1. Two interceptions out of Bills defenders
The team practiced at Bills Stadium on Thursday for their third padded practice of training camp. Plenty of 11 v. 11 action, plenty of stand-out plays, plenty to write about. Here's what you need to know from today's practice.
CB Josh Norman was slow to get up after he intercepted a pass. Norman has a leg injury and is still being evaluated. DT Ed Oliver (hip), FB Pat DiMarco, WR Robert Foster (concussion protocol), OG Jon Feliciano (pec), TE Tommy Sweeney (foot) missed practice.
- Bryan Cox Jr. had a DAY. Cox Jr. batted down one of Josh Allen's passes and sacked Davis Webb.
- Josh Norman confidently intercepted an Allen pass intended for Cole Beasley. Norman was slow to get up and is being evaluated with a leg injury.
- DUUUUKE. This man always makes tough plays in practice. Williams grabbed a pass from Jake Fromm towards the sideline as he was tightly covered. Traffic doesn't matter for this guy.
- Allen threw a BOMB to Stefon Diggs today. We're talking 50+ yards. Hello deep ball action, that's what we like to see. Diggs has certainly proved he can be whatever type of receiver the Bills need from being a dependable target underneath to making plays on deep balls.
- Jerry Hughes put his athleticism on display today intercepting a pass from Davis Webb.
- But Davis Webb made up for the mistake by placing a perfect short throw over the middle to rookie Gabe Davis. Davis beat Tre'Davious White and ran it in for about a 67-yard touchdown. The rookie stood out today in practice.
- This didn't happen during a team period, but A.J. Epenesa made his presence known today blowing past Brian Winters in an offensive line vs. defensive line drill.
MY FAVORITE PLAY:
- This is a tough choice…you love to see a bomb from Allen to Diggs. But…there's just something about a rookie beating a vet. My favorite play of the day was Webb's TD pass to Davis. Davis beat White on a short pass and showcased his speed taking it to the end zone for around a 67 yard touchdown. I've liked what I've seen from Davis so far.
- The defensive line gets the hustle award for a nice day of practice. Bryan Cox Jr. knocked down one of Allen's passes, and Jerry Hughes intercepted a Davis Webb pass. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has preached multiple times he wants his d-line to get after the quarterback more this season. It takes an athlete to get your hands up in the passing lanes, and if they can do that consistently, the group will be stronger than last season.
- Stephen Hauschka made five of eight field goal attempts. Hauschka's longest came from about 52 yards after missing three straight from 50+.
- Tyler Bass made seven of eight field goal attempts. Bass' longest came from about 56 yards. His lone miss was from about 44 yards.
2. Zack Moss showcases flexibility as a running back
Rookie running back Zack Moss can do more than just break tackles and be a great fit for short yardage plays. In the last few practices, Moss has shown his ability as a pass-catching running back. In 2019 at Utah, Moss had 28 receptions for 388 yards and averaged 13.9 yards per catch. Moss wants to bring this part of his game to the NFL.
"I was able to do a lot of good things in college when it came to catching the ball out of the backfield and things like that," Moss explained. "I'm definitely trying to continue to grow in that aspect of my game to be another weapon in the offense over the years and things like that. I think I do a pretty good job on catching the ball, but I want to continue to get better at that for sure."
When it comes to what he's learned about life in the NFL after three padded practices, it's all about how quickly the defense gets to whoever has the football.
"I realized that the defense, on this level, corrals to the ball a lot faster," Moss said. "You're getting all 11 hats to the ball. I think that's the biggest thing, and everyone is trying to get the ball out. It's not you're going to just go down easily, you have everybody punching out the ball and things like that."
3. What's different about Bobby Johnson's offensive line
New offensive lineman Darryl Williams is learning what it's like to play for offensive line coach Bobby Johnson. The vet enters his sixth year in the league and hasn't had coaching like this before.
"The techniques I like that Bobby Johnson teaches us, we're big men, so he likes us being able to use our size and keep our defenders in a phone booth," Williams explained. "I'm getting used to that because my first five years I was just trying to play in space a lot more."
Williams said he's comfortable playing any position on the line and has done so in previous years. He believes his length and mass are his strengths as he competes for a spot. After a few practices, the former Carolina Panther senses he's a part of a talented group.
"I came from veteran lines," Williams explained. "I think this line has a lot of potential to be great, but as time goes I'll pretty much find out what kind of offense we'll be."
After a few days of several splash plays from Josh Allen and company, the vet is excited to block for an offense that has a variety of options.
"It's great," Williams said. "I don't think I've been with a team that had this much weapons at receiver, tight end. I'm excited to get started when the season begins."