Let’s have a Turkey Burger with QB Josh Allen at Bills Training Camp

What does QB Josh Allen love most about being back at St. John Fisher University in Pittsford, NY for training camp? He does love practicing, but most of all, Allen loves eating those famous Fisher Turkey Burgers.

Now, it’s time for the meat and potatoes of training camp, Football! Let’s take a look at the 3 take-a-ways from the practice.

1- A shift in attitude for Josh Allen

Day one of training camp began on Sunday, July 24th with a festive first practice. The players were thrilled to be back for the 2022 edition at St. John Fisher University. A new year brings new expectations for quarterback Josh Allen and for the rest of the guys. Allen set his vision after the morning practice concluded, and had this to say:

“We’ve got to come out here and find ways to get better and improve on ourselves,” Allen said. “Nothing that we did last year is going to carry over to this year. Nothing that we’re going to do next year is going to affect us this year. It’s a brand-new season. We’re a new team. We’re a different team. We’ve got new pieces. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator. We’ve got a new mindset. So again, just trying to find what our identity it that’s what training camp is for.”

“Hopefully by the time we leave St. John Fisher, we know what type of team we are mentally and physically. And we can start developing game plans and go from there week by week. But there’s no higher expectations than what we have for ourselves in the locker room. I think if you’re a team that doesn’t have Super Bowl or nothing in your minds, I don’t think that you’re doing it the right way. That’s the main goal to win World Championships and we’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

Allen commented that the guys agreed with his goal and are ready to begin constructing this season’s group into Super Bowl winners.

2- Miller wants playing time

The Bills made a splash in free agency by signing superstar pass rusher Von Miller away from the defending Super Bowl Champs, The LA Rams. Even at 33-years-old, Miller displayed last season that he can still get after the quarterback like no other. He will have to get used to doing something he hasn’t done with other teams. Be off the field.

During his outstanding career, Miller has basically been out on the field for every snap of the way. Will the coaches decide to keep Miller in check this season? Who will be calling the shots on that? I guess we will just have to wait and see who wins out on that call?

“Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do it, but I like to be on the field,” said Miller. “You can’t make plays if you’re not on the field. And I hate that feeling where I come off the field and the other team throws the ball, or they make a big play down the field. I feel like I could have been in there to affect that. So, I’m going to try to be on the field as much as possible.”

“Of course, I’m going to listen to my coaches, the GM. They’ve got a plan that obviously works. I’ll always listen to those guys, but I want to be on the field. I want to be on the field to make plays. That’s why they brought me here and as long as my body says the same, as long as God says the same, I want to be on the field as much as possible.”

This Spring, Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier indicated that he will be rotating players in and out on the defensive line.

In my opinion, Frazier has never had a player of Miller’s quality, during his time in Buffalo. So I say, if Miller wants to play, you let him play!!

3Highlights of the day

Day one of training camp was mostly focused on red-zone work. All the team drills occurred back in that spot of the field. Both the offense and defense had the chance to make plays in secured spaces.

“Red zone is typically a pretty tough day for the offense,” said Allen. “It’s just a smaller area but coming out here and just trying to go out and execute make the right decisions. And guys are flying around right now were pretty juiced up. So, we’ll take a look at the film, but again, it was exciting to get back on the field and actually run some real plays.”

Some of the players turning in film and making plays on Sunday were rookie LB Terrell Bernard, who stripped the ball from Dawson Knox at the goal line during 7-on-7 for an incomplete pass.

DT Tim Settle picked off a pass from Case Keenum and ran it back for what could’ve been a pick six.

LB Tremaine Edmunds interrupted a throw from Josh Allen that was planned for Stefon Diggs down the middle.

CB Tim Harris had a pass broken up by a Case Keenum throw that was intended for Tanner Gentry.

TE Quintin Morris displayed steady hands on an over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone on a toss from Keenum.

Morris may have been outshined by WR Gabriel Davis, who hoisted himself in the air to make a high jumping grab in the back of the end zone, while keeping both feet inbounds.

Jake Kumerow aka, “Touchdown Jesus”, grabbed a pass just before stepping out of bounds for a touchdown.

Both rookies Khalil Shakir and James Cook did well also, as they too scored touchdowns during the practice.

According to Allen, the tempo was better than the execution, but that’s to be expected for day 1 of training camp.

“To go out there and have days like this where some things didn’t work, that’s obviously why we do this on the first day,” he said. “Let’s figure out what’s going to work, how we can fix things, and how we can improve. So, to come out here throwing the ball around, have guys flying around, feel some bullets at my feet, have guys running full speed, getting pressed, seeing some different coverages from our defense right now… it’s just the flow of football. I know it’s not real live football. It’s not getting hit, but it’s staying close.”

Day 2- Monday July 25, 2022

1The 11-on-11 Drills dazzled for the Defense

Day two mainly paid attention to third-down plays and the Bills’ defense was turnover heavy. They made a total of four picks and broke up multiple passes.

Sophomore CB Nick McCloud had two interceptions against quarterback Matt Barkley and ran it back for some yards on the second int. S Jordan Poyer and CB Dane Jackson also earned some picks during practice. LB Greg Rousseu came in with pressure forcing Jackson’s take away.

Slot corner Taron Johnson batted away a would be completed pass from QB Josh Allen to Isaiah McKenize. Matt Barkley had a pass broken up from Rookie CB Ja’Marcus Ingram.

Some young guys like first round draft pick Kaiir Elam have made plays despite Pro Bowl CB Tre’Davious White still being on the PUP list while recovering from his ACL surgery. DC Leslie Frazier agrees that it’s beneficial for the younger players to get further field experience with White still recovering.

“Could be, but you’d love to have a healthy Tre’Davious for sure out there getting his reps. But short of that, you’re right, that means there’ll be more opportunities for Kaiir and there’ll be more opportunities for Dane as well,” said Frazier.

The defensive line was great too at constantly getting after the quarterbacks which in training camp are non-contact sacks. LB Von Miller blasted through the lanes and had to avoid hitting Allen with his non-contact red jersey shining bright.

The offense put their mainly low tempo morning behind them and finished well in the two minute drill. Allen zipped the ball vertically to his two favorite weapons in Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. Davis had a larger than life moment when he made a SC Top-10 highlight real catch for a huge first down pickup. On the final play of the drive, Allen went back to Diggs down the sideline for another huge gain.

2- How Diggs’ leadership supports the Bills’ Younger Receivers

Diggs has proven to be a voice and a figure head in his first-two years with the Bills. He is certainly one of the NFL’s best receivers. While you would think Diggs would be more of a self promoter, he’s a terrific leader while helping the other receivers get better as a team.

“That’s part of being a leader in my eyes. How good are you making the guys around you?,” said Diggs.

It’s only been a couple of practices, but one of those young receivers has earned praise so far from Diggs. Rookie WR Khalil Shakir went bonkers on Monday, catching multiple veteran like passes while being covered. He capped off a great practice with an over-the-shoulder grab while running down the sideline in coverage.

“He’s a professional,” Diggs said of Shakir. He’s been doing a good job so far.”

Keeping the lines of communication open while at camp is key, Diggs explained, especially when the offense as a team gets used to a new OC calling the plays.

“Communication is everything, especially from an OC standpoint. Just trying to convey the message of what kind of offense you want to have. That’s something everybody has been echoing: what kind of identity do you want to have? What type of team do you want to have?,” said Diggs.

3Knox talks flexibility in TE group

TE Dawson Knox had a great year last year as the team’s primary tight end. He is even more happy he will have a number-two tight end across the line from him in OJ Howard. Knox has no doubt Howard will be the tight end he was when he was at Alabama and at Tampa Bay.

“He’s a freak athlete first of all. He makes me feel small,” Knox said of Howard who is listed at 6’6, 251 pounds.

“Just having another weapon like that is going to make us that much harder to stop. I think he’s just going to push me to be better, too.”

Knox knows that with the signing of Howard plus the return of third-year tight end Tommy Sweeny, the offense will be more open and they will be trying some new personnel. They can incorporate more multiple tight end sets to the offense.

“We’ve already started doing more ’13’ personnel (1RB, 3TE) stuff and ’22’ (2RB, 2TE) personnel with (FB) Reggie (Gilliam) on the field, too. We’ve seen more ’13’ personnel than we did a lot of last year, so it’s going to be fun to just have that extra step of versatility.”

Day 3- Tuesday July 26, 2022

1- The Defense Shows Off

The defense has been a wrecking ball so far in camp. They’ve done so by winning the turnover battle. They’ve also had lockdown coverage and a ferocious pass rush, putting pressure on the offense. The defensive line was basically a one-man unit on Tuesday.

“You see a lot of other guys playing at a high level,” Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said. “Hats of to Greg (Rousseau) and Boogie (Basham) and a lot of the young guys that put in hard work this offseason, and it’s showing out there. They’re stronger, faster and they’re playing more confident, and it’s ultimately going to help the defense out.”

Defensive Lineman Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle, an C.J. Brewer were beasts in clawing the ball with their hands in the passing zones. Settle has been a star during the first week and he also shined on the first day of camp with an interception .

This unit also was stout clogging up lanes to stop the run. They made it very hard for the running backs to gain any yardage.

“We knew coming into this, obviously through OTAs and minicamp that the defense was gonna be a problem,” Safety Micah Hyde explained. “So, those guys up front, they’re working. They’ve got great coaches, great players out there. We know that there’s going to be some opportunities for us on the back end because of it.”

2Stefon Diggs vs. Kaiir Elam encounter is getting hot, while James Cook keeps on rolling

Tuesday’s session also saw Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs go up against first-round Rookie Cornerback Kaiir Elam. Those at camp could have called it a David and Goliath matchup, but even as a rookie, Elam was not afraid to lock down against Diggs.

The two battled a few times, and in one scenario, both ended up with the Ball. Diggs made a typical Diggs catch at first, but Elam would have the last laugh as the confident rookie stripped the ball away from Diggs. Great play by Elam, and as for Diggs, us youngsters would tease, “Ball Security.”

Head Coach Sean McDermott loves to build a culture that includes competition at every position. Even if it includes a young rookie corner like Elam matching one-one against a savvy veteran like Diggs. McDermott wants to teach his team to challenge each other and become better.

Hyde has really been impressed with Elam learning from older guys on the team that have done it before.

“I think with K (Kaiir Elam) he’s been fortunate enough to be put in a position, whether it’s the coaches we have in the secondary on defense or even the players, he’s able to step in right now with some guys that have been together for a long time,” Hyde said. “So, he hears what we’re talking about, he hears how we see things in meetings. He can paint the picture himself just by asking the questions that he asks. I can’t speak for him, but I feel like if I’m a young guy in his position, I’d be really fortunate to step into that position. And we’re not asking him to be anything that he’s not, just go out there and play your ball.”

Much like Elam is looking for a favorable outcome, fellow rookie James Cook is showing he wants to win a Super Bowl much like how he helped Georgia win the National Championship over Alabama. What separates Cook from a traditional running back is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and just go very fast vertically and take it to the house. On Tuesday, Cook exploded with some great receptions and runs.

3Tremaine Edmunds puts in the work

Tremaine Edmunds is in the last year of his rookie contract, but right now, Edmund’s main goal is focusing on having another quiet but good season. Oh, and don’t forget winning that Lombardi Trophy in Feb 2023.

“I got the same mindset every year, and that’s just to be the best player I could be,” Edmunds said. “I put in good work this offseason, trusting what I’ve done, trusting the work that’s been put in and just relying on my brothers out here. Every day I come out, I don’t even think about that stuff because I’m having fun.”

Edmunds does a phenomenal job for a middle linebacker on a team that relies on zone coverage. While Edmunds may not be a self-promoter and a larger than life player, he is very quiet, and more importantly, is one of the best tacklers on the team. Edmunds now is working on becoming a better turnover machine.

“He’s talked about obviously catching the football and making plays that way,” Safety Micah Hyde said. “But working on the jugs and stuff with him, even these last couple days in training camp you can tell he’s been doing that. And not just him, (Matt) Milano too. We do the jugs a lot during the season, and they’ve kind of picked up on what we’ve been able to do. So, I know those plays will come. You can’t force them, you can’t get out of position to try to make those plays, you just stay within the defense.”

Edmunds has impressed McDermott many times during his first-four years on the team. McDermott also expects more the same play in the future.

“Tremaine’s done a phenomenal job,” McDermott said. “He’s done everything we’ve ever asked since day one, and he’s a consummate pro. I think he’s off to a great start. He’s always been in shape, and I love his command of our defense.”

For the last few seasons, Edmonds has lead the defense. McDermott sees that Edmunds is more vocal and relaxed this year. He is ready to take on what ever is coming his way, to make the defense better.

“I think that’s just the natural evolution of his growth,” McDermott added. “Part of it is on the field, part of it is off the field, and I think he’s becoming more and more comfortable. The other day the offense was doing some things and he was right on it in communicating that to the defense and that’s something I hadn’t seen to this point, and I very impressed by that.”

Day 4- Wednesday July 27, 2022

1Josh Allen’s best day @ camp

After three days of the defense getting the better of the offense, the script flipped on day four of Buffalo Bills Training Camp. It all started with the quarterback Josh Allen who looked like Superman on the field. It was his best day of camp so far as he was zipping the ball to his receivers and throwing to them right in their breadbaskets.

“We were just kind of off yesterday,” Davis shared. “So being able to come out here and compete, make a lot of big plays, as you guys saw. That’s what we need. Whenever we’re down, we got to be able to come back and push forward, and that’s what we did.”

Allen especially went off during red zone work, throwing for an abundance of touchdowns in tight corners. Two of those touchdowns were to Diggs and it looks like those two will be hooking up again all season long. Allen is a guy that adores his teammates and Offensive Coordinator Dorsey is challenging the offense during camp. Dorsey also has personal experience with this during his playing days as a National Championship Winning Quarterback with the Miami Hurricanes and also during his few years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.

“I think what we try to stress on offense, especially with Josh is trust your eyes, trust what you see, trust your progressions, don’t get locked in on anything,” Dorsey shared. “When you’ve got the personnel that we got, I think it helps Josh to do that because he doesn’t feel like he’s got to get locked into one specific player.”

As mentioned, Diggs is a player Allen will be targeting a lot in the regular season, so it was no surprise most of his throws on day four were to Diggs.

Diggs and Elam went for round 2 on Wednesday. Elam was caught holding Diggs on the first play and Diggs won the battle on play two with a catch.

Hey Stefon, wanna ring the bell?

Fine. ding, ding. (Rocky III)

The Bills had Thursday July 28th off and had to report back to St. John Fisher Camp on Friday July 29th @ 9:45am.

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7 thoughts on “Let’s have a Turkey Burger with QB Josh Allen at Bills Training Camp

  1. So much detail! Josh Allen is amazing and now I feel like I know him personally haha. You should do a video interview with him!

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