PITTSFORD -- Here are my three thoughts on the Buffalo Bills as they enter their third training camp practice Monday at St. John Fisher College:
1. With the Bills putting on the pads and doing their first hitting of camp Monday morning, all eyes will be on safety Aaron Williams. This will mark his first exposure to contact since he underwent neck surgery. How he handles it is anyone's guess. Williams has seemingly been a tentative participant in non-contact sessions the past two days. No one could blame him if he was even slightly anxious. The wrong type of hit could result in some serious damage for a guy who experienced frightening temporary numbness after colliding with New England's Julian Edelman at Ralph Wilson Stadium last season. Williams tried coming back against Tennessee, and that proved to be his final game of the year. There will be more intensive contact when the Bills stage their intrasquad scrimmage Saturday, especially during a goal-line drill.
Nevertheless, Rex Ryan says he isn't taking any sort of wait-and-see approach with Williams. "It’s not in my mind, but it may be in his," the coach said. "I’m not sure. You know, I think any time a player comes off an injury, first off, you’ve got to get on the field, and you’ve got to be running around doing your athletic drills and things, but there’s nothing like that first contact either and, obviously, we don’t intend for him to get in until you put the pads on and get in and we’re in a scrimmage situation. But I know that I’m confident. The way the doctors feel about Aaron and they’re confident that he’s going to be just fine and better than he was."
2. The Bills' depth at tight end doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence. Given how cautious the team was with Charles Clay during Sunday's workout, you have to wonder about his availability for a full season. That was a problem last year. And if anything happens to Clay, the options behind him are limited. None of the Bills' backup tight ends showed much in the way of play-making through offseason workouts and the trend has continued through the first two days of camp. It's kind of hard to fathom, given how important the position is to Greg Roman's offense.
3. The rawness of rookie quarterback Cardale Jones can, at times, be downright maddening. On some throws, he looks as if he has no business being part of an NFL practice. On others, he can flat launch stunningly long bombs the likes of which you'd be hard-pressed to find from anyone else in the league. For the most part, though, he's a mistake waiting to happen. He gets himself in trouble with frequent indecision and some awful touch on short and intermediate routes.
"I’ve seen him do a lot of good things and then there’s times where it’s like the traditional rookie quarterback hold-the-ball, hold-the-ball ... 'No, no. You’ve got to let it go,'" Ryan said. "And I think those are things where you have to adapt to the speed of the game and the skill of the National Football League, and we’ll see how he does. ... He can let it fly now. He’s got a big-time arm, so he’s got the NFL skill set."
Today’s practice: 10 a.m. to noon.
Next practice: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Directions to St. John Fisher from Buffalo and points west: Take New York State Thruway to Exit 46. Take Route 390 North to Route 590 North to Monroe Avenue (Route 31). Turn right on Monroe Avenue. Follow green-and-white road signs to any of the shuttle lots.
Camp information: (877) 228-4257