BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Thursday night was the first opportunity to truly see how the Bills newest rookies stacked up against some of the best players in the NFL and for the most part, the returns were good.
On the offensive line, Cody Ford split time at right guard and at right tackle. Injuries have taken a toll on the Bills up front, but head coach Sean McDermott was impressed with how the rookie and the rest of the O-line looked in their first real game action.
“I thought the first five did some good things in there and then we moved, Cody to the outside and Spencer [Long] came in and I thought Spencer did some nice things so there were some good pieces moving out there,” the head coach said. “The guys were battling, and that’s what you appreciate.”
On the other side of the ball, all eyes were on rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who battled All-Pro Quenton Nelson in his first outing.
“I don’t know if it was a benchmark game, but I think more than anything it was a chance for Ed to get his feet wet and get the exposure of NFL football under his belt rather than going up against another teammate, so that was a step in the right direction,” said McDermott. “Like I said earlier, it’s where he goes from here.”
But there was another rookie on the D-line that turned heads. 7th round pick Darryl Johnson made his presence felt, recording three tackles, a sack and a pass deflection.
“He’s a young man that continues to really work and work at honing his craft and he takes his job seriously. For a guy that’s come from a smaller school to be able to make an impact or gain notice this early has been impressive.”