August 7th, 2018, how do the Buffalo Bills look in camp at St. John’s Fisher? Better than they did yesterday. Regardless of what happens this season, the Bills look better on Tuesday than they did on Monday. Not only did the Bills wide receiver group get healthier, they became faster and more competitive over the last twenty-four hours from today. On Sunday night, the Bills traded a 2020 seventh round draft pick for former 2016 first round pick, wide receiver Corey Coleman. The Bills also saw progress from both 2018 NFL draft first round selections, quarterback Josh Allen and middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
Approximately 24 hours earlier, Zay Jones was also cleared from injury designation and returned to practice on a limited basis. With an ultra-open wide receiver competition, the Bills added two very young receivers with a first and second round pedigree, which are a vast improvement in available weapons for any of the quarterbacks competing to start. In addition, Coleman provides the Bills with a verified burner who can get over the top in Brian Daboll’s offense in turn adding a new element of a speedy deep threat target that previously was not on this roster , without depending on substantial and unrealistic production from rookies Ray-Ray McCloud and Austin Proehl.
Nearly twenty-four hours after the trade that brought Coleman to the Bills, the Cleveland Browns third-round rookie selection,wide receiver and camp standout so far, Antonio Callaway, was cited in Ohio for marijuana possession. Noteworthy, as Callaway was not only a big part of the reason that the Browns were moving on from Coleman so early, Callaway did not play at all his final year at Florida due to different off-field incidents including being involved in a credit card fraud case. Callaway also failed a drug test at the NFL Combine this year.
As of now the quarterback controversy is not so controversial. Allen looks the part of a strong-armed rookie who is making some unbelievable throws that the others cannot make all the while still committing errant rookie mistakes. For example, Allen hit McCloud over the middle on a crossing route during Monday afternoon’s practice that I do not think either of his counterparts could have snuck in there. This ball was a laser on an ice rope, if that makes any sense. Nathan Peterman has shown flashes of success but still struggles with ball velocity and consistency (not throwing interceptions). A.J. McCarron looks the most prepared and poised (as expected) but seems to be taking unnecessary sacks from holding onto the ball. Overall though, the group is making strides and Allen seems to be learning from and correcting his mistakes. Peterman is becoming more consistent and doing better with ball placement in place of velocity on certain throws and as McCarron is learning the more, he will get the ball out quicker and in turn take less sacks.
I know I consistently beat the drum for Buffalo’s newest ‘Tre’ however, Tremaine Edmunds is shaping up to be the real deal, or at least he sure as Hell looks like it. Last week, Edmunds had two interceptions on McCarron on one day and on another he dropped what would have been his first the day. His range and wingspan to snatch these passes out of the air by being in position anywhere near the ball coupled with his speed after the catch make him a dangerous player to throw at in pass coverage. If he can transition this type of play to the season, I think that the sky is the limit for the valuable young centerpiece of the Bills defense. Brian Urlacher comparisons have been ample and unsolicited since the 6’5″, 255 pound linebacker took the stage in Arlington, after being selected sixteenth overall by the Bills. Edmunds, the son of a ten plus year NFL veteran is one of three brothers in his football family that is living their dream by playing football in the NFL. I personally think that the Urlacher comparisons are accurate as both players are rangy uncharacteristically tall inside linebackers with safety speed. Edmunds development in pass coverage and his ability to remove the shallow hole underneath will be almost as equally exciting to watch develop as any other part of his game.
The @buffalobills love their rookie MLB. Tremaine Edmunds is 20, he’s the defensive play-caller & he stopped for @nflnetwork on his way to the cold tub. 👍🏈☃️ @maine_savage23 pic.twitter.com/hH5lopq9ps
— Kim Jones (@KimJonesSports) August 6, 2018
Edmunds is going to be a stud for a long time in this league, health permitting and his productivity and development is the real underlying drama and excitement of 2018 Bills camp.
–Frank Wojtasiak is a contributing writer for Full Press Coverage who covers the Buffalo Bills. Frank can be followed on Twitter at @FrankoelTanko50. Make sure to follow @FPC_Bills for Buffalo Bills coverage.