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Josh Allen, Jordan Poyer go back and forth at Bills' practice

Jordan Poyer had a message for Josh Allen on Wednesday.

After the Buffalo Bills’ safety knocked down a pass in the end zone from the team’s second-year quarterback, Poyer yelled “don’t do that, Josh.”

It wasn’t exactly clear whether Poyer meant don't attempt that throw against him, or in general.

What was clear, though, is that the competition level for a June minicamp session was there.

“It’s good to have that type of competitiveness, that type of challenge,” Allen said Wednesday. “I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’re out here trying to make each other better and that’s what we’re doing.”

Whether it’s who can hit more home runs at Micah Hyde’s recent charity softball game or the on-field work the Bills have done this spring, Allen and Poyer have gone at it. In the long run, that should be a benefit for the Bills.

“I really think we have the two best safeties in the league,” Allen said. “How they move, I was just talking about this with some of our guys yesterday. No. 21 (Poyer) and 23 (Hyde) might as well be the same person on the field.  They move in unison, they’re very vocal with each other, they know what they’re doing and they disguise things so well. It’s a real challenge out there on the football field so that’s only in turn going to make us better.”

Allen’s penultimate practice of the spring didn’t get off to a good start Wednesday. He overthrew a deep ball intended for John Brown on one of the first plays in 11-on-11 work. About midway through the session, the quarterback lit into his offensive teammates.

“I didn’t feel like I started off very hot and didn’t do a good job of setting the tone early for our offense,” Allen said. “So I was just trying to reset and be on the same page as everybody, just refocus.”

The Bills’ defense got the better of the offense most of the practice. That included an interception by Poyer. Allen did have his moments, though, directing a nice march on his second drive of the day. He hit Cam Phillips on a tight-window throw for about 15 yards, then made a sharp, on-time throw to Victor Bolden on a slant for about 20 yards. On the next play Allen stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush and threw on the move down the left sideline for Andre Roberts, who plucked the ball out of the air at the goal line amid tight coverage for a 28-yard touchdown. It was the offensive play of the day.

“We have some good chemistry,” Allen said of Roberts, a free-agent signing from the Jets. “Similar interests off the field. He likes to golf. I like to golf.  That’s one thing we have in common. He’s just a super good dude, being able to talk to him. He’s intelligent, he knows the play book, we’re able to talk to each other. … He makes a mistake once, we talk about it and he doesn’t make that mistake again.”

Overall, Allen was 12 of 22 with an interception and had three would-be sacks during 11-on-11 work. The sacks were by Taron Johnson, Siran Neal and Jerry Hughes.

The Bills’ offense struggled in a third-and-long segment of plays.

Poyer’s interception came when he anticipated a sideline throw for Bolden and made the catch. Allen might have taken the check-down throw if it was a real game.

Matt Barkley got three segments of team work running the offense, while Tyree Jackson got one. Barkley was 10 of 14 passing. His best play was a 4-yard TD pass to Mike Williams near the right boundary of the end zone against Tre White.

Ageless Frank Gore has run with good energy this week. He had a nice burst off right tackle. Then two plays later, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was all over a Gore cutback run.

Spencer Long returned to left guard with the starting offensive line, and Vlad Ducasse went back to second-team duty. Long wasn’t needed at backup center because reserve center Garrett McGhin returned to practice. He had sat out on Tuesday.

News Sports Reporter Mark Gaughan contributed to this report.

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