BUFFALO BILLS UPDATE 

lROOKIE WR JONES UNDERSTANDS THE CRITICISM

Zay Jones, a second round pick and the FBS leader with 399 career catches at East Carolina, has managed only seven on 32 targets this season, according to official NFL play-by-play.

According to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak, Jones' percentage of receptions per target, 21.9, is the lowest in the NFL by almost 14 percentage points among players with at least 20 targets this season.

That statistic has made him the target of criticism.

"It's fair," Jones said Wednesday. "I expect a lot of myself. I know my coaches do. The players around me do. It's really fair, to be honest. Wherever the ball is, it's my job to catch it and do the best I can. I accept it fully and do the best I can. So I accept it fully. I'm not running from it. But I know things are going to get better. My time will come."

Jones is right about his performance not aligning with expectations, but Rodak contents his inefficiency in catching passes thrown to him is not entirely his fault.

Analysis of film shows of Jones' 32 targets this season, 12 have been uncatchable balls by quarterback Tyrod Taylor, including several throwaways when Taylor was under duress. The number of uncatchable targets reached a high Sunday for Jones, who had little to no shot of hauling in four of Taylor's nine targets.

That leaves 20 catchable targets for Jones. He has caught seven of them. Of the 13 that fell incomplete, defensive pressure played a role in some. Others, such as a screen pass during a Week 5 game in Cincinnati, were simply dropped.

"I don't think I really need to change anything," Jones said. "Things will open up as the season just keeps going on, and as I get older and get more experience. Coach calls it time on task. Just really trusting the game plan, just trusting the development."

Taylor and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison continued to stick by the young receiver this week.

"I tell you what, you watch, there’s not a play he’s not busting his tail," Dennison said Monday. "And the same with practice: He’s busting his tail, and he’s doing a good job."

"It’ll come," Taylor said. "Just have to continue to keep giving him opportunities. He is a young guy. We are learning each other, he is learning a feel for the game, so it’ll come. It is not any confidence lost from me to him, he hasn’t lost any confidence. He knows the type of player he can be. We are going to continue to keep giving him opportunity."

Jones has played in 85 percent of offensive snaps this season, the most among Bills wide receivers. That is due to several factors, including the August trade of Sammy Watkins and retirement of Anquan Boldin, as well as a thumb injury to Jordan Matthews that caused him to exit a Week 4 game in Atlanta and miss the next game in Cincinnati.

The Bills, short-handed at receiver, signed Deonte Thompson last week, and the veteran contributed immediately in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers, catching four passes for 107 yards. Despite the potential for Thompson to steal some of Jones' snaps, the rookie does not feel the heat.

"No pressure," he said. "[Thompson is] good. He's a great deep threat for us. Just overall a great player. He brings a lot to the table. Great speed. I believe this is his sixth year. I was picking his brain earlier, just asking questions about how he sees the game or how things unfold for him."

Jones also has been mentored by Matthews and has taken advice from two former Bills receivers, Andre Reed and Stevie Johnson, who reached out after Jones could not come down with a potential game-winning catch against Carolina in Week 2.

The older receivers have told Jones that much can change in the NFL, and a breakout game could come any week.

"Statistically, things haven't been there for me, but I feel like I'm really helping this football team in a lot of other ways," Jones said. "Competing well without the ball, and things like that."

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