Ben Gedeon Jersey

The only time Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen ever felt
rattled on his first day of practice was shortly after the session ended Friday.

That's when coach Sean McDermott escorted the first-round pick to the
sideline and introduced him to Jim Kelly in what became a meeting of the team's
hopeful future and legendary past.

"I'm still shaking from meeting him Ben Gedeon
," Allen said.

Though Allen grew up in central California and played college at Wyoming, the
21-year-old is very aware of who Kelly is and what he means to Buffalo.

"It's all on the wall," Allen said, pointing the four AFC Championship
banners the Kelly-led teams won from 1990-'93.

Allen also knows how tough Kelly is in his ongoing battle with cancer.

"I can't say anything else but he's a special man. He's been through a lot,"
he said. "And to be in the spirits that he is and to come out here and show
support for the Buffalo Bills, that just shows to me how much he means to
Buffalo and Buffalo means to him. It's awesome."

Kelly made a surprise visit for the start of two-day rookie minicamp some six
weeks after his latest operation to have cancer removed from his jaw.

Kelly walked with a cane and had difficulty speaking. He raised his right
thumb while he and Allen posed for pictures. Said Kelly: "It's the best thing I
can do: Thumbs up."

The Bills are pinning their hopes on Allen to fill what's been their most
unsettled position since Kelly retired following the 1996 season.

Buffalo traded up five spots in the draft order to select him with the No. 7
pick two weeks ago. Allen became just the fourth quarterback selected by Buffalo
in the first round, and first chosen in the top 10 of the draft order.

He joins a team once again shuffling starters after Tyrod Taylor was traded
to Cleveland in March despite helping Buffalo to a 9-7 finish and end a 17-year
playoff drought.

At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Allen is a raw, but strong-armed and athletic
quarterback. He was a two-year starter at Wyoming, where he completed 365 of 649
for 5,066 yards with 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

Allen was knocked for his relatively low completion percentage of 56.2 and
mechanics, something he spent working on this offseason.

McDermott isn't providing any guarantees in saying Allen will compete for the
starting job with offseason free-agent addition A.J. McCarron and second-year
player Nathan Peterman.

"We've got a plan in place for all of our players Len Dawson
, and in this case Josh, in terms of bringing them along at
the right pace," McDermott said.

Allen threw a few wobbly or high passes to his right. He was far more
accurate with passes to his left and over the middle. Allen showed off his
strong arm, by completing several deep passes, including one to rookie
seventh-round pick Austin Proehl.

He was also intercepted once during one-on-one drills. His hard, high pass
over the middle slipped through receiver William Scott's hands and to a
defensive back.

"I felt like I've made a lot of strides," Allen said. "I felt like I put the
ball where it needed to be most of the time. Obviously, there's some throws that
I would like back. But as we progress through this rookie minicamp and through
the rookie developmental period, I plan to improve every day."

He was pleased in learning how Kelly was overheard praising a few of his

Allen said Kelly first contacted him by text in welcoming him to Buffalo the
day after being drafted.

"Hopefully, in the near future we can keep that relationship going," Allen
said. "Any rookie that can develop a mentorship with a former quarterback like
Jim Kelly, it's going to be huge."

NOTES: The Bills signed fourth-round pick Jalyn Holmes
, Weber State cornerback Taron Johnson. That leaves their
top-three selections unsigned, including third-round pick, Stanford defensive
tackle Harrison Phillips. ... The Bills also signed 12 undrafted free agents
including Arizona guard Gerhard De Beer, who is from South Africa. He was a
Pac-12 discuss throwing champion and made the switch to football. ... Also
signed were defensive linemen Mat Boesen (TCU) and Mike Love (South Florida),
linebacker Corey Thompson (LSU), cornerbacks Ryan Carter (Clemson) and Levi
Wallace (Alabama), running back Keith Ford (Texas A and M), receivers Robert
Foster (Alabama) and Cam Phillips (Virginia Tech), offensive linemen Ike
Boettger (Iowa) and Mo Porter (Baylor), and Penn State kicker Tyler

Blake Martinez gathered his fellow inside linebackers together after a
tough day at Green Bay Packers practice.

It's difficult to see two key members of the defense go down with injuries on
just the fourth day of training camp.

Inside linebacker Jake Ryan, one of the team's top run defenders, was carted
off the field late in practice Monday with an apparent right leg injury.
Kentrell Brice Jim Plunkett
, a potential starter at safety, was carted off the field
during a special teams drill, though the type of injury was unclear.

"Oh, man. That was bad, man. You hate to see that, especially as a player.
That's your brother," safety Josh Jones said when asked about Brice.

Practice ended up being cut short early because of the threat of lightning.
The injuries dampened the mood in the locker room.

Back inside Lambeau Field, Martinez gathered the rest of his position group
together. Martinez (158) and Ryan (89) led the team in tackles last season.

After third-year pro Martinez and Ryan, who is in his fourth year, rookies
fill the inside linebacker depth chart. Martinez called a position meeting to
get everyone refocused.

"It just comes down to 'What are we going to do now?'" Martinez said in
recounting his message. "Or whatever your mindset is, what are you going to do
to get better every day?"

Oren Burks, a third-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt Chris Ivory
, might play a bigger role if Ryan misses significant time.
Burks played inside linebacker in college last season after taking on a hybrid
linebacker/safety role as a junior. He played free safety as a sophomore.

The Packers are also making changes on defense after Mike Pettine replaced
Dom Capers as coordinator. Martinez said that he'll be checking on the rookies
constantly to make sure they are up to speed.

"I know my goals for this season, our team goals for this season and I'm not
going to let one injury kind of ruin that for us," he said.

Brice appeared in line to take a starting job at safety following the
offseason departure of veteran Morgan Burnett, who signed with the Pittsburgh
Steelers as a free agent. Brice played six games with three starts last year
before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury on Nov. 3. He played in all
16 games with one start as a rookie.

Coach Mike McCarthy likes Brice for his positional versatility, a trait that
has become more important on defenses to help keep up with expanding passing
attacks. The Packers are still deep at safety, where promising second-year
player Jones might get more snaps if Brice misses a lot of time.

The defense must move on, as hard as that might be to do after a trying

"It's kind of tough. You just do it because it's part of your job. But in the
back of your head, it's always there though," said cornerback Demetri Goodson,
who came back from a serious knee injury earlier in his career.

Notes: Rookie CB Jaire Alexander picked off QB Aaron Rodgers over the middle
during play action drills. The interception came two plays after Rodgers hit
tight end Jimmy Graham in stride up the seam on a pretty pass for a big gain.
... S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted Rodgers during a two-minute drill on a short
pass over the middle that was tipped by Martinez. ... RB Aaron Jones hopes to
return to practice no later than Thursday. He said he tweaked his hamstring at
practice on Saturday.

Womens Trenton Cannon Jersey
Sign In or Register to comment.