Reason why Sean McDermott refused to give Buffalo Bills customary off-day

Breaking from past precedent, the Buffalo Bills hosted a minicamp practice on Thursday in Orchard Park.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott is fired up after a field goal.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott is fired up after a field goal. / JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK

In the past, the Buffalo Bills have chosen to forego the final day of practice at mandatory minicamp. This year, however, is different.

"Coach [Sean] McDermott made a statement about us coming out here on this third day," said cornerback Kaiir Elam after Thursday's practice. "The last two years I've been here, we only did two days of mandatory minicamp, but he made a statement like 40 percent of our team is still new."

Despite returning eight offensive starters and eight defensive starters, the Bills have experienced higher roster turnover this offseason than in years past. In his eighth season as head coach, McDermott pointed to that fact during a post-practice media scrum.

"A high percentage of new players, new faces, so the more reps we can get, the better," said McDermott. "I appreciate the players' willingness and their attitude when they went out there. Not all teams are practicing on the third day of minicamp. I appreciate their attitude."

Elam has garnered media attention for his performance during OTAs. The 2022 first-round draft pick, who made multiple interceptions during minicamp, seemed happy with the overall offseason progression.

"I think from where we started at, from the first OTAs until now, I feel like we have gotten way, way cleaner," said Elam.

After a five-week break, the Bills will report to training camp in Rochester on July 23.

"Be ready to go. Be in shape because it's going to be a challenge again," said McDermott.

Ralph Ventre