The Bills wrapped up minicamp on Thursday and the offense finally had a response for the defense. After seeing two strong performances out of the defense, it was great to end camp with the offense holding their own.
Both quarterbacks showed improvement on Thursday, but the top quarterback of the day was Kevin Kolb.
In red zone drills, Kolb scored a total of four touchdowns. E.J. Manuel had one touchdown during this span.
Kolb had three passing touchdowns and added his fourth on a designed quarterback keeper. Two of Kolb’s touchdowns went to tight ends. The first tight end touchdown pass was an over the shoulder throw to Mike Caussin. His second touchdown to a tight end went to rookie Chris Gragg. The Gragg touchdown also came on an over the shoulder throw.
Kolb’s other touchdown went to Chris Hogan as reported by the Bills’ official Twitter account.
Manuel’s touchdown came on a quick-strike to Gragg.
Steve Vesey, sports anchor at WIVB, noted that the offense looked better with Kolb under center.
Tight Ends Playing Well
Gragg had two touchdowns on Thursday. Credit: AP
As noted above, the tight end play was great for Buffalo on Thursday. Chris Gragg and Mike Caussin both scored touchdowns and were valuable weapons to Kolb and Manuel. Gragg and Caussin are both vying for a roster spot with the Bills.
Scott Chandler is expected to be a full-go at training camp in July, and he’s clearly earned the role as starter. That leaves Gragg and Caussin to battle with Lee Smith and Dorin Dickerson for the remaining spots. Gragg and Dickerson are both athletic tight ends, although Gragg gets the nod due to his underrated blocking ability.
Caussin is a better overall tight end than Smith, but Smith is the best blocking tight end currently on the team. How the roster shakes out will be interesting, but my money is on Chandler, Gragg and Caussin.
So far in OTAs and minicamp, the veteran has looked better than the rookie. Rian Lindell is competing with sixth round pick Dustin Hopkins and while both have kicked well, Lindell has been superior.
On Thursday, Lindell was a perfect 7-for-7 on kicks varying between 34 to 51 yards. Lindell’s longest attempt was good from 49 yards out. Hopkins was 5-for-7 after missing a 37-yard kick to the left and a 50 yard kick to the right.
Lindell was pleased with his performance, but knows that the battle will continue when training camp begins:
“It’s certainly the first step,” Lindell told BuffaloBills.com. “It’s going to continue in, well, we take a break, so, the evaluation period goes away for a few weeks, but you still have to get ready for phase two.”
It’s not out of the question for Buffalo to carry both kickers as Hopkins could handle kickoff duties.
Other News and Notes
Duke Williams saw time at cornerback on Thursday. This was mostly due to injuries, but Williams did play corner at times with Nevada.
Colin Brown and Doug Legursky shared reps with the first team unit at left guard.
Buffalo’s first training camp practice will be July 29th.
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