Buffalo Bills 2021 Training Camp and Season Preview
It's good to get football back in Western New York.
The Buffalo Bills veterans reported to training camp on Tuesday, July 27th as they settle in for another Bills season. The rookies reported last week.
The first training camp practice will be held tomorrow at 10 am as the Bills start the process of trying to repeat the success they had in 2020, and then some.
The good news for the Bills going into camp is the majority of the roster and coaching staff are returning for the 2021 season, including the Bills core players on offense and defense.
It's pretty miraculous the Bills were able to retain offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier after they both received heavy interest from NFL teams regarding head coaching opportunities. Daboll was thought to be a finalist for the Los Angeles Chargers head coaching position and Frazier for the Houston Texans head coaching job.
It's also a plus that the Bills kept quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey, who was also promoted to passing game coordinator earlier this month, and maybe Dorsey takes over as the full-time OC if and when Daboll leaves.
Obviously, there's no worry for starting quarterback Josh Allen. He's the undisputed starter and will be regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL going into 2021 after his breakout year in 2020.
However, the Bills quarterback room is looking a bit different this season. Last year's backup Matt Barkley is gone and the Bills signed Mitch Trubisky, who was with the Chicago Bears over the past four seasons.
I'm interested to see how Trubisky plays in the preseason, along with how he looks in camp with the Bills receivers. Let's face it, Allen gives it everything he has every snap and he likes to use his legs. It's good to have a QB like Trubisky backing him up, so if (God-forbid) Allen should go down with an injury, the Bills will have a very capable backup in Trubisky.
The two position battles that are most interesting might be the starting cornerback spot (opposite of Tre'Davious White) and the overall defensive end/edge rusher battle.
The Bills re-signed cornerback Levi Wallace and while Wallace had had that spot the past two seasons, there's growing momentum with Dane Jackson, who was very impressive last year with limited playing time.
Taron Johnson is also still in the mix. The Divisional Round playoff hero from January will likely play in nickel packages and provide depth at the position.
In regards to defensive end or edge rusher, the Bills have a lot of potential but not much experience.
Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are looked at as the starters, but both players are over 30 years of age. The Bills' biggest flaw as a team a year ago, other than rushing the ball, was getting to the passer.
They spent their first two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft on the edge. First-round pick Gregory Rousseau is long and athletic and it's still a question how much he's able to contribute for 2021. Second-round pick Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. is also in the mix, along with 2020 second-round pick A.J. Epenesa and free-agent signing, Efe Obada.
Obada had 5.5 sacks last year with Carolina after only starting one game, and the 29-year-old is looked at as a wild card for the edge rusher on the Bills.
Two new additions on offense come in the way of free agents Emmanuel Sanders (WR) and running back Matt Breida (RB).
Sanders replaces John Brown, who was released by the Bills. Sanders is a pretty complete wide receiver, who can help Allen in the short and intermediate game but can catch the long ball.
Bredia is another wild card. We'll see how much he plays in camp and preseason. Devin Singletary is hoping for a bounce-back season and second-year back Zack Moss is recovering from an ankle injury, although he should be good to go for camp, according to Jay Skursi of The Buffalo News.
The Bills' first preseason game will be at the Detroit Lions on August 13th. There is only one preseason home game this August, which will be held at Highmark Stadium on August 28th against the Green Bay Packers.
The first regular-season game will be at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium at 1 p.m. on September 12th.