Share this article

print logo

Things We Learned: Day One of Bills training camp

Things we learned at Buffalo Bills training camp on July 26:

1. Trent Murphy is full go and starting

The Bills' new edge rusher from the Washington Redskins was a full participant in team work on Day 1 of training camp and was working with the starters. Murphy was held out of contact in the spring as a precaution due to his rehabilitation from a torn knee ligament in training camp last August.

It's good news for the defense, because Murphy is the No. 1 best hope for improving a pass rush that ranked 31st in the NFL last season. Murphy was starting at left defensive end. Last year's starter, Shaq Lawson, was with the second unit.

"It's a huge honor and a privilege," Murphy said of opening with the first unit. "I couldn't be more excited to be blessed to work with such a group of great people, great football players in Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes. I've got the most respect for them. I mean, everybody in our room is just tremendous. They trust me to put me in there. I want to help this team however I can and do what they ask and go above and beyond the expectation. So that's the goal."

Except for Zay Jones, all the other players who had been limited in the spring (including tight end Logan Thomas, linebacker Matt Milano and receiver Malachi Dupree) have been cleared for full-go, said coach Sean McDermott.

2. Let the QB derby begin

The quarterback rotation was the same as in the spring. Nathan Peterman worked with the first team, AJ McCarron the second and Josh Allen the third. Coach Sean McDermott said Peterman and McCarron would rotate with the first unit, and Allen would get occasional snaps with the starters. Peterman unofficially was 4 for 9, McCarron 5 for 9 and Allen 4 for 9 in 11-on-11 work. But counting completions in training camp is not especially relevant, given the changing cast around the QBs and the variations in downfield and check-down throws. McCarron had the best three-play stretch, hitting Rod Streater on a sharp in-cut, Brandon Reilly on a cross and then Streater again on a 20-yarder over the middle.

Peterman gets first crack with starters as Bills' QB competition heats up

3. It's Bodine on Day One

Russell Bodine, the free-agent signee from Cincinnati, was the starter at center, while Ryan Groy worked with the second team. The first-team OL was, left to right: Dion Dawkins, Vlad Ducasse, Bodine, John Miller and Jordan Mills. The second team O-line: Marshall Newhouse, De'Ondre Wesley, Groy, Wyatt Teller, Conor McDermott. The third team O-line: Mo Porter, Josh James, Adam Redmond, Ike Boettger, Gerhard de Beer.

4. Big, veteran DT signed

In the middle of practice, the team announced the signing of seventh-year defensive tackle John Hughes, a 6-foot-2, 320-pounder. He was a third-round pick of the Browns in 2012 and played well enough his first three years to earn a four-year, $14 million contract extension entering the 2015 season. He played about 40 percent of the snaps in 2015 but then was cut early in the 2016 season. He played in eight games with New Orleans last year, getting about 19 snaps a game, then he suffered a torn biceps muscle in December. Hughes figures to vie for the fourth defensive tackle spot, which opening camp is held by Adolphus Washington.

5. WR watch

The wideout competition figures to be an ever-changing battle in camp, especially since the presumptive No. 2, Zay Jones, isn't practicing.

There was good news on Day One. No. 1 Kelvin Benjamin had three nice catches, making himself look like the giant target he is on in-breaking routes. Streater looked like a big target, too. Alabama rookie Robert Foster had three catches.

6. Noteworthy

Two of the most reliable players on the team looked reliable. Tre'Davious White nearly picked off the very first pass of training camp, to the sideline from Peterman. ... Place-kicker Stephen Hauschka went 6 for 6 on field-goal attempts, the two longest from 44 and 46 yards.

The second-team defensive unit: Lawson, Harrison Phillips, Washington and Eddie Yarbrough at defensive line; Ramon Humber, Tanner Vallejo and Deon Lacey at linebacker; Lafayette Pitts and Phillip Gaines at cornerback; Rafael Bush and Dean Marlowe at safety.

There are no comments - be the first to comment