A slightly delayed practice for the Bills finished off a week in which there were three days of practice with some sort of change in starting time.
This week had some positives, however, as the offense showed more aggressiveness and rhythm on offense. This was especially true in the cases of Robert Woods and Chris Hogan, who made a few highlight grabs and showed more chemistry with E.J. Manuel.
Mike Williams also had a few catches, including a jump ball reception between two defenders, and showed great explosiveness on inside post routes. Sammy Watkins’ opening week was tremendous, but while he had his moments this week, including a 98 yard touchdown yesterday, but did also have a pair of drops in drills tonight.
Watkins said that Sunday night’s game against the New York Giants will be a game to see “where the team is at”, and loves playing in a game that helps remembers some of the game’s greatest, including the franchise’s best receiver, 2014 Hall of Famer Andre Reed.
” It’s going to be great because it’s the Hall of Fame game,” said Watkins. “One of our former Bills will be getting nominated and we’ve got to put on a show and go out there and get a win.”
Watkins said he doesn’t feel the need to make a big splash, instead focusing on being “consistent”. He believes everybody is “going to have minor errors” in the team’s first game.
Watkins and his teammates will have the opportunity to tour the Hall of Fame and see the past Bill greats in the hall, including Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, and the late Ralph Wilson. Watkins wants to help set in motion an opportunity for the team to return to performing like it did in its glory years of the 90s.
“We’ve just got an opportunity and we’ve got to take it and go forward as a team and organization,” said Watkins. “We’ve just got to build the team and organization back up.We just got to keep fighting, keep practicing and find other resources and find a way to win.”
— Melissa Mahler (@Melissa_PPI) June 29, 2014
Watkins has developed a relationship with Reed in which the two text back and forth, with the rookie saying that Reed is a “great” guy. Reed has given Watkins helpful advice for how to acclimate immediately to the NFL.
“Don’t treat yourself like a rookie,” said Watkins. “Be a professional early. Learn how to be a professional. Go to the older guys, watch the older guys and really go out there and competeevery day. [There are] no age differences. Young or old, go out there and compete.”
At the running back position, news has seemingly been about anybody but C.J. Spiller. Whether it’s been the emergence of both Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon as pieces to complement Spiller and Fred Jackson, to Jackson signing an extension at age 33, Spiller has not had a lot of noise surrounding him.
Perhaps that is very good news, as Spiller spent much of last season playing with a nagging ankle injury and was a constant question mark in terms of how much and how well he would play. Now, its about how the team can bring out the most in the fifth-year back from Clemson who believes the offensive line and overall protection is improving.
“I think we’re getting a better understanding now,” said Spiller. “Especially going against our defense and the different looks they’ve been giving us these past couple days. They made it hard to pick up, but we got the hang of it. Once we fully get that down it’sjust about going and blocking the guys, so the last couple days we struggled but the past few days we picked it up.”
Spiller said the team trusts Dixon on the field, and the Bills have a “great” running back group that is comfortable with whoever is on the field. As for what he wants to accomplish in his first game action as the franchise back, Spiller hopes for efficiency for the first-team offense.
“We probably won’tplay a ton, but while we’re out there we want to make sure we’re looking crisp, we don’t want to turn the ball over, we want to take care of it and we want to put points on the board,” said Spiller. “This will be a great stepping stone to trying to become an elite offense. I’m excited about getting out there andI’m excited seeing the “two’s”,some of our younger offensive linemen. I’m excited about seeing those guys plays and obviously in the running backroom, I’m excited to see what those guys can do.”
Spiller also says he’s never played in a game “like this before”, and that the team is happy for Andre Reed and his family in the induction.
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