ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — After a half-hour delay because of lightning and heavy rain, the Buffalo Bills held a practice Friday evening at New Era Field which had a heavy emphasis on the running game.
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The majority of Tyrod Taylor’s work as a passer Friday came in an 11-on-11, move-the-ball drill that began from the Bills’ own 2-yard line. The 11-play, 73-yard series ended with a missed 43-yard field goal attempt from kicker Steven Hauschka.
Wow moment: Taylor completed his first five passes of the move-the-ball drill, including a 19-yard completion to tight end Charles Clay to begin the series and a 14-yard completion to Clay on third-and-4 from the defense’s 43-yard line. Taylor’s production with Clay took a step forward late last season, when Clay caught 18 passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns over three games in December. Clay’s long-standing knee condition has been a point of concern for coach Sean McDermott and caused Clay to take a scheduled rest day Thursday. As Friday night showed, Clay can be a productive receiver when healthy.
Whoa moment: After Taylor’s five completions helped advance the ball to the defense’s 25-yard line, the first-team offense faced a third-and-7. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins faced one-on-one coverage from cornerback Ronald Darby up the right sideline, but did not get much separation. Taylor lofted a pass toward the end zone that overshot Watkins by at least five yards, resulting in an incompletion. Taylor and Watkins have been effective in the short-range passing game to this point in training camp, but their connection on the deep ball has yet to develop.