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Bills OTA notes - Week 2
May 25, 2017 09:30 PM | Chris Brown

Cardale runs successful two minute drill
It was the end of practice and the third team offense was running the last two minute drill period. The drive start was their own 12-yard line. They had 1:37 left on the clock and two timeouts and needed eight points to win.

Cardale Jones was running the offense and got in a rhythm a few plays in and that rhythm carried through the rest of the drive.

He began with an 11-yard strike to undrafted rookie WR Brandon Reilly for a first down. Two plays later he hit Reilly again over the middle for another first down at the 35-yard line with 1:20 left.

Jones tried to find newly acquired Rod Streater, but his pass was high and fell incomplete. After another pass went behind intended receiver Dakiel Shorts and was incomplete, the offense faced a 3rd-and-10 situation with 54 seconds left and were still on their own half of the field.

Dropping back, Jones stood tall in the pocket and fired a laser over the middle to Streater. Despite a defensive back flashing in front of the receiver and getting his feet tangled, Streater pulled in the pass for a first down in the defense's territory.

Jones then got some help from TE Logan Thomas, who made a nice catch over his head on his out route to the sideline to reach the 40-yard line.

On the next play with 35 seconds left, Jones looked off the safety leaving Reilly wide open for a reception at the 20-yard line and the rookie cruised untouched to the end zone for the touchdown with 29 seconds on the clock.

"I just took what the defense gave me," Jones said. "I tried to bait the safety with my eyes and he bit pretty hard."

Although the two-point conversion for the "win" was unsuccessful, Jones looked decisive with his throws and went 5-8 passing for 88 yards and a touchdown on the drive.

"It was pretty good," Jones told Buffalobills.com. "It helps when we're in the upbeat tempo because the defense can't do as many things and we have a wide open playbook when we're in two minute. So it's pretty good to be out there running the show and telling guys what to do and getting a feel for what you want to see on the field."

The first team offense began their drive from their own 32-yard line. After consecutive completions to Andre Holmes, there was a fumbled exchange that Tyrod Taylor recovered, but a timeout had to be burned.

Philly Brown got out of bounds after a reception to stop the clock, but only 16 seconds remained. Facing a 3rd-and-4 at the defense's 36-yard line, LeSean McCoy ran for a first down. An ensuing spike on first down left just four seconds on the clock.

Undrafted rookie K/P Austin Rehkow however, missed a 48-yard attempt wide right.

The second unit was a bit more fortunate. Although T.J. Yates could only get the offense as far as the defense's 36-yard line, Rehkow came on and hit a 54-yarder from the left hash.

RELATED: BILLS SIGN FREE AGENT LB GERALD HODGES

Nickel corner roles shaping up
With Nickell Robey-Coleman and Corey White no longer on the roster, the nickel corner role was wide open coming into OTAs this spring. Now with two weeks in the books there are two clear options rotating there.

Working with the first nickel defense right now is Leonard Johnson, a former Carolina Panther, who knows the defense cold and how to play in the slot. Running second team nickel has been Kevon Seymour.

For Seymour he knows all the plays, his assignment and where his help is. At this point it's just getting a feel for it so he can react to whatever a defense might throw at him.

"Technique-wise they want you to read the quarterback and have more 'zone eyes,'" said Seymour. "I have to get used to that a little bit. There's some more thinking to do. It's really a feel thing now because I've got the concepts down."

To help shorten his learning curve Seymour has been leaning on Johnson for tips and pointers.

"He's got a feel for it so I'm picking his brain to get where he's at," said Seymour.

New guys
Two of Buffalo's most recent acquisitions, TE Wes Saxton and WR Rod Streater were both on the field Wednesday and Thursday this week. Both were running with the third team offense.

Streater made a big play in the final two minute drill of practice Thursday and is working to gain a feel for the offensive scheme.

Meanwhile Saxton had a touchdown during red zone work in a 7-on-7 period on Wednesday.

What impressed the two new additions most in their first week of OTAs with the Bills was the method and structure of the team's coaching staff.

"I came in and they're rolling like they've been here," Streater said. "They know what they're doing. They have all kinds of signs around pointing you in the right direction for the playoffs. They've got your mind focused and I don't even feel the new coaching vibe at all. They're locked in and tuned in and all the players are working hard. So I get that 'Let's win right now' mentality."

Rehkow gets FG attempts
The special teams segments have been longer than they're been in the past at OTAs for the Bills. It's clear that head coach Sean McDermott takes that phase of the game just as seriously as the others. He's often right there observing the plays and techniques being run by coordinator Danny Crossman.

On Thursday undrafted rookie punter/kicker Austin Rehkow got all the attempts during the field goal segment and was a perfect four-for-four on his kicks. Rehkow hit 33 and 38-yarders from the right hash and 35 and 41-yarders from the left hash.

He missed a 48-yard attempt wide right in the team's first two-minute drill series, but he came back and drilled a 54-yard attempt on the ensuing series.

Throws of the day
Now with just four quarterbacks on the roster there are a lot more reps to go around. Here were the best throws by each of Buffalo's signal callers.

Tyrod Taylor stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure and hit Charles Clay on the left side of the field for a 25-yard pass play during a blitz period.

T.J. Yates demonstrated good vision finding Dez Lewis over the middle despite having hands in his face in the pocket during 11-on-11.

Cardale Jones threw a dart to Dakiel Shorts despite some tight coverage for a 15-yard pickup.

Nate Peterman threw to the far side of the field off his back foot to hit Jeremy Butler to turn what looked like a negative play from the start into a positive one.

Not participating
Bills who were unable to participate due to injury were Zay Jones (knee), John Miller (ankle) and Michael Ola (knee).

Schedule
The Bills are off next week, but begin their final week of OTA practices on Monday, June 5.



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