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Training camp observations, Day 15: Lawson gets extra work with Murphy sidelined

PITTSFORD – Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy, who returned to practice last Friday after missing about a week of training camp with a groin injury, may sit out a second consecutive preseason game after leaving practice early Monday.

He did not practice Tuesday at St. John Fisher College. The Bills visit Cleveland on Friday.

Former first-round pick Shaq Lawson, meanwhile, continues to take advantage of increased opportunities with Murphy sidelined.

“I think he’s handled it well,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said about Lawson. “I thought he did a really good job in the snaps that he had in our first preseason game. He’ll get more opportunities in this game because he’ll (play) a little bit longer. We’re not sure if Trent’s (going to be) available at this point.

“He’s handled things well with all the conjecture about (what) this year means for him. Its seems to me like he’s blocked the noise out, he’s focused on this opportunity that he has and he’s trying to do the best that he can. He’s had a good camp up to this point.”

Lawson has started 11 of 21 career games while recording 46 tackles, six sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He started 10 of 11 games last season.

Lawson said he’s trying to make the most of the extra snaps and has been driven by the increased competition since Murphy arrived.

“It’s probably a good thing they brought him in, so I’ll continue to work hard," Lawson said. "It’s something just to motivate me to continue to work hard."

He said he’s dropped to 262 pounds, about five pounds lighter than his listed playing weight last season, and feels more explosive.

Lawson was reluctant to embrace Frazier’s positive comments.

“I can’t listen to that,” Lawson said. “I’ve just got to continue to get better, because if I pay attention to that, I get comfortable and lazy, so I’m not paying attention to that. I just want to continue to get better every day and hope it pays off at the end of the season, where I know I’ve got my goals as an individual and as a teammate.

“Whatever I need to do to get better every day, that’s what I’m going to do, to be the best I can be, be the best for this team and try to lead this team and help this team win the Super Bowl.”

2. Corey Coleman on returning to Cleveland

Corey Coleman dismissed the idea that he’d have an extra motivation when the wide receiver makes his preseason debut for the Bills against the Browns on Friday in Cleveland.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Coleman said. “It’s emotional every time because I love this game. Every time I’m out there … I don’t take it for granted.”

Cleveland traded the former first-round draft pick – the 15th overall selection out of Baylor in 2016 – to Buffalo last week for a seventh-round pick in 2020. Coleman recorded 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns in 19 games during his two seasons with the Browns.

“There’s always something to prove when you step on the field,” Coleman said. “This team got high expectations for me and also, I (do) for myself. So every time I’m out there I’m going to give 100 percent and do my job.

WR Corey Coleman thrilled to be in Buffalo, not looking back

3. Bills expect Vontae Davis to rebound.

Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis was disappointed in himself after missing a tackle on Jarius Wright during the Bills’ preseason opener against the Panthers. Wright took the 28-yard reception to the Bills 2-yard line, setting up Carolina’s first score.

Davis, 30, played in just five games for the Colts last season before being released in November. He signed a one-year contract with the Bills this offseason.

“I know for Vontae, just in talking to him, he was disappointed in what happened,” Frazier said. “I think some of it you can contribute to maybe not playing in such a long time. At the same time, he’s a veteran guy who’s made that play many times. One of his strengths as a corner is his tackling ability; he’s not one of those corners who says, ‘I’m a cover corner.’ He was disappointed in the fact that he missed that tackle, but he’s going to have a lot of opportunities this Friday night and in the games to come. I’m sure he’s going to rebound from that.”

4. Charles Clay gets day off.

Starting tight end Charles Clay was given the day off, while Jason Croom received reps with the first team. The undrafted, second-year pro has been making a favorable impression.

In addition to Murphy and Clay, others who didn’t practice Tuesday include defensive tackle Marquavius Lewis, fullback Zach Olstad and wide receivers Brandon Reilly and Ray-Ray McCloud.

5. Bills practice on turf.

The Bills’ practice initially scheduled for Tuesday morning was delayed until 4 p.m. because of rain and closed to the public. The team instead conducted a walk-through indoors before finally getting on the field late in the day. They practiced on the turf at Growney Stadium for the first time this summer, as opposed to the grass.

The team’s practice scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Wednesday will conclude training camp at St. John Fisher College. It is open to the public.

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