With inclement weather in the forecast, the Buffalo Bills issued the following statement about Friday night's scheduled practice at New Era Field:
"Please be advised that there is inclement weather in today's forecast for The Return of the Blue + Red practice at New Era Field. The practice time remains scheduled at 5:30 p.m. If severe weather in the area becomes a safety concern, there may be a rain delay during practice or cancellation at that time. Please check buffalobills.com, Buffalo Bills Twitter or our Buffalo Bills Facebook page throughout the day for updates."
If practice is held, here are five things fans should watch for:
1. Can Tyrod Taylor turn it up? The Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback's training camp can best be described to this point in a word: Meh.
Taylor has been inconsistent as he adjusts to playing in Rick Dennison's offense. In large part, he looks very similar to the quarterback the Bills have seen the last two years. He doesn't turn the ball over a lot, but he also misses throws he should make. His athleticism is impressive, but he tends to hold onto the ball for too long. Taylor said Thursday practicing on the team's home turf will provide a spark.
"Night-time practice – even though we play at 1 p.m. – night-time practice simulates like a game feeling," he said. "Anytime you go back in front of your fans in your own stadium it’s definitely something to be excited about. I’m excited to go back there and looking forward to putting on a show in front of the fans."
2. Can Logan Thomas keep it up? The project tight end has people buzzing about his potential, as colleague Vic Carucci laid out in Friday's edition of The News. Fans who haven had a chance to come out to Pittsford for a practice and are seeing Thomas for the first time will immediately notice his size. At 6-foot-6, he looks like he could start at small forward for the Knicks. Tight ends are expected to play a big role in Dennison's offense, so the opportunity is there for Thomas.
3. Can Eddie Yarbrough keep the arrow pointing up? One of the most impressive moves up the depth chart at training camp has been turned in by defensive end Eddie Yarbrough, who started the week on the third team but saw some first-team reps Thursday as Shaq Lawson got a breather. The race for jobs at reserve defensive end is wide open behind Lawson and fellow starter Jerry Hughes, and so far during seven camp practices Yarbrough has made the most noise.
4. Is Shamiel Gary still the next man up? After suffering a hip injury while making an interception during Wednesday's practice, the Bills held starting safety Micah Hyde out on Thursday. That elevated Gary to the first team. There is no sense in rushing Hyde -- who will be one of the Bills' most important defensive players -- back to practice, so that could mean Gary gets another crack with the starters Friday.
5. Will Shaq Lawson's (would-be) sack total continue to go up? An early favorite for defensive MVP of training camp thus far is Lawson, who looks at home at defensive end in McDermott's 4-3 scheme. He got himself into great shape in the offseason and has been exploding off the ball -- and past offensive tackles -- on a consistent basis.