4 observations: Benford continues to rotate with first team, Diggs rests
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bills have almost reached the finish line of training camp in Rochester. The final practice at St. John Fisher is on Thursday. The team went back to work on Wednesday but were not wearing pads, just helmets and shells for a lighter practice. Here are Josh Reed’s 4 observations from training camp:
Offensive line taking shape
For the first time since training camp started we got a chance to see what many believe will be the starting offensive line. LT- Dion Dawkins, LG- Rodger Saffold, C- Mitch Morse, RG- Ryan Bates, RT- Spencer Brown. The team continued to use several lineman at different positions and rotate players in and out of the lineup but with the first preseason game right around the corner it was good to see that group together and on the field for the first time at camp.
A lot has been made about Matt Araiza’s inexperience at holding for field goals and extra points. The rookie punter held for Tyler Bass during a portion of practice and Bass knocked home all 6 of his field goal tries. When Bass finished, the team let Dawson Knox, Micah Hyde and Matt Barkley attempt extra points and they all made kicks. Case Keenum was the holder for all 3. On the surface, it looked like a moment of fun during a long camp but I’m sure Sean McDermott walked away with an emergency strategy.
Defensive back shuffle
Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin continue to rotate at safety in place of Jordan Poyer. At this point, it looks like Johnson has the inside track to win the 3rd safety job behind Poyer and Micah Hyde. At cornerback, Dane Jackson, Kaiir Elam, and Christian Benford continue to rotate with the first team. Benford’s strong training camp continues and the rookie keeps turning heads.
Stefon Diggs received a rest day, Tavon Auston is day-to-day with tightness, and Tim Harris missed practice. Jordan Poyer watched practice with a sleeve on his elbow and not a brace.
Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more of his work here.