Buffalo Bills Josh Allen excited for Rochester training camp

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ORCHARD PARK — They may be in the minority, but Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen can’t wait to go to St. John Fisher College next month.

Seriously, that’s what they said Tuesday after the Bills’ first mandatory minicamp on the grass fields behind their training facility at One Bills Drive.

“I can’t wait to go to training camp,” McDermott said. “I love going to St. John Fisher, I love going to Rochester and around Rochester. I really think it’s a cool place. I think it’s a great place at this time of year. year in particular. You have those hotter, warmer days at times that we need to get in shape and then the cooler nights and I think it’s a great place for our team to come together, really.

The only downside, as far as McDermott is concerned, is the sleeping arrangement.

Josh Allen signing autographs in 2019 at St. John Fisher College.

“I don’t think anyone really likes sleeping in college dorms; at 48, I can tell you no, but I’m ready to do it,” he said with a smile. “That’s what we do and that’s how a team comes together through those shared experiences and we’re looking forward to that in a few weeks here.”

Allen, a football addict if ever there was one, agreed. Granted, he’ll probably be enjoying his month off by the report date which is July 23rd (first training July 24th), but he just loves everything about football, even if that means sleeping in a dormitory.

“I love going there,” said Allen, who has only been at Fisher his first two seasons because the pandemic kept the Bills from being there in 2020 and 2021. time in the dorms with team mates and playing cards and video games and hanging out and really spending every waking second with the guys I think that helps create camaraderie and really good team chemistry that you just can’t get otherwise. So it will be fun to come back.

“I know Rochester fans are probably excited about this. There are a lot of fans who commute on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays for us. So it’s a way to give them back some visibility and show them that we appreciate them.

Here’s more of what happened on the first day of minicamp:

Jordan Poyer – unsurprisingly – was on the court

Safety Jordan Poyer joined his Bills teammates on Tuesday.

It really shouldn’t have surprised anyone, but safety Jordan Poyer was there and practicing Tuesday afternoon.

Of course, Poyer was there because even though his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tries to negotiate a contract extension with the Bills, which hasn’t happened yet, Poyer wasn’t about to skip those sessions.

According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, teams have the ability to fine players up to $90,000 if they are absent during the scheduled three days of a mandatory minicamp. So no, Poyer wasn’t going to throw that money down the drain just to make some kind of statement.

All-Pro safety fully participated in the two-hour session, conducted without pads, and he will also be there on Wednesday and Thursday.

As for training camp – when it’s actually important for him to be with the team as the build-up to the season picks up considerably – well, that would be a bit more worthy of interest if he did not show himself. Since he’s under contract for one more season, the Bills could fine him up to $50,000 per day missed. Start adding that up, and it would really negate any kind of pay raise he’s looking for.

Poyer, who skipped all voluntary OTA sessions, was not available to the media on Tuesday and may not be available the rest of the week.

“It’s important,” McDermott said of his comeback. “He is one of the leaders of our team. It’s good to see his face here, you know, on a personal level. And then just to show him around the team. And I’m sure those guys are also happy to see it. So it looks like he’s worked, and we look forward to spending time with him in the coming days.

Fellow safety Micah Hyde, who skipped most voluntary sessions, said it was good to have his partner on the last line of defense in the fold.

“It was nice to come into town on Sunday night, to come back knowing Po was coming back,” Hyde said. “I hit it yesterday and I was like, ‘Man, I’m glad to be back on the pitch. So it’s good.

“Obviously he’s a big part of that defense and when he’s not there it’s different, whether it’s making calls, lining up guys, making plays, being a leader. It’s different. He’s a guy that I feel like you can’t replace, so getting him back is a big part of the puzzle we have in defense and we just have to move in the right direction.

Greg Van Roten adds more O-line competition

Offensive guard Greg Van Roten has spent the past two seasons playing for the New York Jets.

The Bills signed Van Roten as a free agent on Monday and the 32-year-old will compete for a back-up position inside the offensive line.

Van Roten entered the league in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from the Packers, but after two years he was out of the NFL, unable to hang on to a team, despite spending two years at playing for Toronto in the Canadian Football League.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound eventually returned to the NFL with the Panthers in 2018 and after two seasons he moved to the Jets where he was in 2020 and 2021. In those four years he started 50 of 57 matches.

“Greg has a terrific background,” McDermott said. “Obviously he played in the division for one window of his career, that was at Carolina. I didn’t meet Greg there but I saw his work from afar. We have a lot of respect for Greg and for what he has been able to do throughout his career. And I think it’s a good addition for us in terms of competition, experience. He also has positional flexibility.

Tavon Austin makes a quick impression

Newly signed veteran receiver Tavon Austin will compete for a job in a stacked Bills receiver battle.

The quick wide receiver/returner was noticeable on Tuesday, and Allen made that point when asked about the latest addition to the offensive mix.

“I mean, he’s a real pro right there,” Allen said. “He’s only been here a few weeks, but even on the tours, how observant he is. He’s right behind me listening to the call of the game, jogging and standing behind someone. one in front of him and play.

“His attention to detail has been great. His approach to guys, the way he talks to his teammates, other receivers, it’s great to have a guy like that who’s been in the league for a long time and people respect him so much. . “

Austin said the Bills’ playbook took a while to learn, but he’ll be ready to go for training camp.

“It’s the toughest offense I’ve been on,” he said. “It’s very difficult to learn, but if you learn it, you will be very successful. So me being just on the attack, sitting around watching everything, seeing how many places you can be, it’s all a mental game. The smarter you are in this attack, I have a feeling the more success you’ll have, so it’s all up to you.

Austin can line up inside or outside, and he can also be used on throw sweeps, and it’s the kind of versatility that’s coveted by play callers like coordinator Ken Dorsey.

“It’s still my dream,” Austin said of being able to line up anywhere. “I suffered some serious injuries during my time with the Rams and it changed my career a bit. I feel like a lot of people have forgotten about Tavon Austin. I can say I’m healthy now and looking forward to doing that stuff, out of the backfield, out of the slot or out, whatever the team needs honestly.

Sal Maiorana can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.

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