in a great spot physically, it looks like at this point. I'm anxious to see him out here but what I saw towards the tail end of the spring, I was impressed with the areas that he was trying to be intentional about working on his weaknesses. And I think that says a lot about the young man."

We didn't see much from Moss during minicamp because he was still working his way back from the ankle injury. According to Sean McDermott, he has the green light to practice while still being monitored for safety. Moss popped off a couple of runs where he found a nice hole and broke free. It's definitely good to see his legs looking fresh after his rookie season ended early.

Breida is appearing like he's fitting into the offense early on in camp. The new veteran had a couple of carries and a reception where he flaunted his speed and quickness.

2. Cornerback competition

New year, same cornerback battle. Some things never change. It may be a new season, but cornerback Levi Wallace is back competing for a starting job. Wallace is now in his fourth season with the Bills and he's ready for another battle.

The undrafted free agent has started in every game he has played in over the last three seasons. He started in a career-high 16 games in 2019 and 12 in 2020. Wallace is staying focused on his growth rather than the competition.

"I don't think he's too concerned about who we bring to camp, or who someone might say is his competition," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. "He's much more concerned with getting his game to where it needs to be. And that's the right attitude. That's the way it should be.

"It should be about Levi and not about things he can't control. And I think that's one of the reasons each time there's been a challenge, he's been able to rise to the challenge."

One cornerback who is also rising to the challenge is second-year player Dane Jackson. He started in just two games last season but showed potential with an interception and five passes defensed.

Frazier thinks the young player is concentrated on the opportunity at hand.

"He's embraced this opportunity," Frazier explained. "He's looking forward to the challenge of being able to compete for a starting job. He's working his tail off in the short time we've been here. We're looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds. He's not afraid of the challenge."

From watching a few practices, the two have had a couple of breakups each. It'll be fun to watch the competition between two talented players evolve over the next month.

3. Cody Ford's new mindset

Cody Ford's first two NFL seasons haven't been the easiest to say the least. The offensive lineman played through injury his first season and missed part of last season due to a knee injury. Like Moss, we didn't see much of Ford during minicamp. Thankfully, Ford said he doesn't have any limitations in practice right now.

The offensive lineman spoke to the media after practice about a renewed mindset for his third season.

"I've come back to camp with a whole new mentality, and a whole new mindset," Ford shared with a smile. "In this whole offseason, the one thing that the recovery did allow me to do was give me time to think. It gave me time to rediscover myself and figure out what's my why again and why I'm doing this and what it's going to take to get the job done."

Through three practices, Ford looks comfortable lining up next to his teammates for the first time since last season. He explained he hasn't shown the Buffalo Bills the best version of himself yet and he's ready to do so this season.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Ford will work at both guard spots and will have to win a starting spot.

"He's going to have to go show who he is and why we picked him where we did," Beane said. "I'm very confident in him and I think once he gets out there and gets his feet under him, I think we'll see the Cody that we drafted."

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