After spending the first four years of his career with the Miami Dolphins, tight end Charles Clay signed with the Buffalo Bills this past offseason. Clay may be staying in the same division, but he’ll practically be on different ends of the planet – at least in terms of weather.
Miami to Buffalo? He might as well have gone from South Beach to the North Pole.
Of course, it helps that Buffalo offered a five-year deal worth $38 million, with more than $20 million guaranteed.
“I won’t sit here and say that didn’t have anything to do with it,” Clay said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones, chuckling. “(But) just look at the moves they made in the offseason, some of the things they did. It’s an exciting time in Buffalo, and I couldn’t help but want to be a part of that.”
The Bills hired Rex Ryan in January, giving the franchise its first big-name coach in several decades.
“It’s been great,” Clay said of playing for Ryan. “It doesn’t take five minutes with the guy to realize why everybody likes him. We get our work done, but at the same time, he wants us to have fun. The atmosphere has kind of been that way. Guys are definitely not dragging around every day. So he looks out for us, helps us do things with the schedule to take care of our bodies and things like that. He’s been great so far.”
The same cannot be said, however, for the Bills’ quarterbacks. EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel have all had their moments in training camp, but Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley said this week that the team is essentially in “quarterback purgatory.”
“I think each one of them has done some good things,” Clay said. “At the same time, it’s still early. There’s a lot on their plate right now learning this playbook. It’s one of the toughest I’ve had to learn as far as volume and attention to detail and things like that. I can only imagine the things that go through their head at times. So it’s a process, but I feel like every day there’s something that each one of them does that catches your eye. As we begin to play preseason games, then you may see one stand out from the crowd. But at this time, I feel like each one of them has been doing pretty good. I’m excited. I think either one of them can play.”
It can be difficult for receivers and tight ends to build rapport when reps are split evenly between or among multiple quarterbacks, but Clay is doing his best with each guy.
“The main thing I try to do is I get a chance to talk to all of them and pick their brains a little bit,” he said. “If I run a route, I’ll go up to every single one of them and ask them what they thought I could have done different. It’s a little of an adjustment, but at the same time, we’re all here learning the offense at the same time. The biggest thing is just to try to pick the brains of all three of them and when the starer is named to go from there.”