Sean McDermott wasted little time Friday in seeing what he's got during the first day of the Buffalo Bills' rookie minicamp.
The head coach lined up cornerback Tre'Davious White and wide receiver Zay Jones -- the team's first- and second-round draft picks last month -- across from each other for one-on-one drills.
"It was intentional, yeah," McDermott said. "We wanted to play best on best, good on good and just see them compete. That was fun to watch."
While General Manager Brandon Beane's arrival in the form of an introductory press conference was certainly the news of the day at One Bills Drive, seeing the team's top two draft picks compete in the practice setting was another highlight. Both White and Jones will factor heavily into the Bills' plans for the 2017 season.
"Coach had let me know that I was going to go against Tre'Davious, just to get that good competition," Jones said. "Not saying that other guys aren't there, but Tre'Davious is a proven guy. That's why he was taken in the first round.
"He's a top guy. He proves it. He's a hard worker. Dedicated, knows his stuff, so going against someone like that is definitely going to prepare me for Sunday."
In three head-to-head reps, White had one pass break-up while Jones made two clean catches.
"He's a great route runner, and I'm a guy that can pretty much cover," White said. "If I'm going against the best guy each and every rep, once I get thrown in the fire when the vets get here, I think I'll be pretty much up to speed enough to keep up with those guys."
A total of 58 players took part in Friday's practice, broken down as follows: Six drafted players, 13 undrafted free agents, 14 players on the roster with one year of NFL experience and another 24 rookies in for tryouts.
"We put some good work on the field," McDermott said. "We had a walk-thru this morning and came back this afternoon with practice, many of you were out there. I thought the drafted players were solid for the first day and that’s what I was looking for. You watched some competition out there with Zay and Tre’Davious and that was good to see.
"It’s the first day so it’s all new. I walked into the team meeting last night and the meeting this morning again and the look in some of the eyes is interesting. It’s the first day of school basically, so we all remember those days, but it will be fun to watch them acclimate themselves on a day-to-day and practice-to-practice basis."
McDermott, who comes from a defensive background, spent plenty of time with White at the practice.
"Tre’Davious, I thought, came out and, sometimes what happens on the first day is people kind of get outside of themselves trying to play at a speed that they’re not used to or feeling like they have to do something different with their game," McDermott said. "... They were under control, played with good body control, feet in good position and there wasn’t a whole lot of out-of-position, flailing around. That tends to happen on day one, so again, I though solid first day and what’s important now is what’s in front of them and that’s the afternoon and then getting back tomorrow ready to go."
As White alluded to, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the Bills' young players. Veterans will arrive soon for the start of organized team activities, then after that it's a voluntary minicamp before training camp starts in late July.
"This is the National Football League, and it's a lot different from college," Jones said. "Head is spinning a little bit. A lot of information, a lot of plays."
It didn't take long for White, Jones or any of the other rookies to learn quickly that the NFL can be a cold, calculating place. Less than a day after the draft concluded, the Bills fired General Manager Doug Whaley and his entire scouting staff.
"Sort of the same thing happened my last year at LSU with coach" Les "Miles getting fired," White said. "It's all how you respond and how you go about your business. When adversity hits, you've just got to rise to the top and do what you're called to do."