Tomorrow, the Buffalo Bills play the Chicago Bears in the second preseason game. Once again, many of the starters will not be playing – notably Josh Allen. While Dion Dawkins is expected to see some action, there is ample opportunity for the other tackles on the roster to show off their skills. Specifically, we will focus on Spencer Brown, Tommy Doyle, and Daryl Williams.
There are rumors that Dawkins may not be ready week one. If that’s the case, two of these three players will be the starters. The Bills know what they are getting with Daryl Williams. He has been on the roster for a couple years and will be the starter at Right Tackle for week one, in my opinion.
Let’s look at Spencer Brown. He is a solid run blocker but is still a little raw in the pass game. He needs to be able to adjust to the speed and power of pass rushers at the NFL level. This is a huge week for Brown and hopefully gives us a chance to see him against some of the best rushers in the NFL. In this preseason game, the hope is that we will see more of the Bills passing game and more drop backs from the QBs.
If that is the case, then we will have the chance to see Brown take passing reps against Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and some other strong rushers. Everyone should watch to see whether he can keep his pad level low and how easily he changes direction. The rushers he will face have the ability to win using speed, power, or finesse and this will be a good test to see what Brown can really do in all passing scenarios.
Fifth-round pick Tommy Doyle played in the MAC, which isn’t the most competitive division in college football, but still did great things there. Much like Brown, everyone should watch Doyle to see how well he can change direction and how fast he can get off the ball. He will have his hands full going against Mack, who has one of the fastest first steps an edge rusher can possess.
Both of these Tackles need to be able to get into their pass sets quickly and still have the ability to react to the defensive players’ pass rush moves. It may only be preseason but this week is a huge litmus test for these Bills rookies as pass blockers. If they can hold their own against Mack, Hicks, and company, it’ll go a long way in both their development and job security (in Doyle’s case).