According to ESPN, things got heated during the Buffalo Bills’ practice today. Tensions between several players boiled over onto the field with quarterback Tyrod Taylor the common denominator. During a play on the goal line, Taylor and defensive end Shaq Lawson had some fighting words. Jerry Hughes, Preston Brown, and Jordan Mills were also part of some scuffles during practice. Is the edginess at training camp due to the Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby trade?

The pressure has doubled for Taylor

Taylor and Sammy Watkins spent a good chunk of the off-season developing their passing chemistry with one another. To see your top receiver go with less than a month left before the NFL 2017 season has to be rough on Taylor.

Watkins was traded to the Los Angeles Rams and Darby became a Philadelphia Eagle last Friday. To make matters worse, Jordan Matthews, the guy who is taking Watkins’ place, chipped his sternum during his first 15 minutes of practice on Sunday. According to Buffalo News, Matthews’ injury is week-to-week. That leaves little time for the Taylor-Matthews combination to catch fire.

It is easy to see why Lawson rubbed Taylor the wrong way. Taylor and the rest of the offense must get it done with a team that is worse off than they were last Thursday before Watkins and Darby were dumped. Jerry Hughes was Taylor’s next problem in practice. As stated by ESPN, Hughes had to be pulled away by defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier after he and Taylor exchanged some angry words. At one point, coach Sean McDermott stopped practice and chewed out the team.

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McDermott also held Hughes and Marcell Dareus after practice to discuss issues off the field.

The new Bean-McDermott regime is unproven

General manager Brandon Bean and coach Sean McDermott are making many moves, but are still unproven. McDermott is a first-year coach who worked with the Carolina Panthers. Bean also worked for the Panthers. Clearing the slate of Watkins and Darby, as well as letting running back Mike Gillislee walk out the door are not popular decisions for Bills fans. Seeing free agents such as cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Robert Woods, and Marquise Goodwin get signed with other teams depleted the team of wide receivers. Signing Andre Holmes, Anquan Boldin, E.J. Gaines, and Jordan Matthews does not seem to make up for the talent that the team lost.

Player-wise, the Bills are worse. Selling the cuts and trades to the team, especially to Taylor, is going to take some time. Winning games is probably going to be more of a struggle. Taylor did not only lose a wide receiver in Watkins, but a guy who was his deep threat.

Taylor does better on the deep passes than he does on the short throws. Boldin and Matthews are not speedy guys who can stretch the field. That makes things harder for the offense. If running back LeSean McCoy gets hurt, then the Bills’ victories will most likely dip even lower. For a competitive NFL team, that is a lot to stomach. Tempers flaring in practice is a natural response to a stripped offense.

The Buffalo Bills take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Thursday in another pre-season game. They will also face their old teammate Ronald Darby. Good luck, Buffalo.