The Bills hit the field for their fourth training camp practice before their first day off from camp on Thursday. The offense was humming, and quarterback Josh Allen was dealing after the defense had a strong first few practices.
Here are three things to know from Wednesday's practice.
1. Josh Allen's best practice of camp
While the defense has impressed the most in the first few practices of training camp, the offense came on strong in practice No. 4. It wasn't because more receivers were catching more balls or because the running backs were finding more holes, it was because Josh Allen was having his way. For the majority of practice, any time Allen stepped back in the pocket to find a target, the QB delivered it in the right spot.
Wide receiver Gabe Davis thinks the success has to do with communication and working together.
"We were just kind of off yesterday," Davis shared. "So being able to come out here and compete, make a lot of big plays, as you guys saw. That's what we need. Whenever we're down, we got to be able to come back and push forward, and that's what we did."
Allen really pulled away with having his best practice of camp during team period when they were working in the red zone. The QB fired off multiple touchdowns in tight windows. A couple that stood out were two throws to wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the back of the end zone. On the first play, Diggs was tightly covered by cornerback Siran Neal and Allen did a good job of placing the ball where it needed to be. On the second play, Allen looked like he was going to hand it off and rolled out of the pocket, pump faked and found Diggs in the end zone for a last-second completion as Diggs was going toward the sideline.
Allen was trusting his teammates and what he saw on the field as plays unfolded. Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey says that is what they're challenging the offense with during camp.
"I think what we try to stress on offense, especially with Josh is trust your eyes, trust what you see, trust your progressions, don't get locked in on anything," Dorsey shared. "When you've got the personnel that we got, I think it helps Josh to do that because he doesn't feel like he's got to get locked into one specific player."
Diggs was one of many players that Allen connected with in the end zone during team periods.
The Stefon Diggs vs. Kaiir Elam one-on-one battle continued Wednesday. The first time the two went up against each other, the play broke down because Elam was holding. The second time, Diggs came away with a short reception.
2. Gabe Davis' stock is rising
Wide receiver Gabe Davis was another player who stood out in Wednesday's practice thanks to Allen's impressive day. The two have connected on a handful of plays already in just four camp practices and look as if they are picking up where they left off.
While the team was working on red zone, Allen put a great ball on Davis who made a solid catch in the back of the end zone. After last season and his four-touchdown performance in the playoffs, Davis is working toward having a bigger role in the offense this season. The third-year player prepared for that this offseason by training hard and improving his confidence.
"Ever since I came into the league, that's the mindset I always had is just no matter what position I'm in, to be able to execute at a high level," Davis said. "And now I'll have a little bit more opportunity to do that. I feel like it's going to be a fun and good year for all of us."
In terms of taking his on-field relationship with Allen to the next level, Davis believes his versatility will help.
"Being able to play all those different positions, being in different situations and me and him being able to make plays in those different situations," Davis said. "He knows that I can play all across the field, so no matter where I'm at, he's comfortable wherever I am."
It doesn't matter if it's head coach Sean McDermott, general manager Brandon Beane or offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, they've all got great things to say about Davis' work ethic and patience for the role that he will take on this season.
"At the end of the day, it's going to come up to one the mental, can he handle the mental workload, and then two, how hard you work at it," Dorsey said. "For Gabe, he's got both those qualities at an extremely high level. Great mentally, as smart as any receiver I've been around, and works his tail off. So I think that's why you see that trajectory with him continue to get better and better and better each year because he's never complacent."
3. Offensive line rotation and adjusting to a new coach
The offensive line has been without the most players out of any position group since the start of training camp. Guard Rodger Saffold, guard Ike Boettger and tackle Spencer Brown are all working their way back from injuries and haven't been able to join their teammates in camp just yet. Due to this, the group has had to endure some shifting early on. The players who returned from last year are accustomed to this as the group has experienced a lot of shifting over the last two seasons due to COVID-19 and injuries.
While it's important to have your starting five build chemistry, it's also nice to know the depth of the group early on because of a few absent players.
"When there's guys getting nicked up, you're plugging guys in and that creates some of that natural competition as well," said offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. "There's some slots we feel really good about, but I feel good about all the guys we have up there to be honest with you. I think the biggest thing for us is trying to get those five guys together to create continuity as quickly as possible."
Left tackle Dion Dawkins explained he's used to the shuffle and doesn't mind who's next to him as long as they keep the pocket clean for Allen. While Dawkins is getting the new players up to speed, he's also learning new tactics from new OL coach Aaron Kromer.
"He is very specific of what he wants and with his technique," Dawkins said of Kromer. "It's only the fourth day of camp so even myself, learning how to do different things with my body because of what he's teaching is new. So, it's a challenge, but it's just camp challenges like it ain't nothing drastic."
In addition to coaching up the offensive line, Kromer has also had a hand in helping Dorsey.
"Part of that with (Kromer) is the run game stuff, protection stuff," Dorsey explained. "Kind of bringing in some new ideas, which always kind of infuse a little bit of something into the offense, maybe that we haven't done here in the past. So that's been very exciting with him."
Buffalo ended the season with a consistent run game that they could look to on offense to help win games and want to continue that in 2022. It'll be fun to see what Kromer's stamp on the offensive line and run game looks like once the season begins.
Scroll to see photos from Day 4 at Buffalo Bills Training Camp.