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Downfield passing: Can the Bills prove it's in their arsenal?

PITTSFORD – The prettiest pass play of the day during Friday's training camp practice was a 30-yard laser down the right sideline from Nathan Peterman to wide receiver Rod Streater.

Streater got a step behind second-string cornerback Lafayette Pitts and made a nifty, outstretched-arms grab while staying in bounds in the 7-on-7 drill.

"Peterman threw a perfect ball," Streater said. "I didn't even have to break stride. It was a better throw than the catch."

It was the kind of play fans at St. John Fisher College will be hoping to see the next few weeks because it was sorely lacking from last year's offense.

Downfield completions.

The Bills ranked 24th in the NFL last year in completions of 20-or-more yards. They were 30th in completions of 40-plus yards, with only four.

Buffalo has only one proven, returning threat at wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin. And he's not a deep threat.

Can the Bills' receiving corps show any ability to get deep? It's one of the big questions of the summer.

The Bills do not have an elite-level "burner" on the wideout roster.

The fastest wideouts, based on their times entering the draft, are undrafted Alabama product Robert Foster and seventh-round pick Austin Proehl. They both ran 4.41 in the 40-yard dash. Proehl, however, is more of a slot-type receiver.

Zay Jones, out while recovering from knee surgery, ran a 4.45. Streater, a seventh-year pro, ran 4.46 out of college.

Not all good deep threats run faster than 4.40. Hall-of-Famer Andre Reed ran in the low-4.5s coming out of college and caught plenty of deep passes.

Nevertheless, the Bills' wideout corps has a lot to prove when it comes to getting behind the defense.

"They all have different redeeming qualities," said Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll of the wideouts. "There's different ways to stretch a field vertically. It could be just straight speed and run gos. But there's different technique things and different routes. We have a lot of guys working to compete to do it."

Taking the starting spots Friday in the three-receiver set were Benjamin, Andre Holmes and Jeremy Kerley, who is the strong favorite to win the slot-receiver job.

But the competition after Benjamin and Kerley is wide, wide open.

"What a great opportunity," Daboll said. "What a great opportunity to have as a player to come in here and compete, show your worth, get better every day."

Maybe Streater can emerge. He caught 60 passes for 888 yards for the Raiders in 2013.

He was enjoying a strong camp with the Bills last season before suffering a serious toe injury in the second preseason game. That put him out for the year.

The Bills signed him on Jan. 3, and he was happy to come back to Buffalo, because he felt he made a strong impression last summer.

"Coming back here with McDermott, I feel like he's a great coach," Streater said. "He's been doing a lot of great things here, and I want to be a part of it. I had a couple plays on tape and they know kind of what I can do."

Streater has made nice catches each of the first two days.

"It's just going out here and making plays and being consistent," he said. "Every day being the same guy. What you put on tape yesterday is what you put on tape today. You continue to compete and hopefully things work out."

Streater said the attitude and camaraderie in the receiver room is good.

"We've got some players, we've got some speed, we've got some size," he said. "I'm loving what I'm seeing, guys out here making plays. We're ready to prove whatever we've got to do. We can get open. Throw us the ball."

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