Share this article

print logo

Vic Carucci's Bills Wake-Up Call: First judgments coming for backup QB, No. 2 receiver competitions

The second phase of the Buffalo Bills' offseason workouts began Tuesday.

This time, the coaches join the process. So do actual footballs.

The rules spelled out in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement still place tight restrictions on the amount and duration of activity, but at least there will be more than the conditioning work the players have done the past two weeks as part of the first phase.

Sean McDermott will get his first look at what he has ... or as much of a look as a football coach can get in drills that don't involve contact.

The focus will be where it usually is this time of year: the quarterbacks and receivers pretty much playing catch without the worry of being hit.

The coaches will see how well Tyrod Taylor, T.J. Yates, Cardale Jones, and Josh Woodrum can throw and how the receivers who are healthy enough to participate -- which is likely everyone except Sammy Watkins -- can catch.

This will draw the greatest attention for two reasons.

One is the battle for the No. 2 quarterback spot that is expected to come down to Yates and Jones. How much progress has Jones made since showing up last year as the rawest of rookie passers?

Then there is the anticipated intense competition for the No. 2 receiver spot. The projected leader of the current field is Andre Holmes, one of four receivers the Bills signed in free agency.

Fellow newcomers Philly Brown, Jeremy Butler, and Corey Washington will get to show what they can do, along with returnees Brandon Tate, Dez Lewis, Walter Powell, and Kolby Listenbee.

Of course, the complexion of both competitions could change dramatically after the NFL Draft, if the Bills select a quarterback (they've checked out practically every prospect at the position) or a receiver or both. If they invest a first-round choice in one of those spots, that would suddenly soar to the top of the team's offseason story lines.

The other interesting aspect of the second phase is how McDermott runs practice. He comes in with a reputation for being a stickler for details and placing a high priority on organization. How much that shows up in the structure and tempo of workouts remains to be seen.

The media is scheduled to get their first glimpse, albeit a brief one, on Thursday.

T.J. Yates' addition could provide a big lift to Bills' QB room

There are no comments - be the first to comment