While the Bills special teamers were drilling punts on Wednesday, receiver Cole Beasley was staring at a wall.
Wide receivers coach Chad Hall was about five feet behind Beasley with a tennis ball in hand. Without telling Beasley, Hall chucked the ball over Beasley’s head and against the wall. Beasley had about five feet of space to react and catch the rebound.
Anyone who has played hockey or lacrosse or seen the movie Miracle will recognize the drill. It’s a common exercise to hone hand-eye coordination and the ability to stop or, in Beasley’s case, catch an object coming unexpectedly.
It was the first time Beasley had tried the drill. It won’t be the last.
“That was a good one,” Beasley said when he was done. “I like that one. We can do it every day.”
I asked Beasley why he thinks it would help.
The veteran said he gets more quick passes from short distances with the Bills than what he saw in Dallas. More passes where he often doesn’t have his head around when the ball is released.
And yes, the canon hanging off Josh Allen’s right shoulder is also a factor.
Beasley had one drop in 87 targets last season. It was the most targets for any receiver who had only one drop in 2018.
Sunday against the Jets, Beasley had two drops.
The second one was on a deeper ball floated over his shoulder, but the first was a pass similar to what Beasley is trying to address with the tennis ball drill. The pass ended up bouncing into the arms of C.J. Mosley and being returned for a Jets touchdown (he did have his eyes on Allen when the ball was released).
Perhaps former Team USA goalie Jim Craig will soon be helping another team wearing red, white and blue.