ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Last year head coach Sean McDermott called the Bills wide receivers a colony of smurfs because of their size and ability to separate in small spaces. But that’s not necessarily the case anymore with this group this year as they added some much needed size drafting Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins who have developed a great bond.
“That’s my guy for sure. We got drafted together so we automatically reached out to each other day one and since then our relationship has just continued to grow. We’ve been putting in work together since the offseason and we live right next to each other so we’re constantly in contact with each other, trying to get the playbook down you know he helps me after practice, I help him and it’s just a great relationship,” Hodgins said on a zoom call with reporters.
The Bills drafted Davis in the fourth-round out of Central Florida while Hodgins was picked in the sixth-round out of Oregon State.
With the virtual offseason and the rookies not getting a typical acclimation period to the NFL in the spring, they had to rely on zoom calls to learn the playbook. But Davis and Hodgins also got to work with the quarterbacks when Josh Allen organized workouts for the offense, which really helped.
“That was a huge help and I mean just from the times that we met and it’s different when you’re going over the playbook over zoom and you think you have it but then when you’re actually out there on the field and you’re learning and you’re like ok run the route like this or actually be able to get in and out of your break this way or this is how fast this route is gonna be and actually just going over that stuff in person really, really helped,” Hodgins explained.
“Especially before training camp so we didn’t get to training camp and like a deer in the headlights and we kind of just came in and we started just to perfect our craft and now we can actually focus on our technique and everything since we really already know the playbook and stuff so I feel like that’s been a huge help for us.”
So far many Bills players have praised Davis and Hodgins for how quickly they’ve picked up the playbook. John Brown even went as far to say they’re actually helping the veterans with certain things, which in the beginning might have seemed like a tough task.
“At first going through the combine process and draft process you know you’re kind of intimated by it and you think it’s going to be the worst thing ever and you’ll never pick it up but it’s really hasn’t been too bad. I think all of the rookies have done very well,” Hodgins said.
“I feel like I know the playbook pretty well right now and that’s just a credit to the coaches, the players, the vets and everyone who’s been helping us out.”
Listed at 6’3″, 201 pounds, Hodgins can really use his size to his advantage, the same way Davis has to stand out. And that’s something he’s working on so far at camp.
“Just trying to use my body more and be able to adjust to it and that’s something coach has been able to help me a lot with. I feel like being a bigger body I can even use it more than what I have been and knowing when to use my feet and my wiggle and maybe some double moves or whatever but also knowing when it’s time to get physical and use my big body, my big frame and really just get up on DBs and stuff,” Hodgins explained.