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Bills' backup running backs get to show their stuff

PITTSFORD -- With LeSean McCoy missing Tuesday's practice with what coach Sean McDermott described as "a bug," the focus at Buffalo Bills training camp turns to their depth at running back.

Live coverage: Bills camp Day Five

So far, the coach likes what he sees on the field at St. John Fisher College, especially from the top candidate to fill the No. 2 spot, second-year pro Jonathan Williams.

"I really like his effort," McDermott said. "He's made a conscious effort to secure the football. And then what we're watching is a young player, a secondary player, develop both on and off the field.

"He's making strides and we have to continue to expose him to certain situations, game-time situations. But he's done a nice job so far in camp, as has the other running backs."

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Mike Tolbert, a 10th-year veteran, is providing the versatility the Bills were seeking when they signed the fullback/halfback as a free agent. He excels at catching the ball, as well as blocking for the run and in passing situations.

"He's had a nice camp so far," McDermott said. "He came into camp in shape."

The coach also is pleased with what he has seen from two other young players at the position, rookie Jordan Johnson, from the University at Buffalo, and first-year man Cedric O'Neal.

"It's not just running the football, though," McDermott said. "There's protection that has to be a big part of what we do, in terms of protecting the quarterback. So those guys have had a good camp."

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