It was Day 16 of Buffalo Bills Training Camp on Saturday afternoon. It was also the first practice back after the preseason win against the Colts. As expected, the team came out in shorts and shoulder pads and worked at about half speed, as it was basically a walk-thru for the players. Coach Gailey also shortened the practice by about 45 minutes. The quarterbacks rotation continued with Trent Edwards getting a majority of the snaps while Brian Brohm and Ryan Fitzpatrick split the backup reps in half. Levi Brown got the leftovers. As for the the rest of the players, Gailey gave more time to the special teamers to work on their drills and more time was spent on the individual drills with some 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 mixed in.
The players began strolling out onto the field by 3:30pm and practice began at about 3:45pm. As always, the team spent a ton of time on individual drills. I focused on the defensive backs. George Wilson shined out there and caught everything thrown his way during the pass catching drills. On the negative side, Reggie Corner struggled to catch the passes from the jugs machine and looked a bit slow. Terrence McGee also continued his solid camp as he caught all the “passes” and looked good in coverage drills too. Ashton Youboty also showed good hands and caught everything “thrown” to him. During the individual drills, Coach Gailey also gave extra time for the special teams to work on their drills and the fundamentals.
After the horn sounded, the team went to work on some 11-on-11. Trent Edwards got a huge majority of the snaps with the full squad while Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm and Levi Brown all lined up at center 3 times. CJ Spiller started it off with a run up the middle for 4 yards, followed by a nice 7-yard run where he plowed thru the middle. On the next play, the defense stuffed Spiller at the line. He made up for it after that with a run around the left tackle for 5-yards. Joique Bell came in next and ran around the right tackle for 6-yards. Trent Edwards then finished the series off with a beautiful 70-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans who flew ahead of Drayton Florence. Chad Simpson came in with the backups and ran up the middle for 3-yards and then 5-yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick then threw a 12-yard pass to Michael Matthews.
Brian Brohm came in next and handed the ball off to Andre Anderson who was stuffed at the line. Chad Simpson got the ball next and ran up the middle for 4-yards. Joique Bell then came back and ran up the middle for 5-yards. The starters then came back and CJ Spiller was stuffed immediately by Marcus Stroud and George Wilson. On the next play, Spiller ran up the middle for 4-yards. He then ran around the left tackle for 8-yards to finish the series. Levi Brown then came in and handed the ball off to Joique Bell who showed off his speed and ran for about 12-yards. Andre Anderson then came back and ran around the left tackle for 9-yards. Levi Brown then finished the series off with an 18-yard pass to Chad Jackson.
The horn sounded and then the line split up from the rest of the players as the offense worked on the 7-on-7 drill. Trent Edwards started the drill off with a 6-yard pass to Steve Johnson. However, on the next play, Edwards threw it right to Drayton Florence, who dropped it. Edwards then threw an 18-yard pass to Chad Jackson, who made a nice catch. On the next play, Edwards hit Jonathan Stupar for 5-yards. He then connected with Steve Johnson who showed good hands on a 9-yard pass. Edwards finished the series off with a 4-yard pass to Chad Jackson. Ryan Fitzpatrick came in next and hit Steve Johnson for 11-yards and then Donald Jones for 7-yards. He then threw an 8-yard pass to Lee Evans. On the next play, Fitzpatrick threw a nice 50-yard bomb to Chad Jackson. He then hit Aaron Rhea for 8-yards. Fitzpatrick finished the series off by overthrowing Roscoe Parrish.
The starters came back onto the field and Trent Edwards immediately connected with Roscoe Parrish for 7-yards. He then threw a 12-yard pass to Chad Jackson. On the next play, Edwards found Lee Evans, but he dropped it. Edwards then hit Roscoe Parrish in stride for at least 20-yards. On the last play of the series, Edward lobbed a pass and it was intercepted by Donte Whitner. Brian Brohm then came out and threw at Roscoe Parrish’s feet. He then found Steve Johnson for 9-yards. Brohm then connected with Parrish for 7-yards. On the next play, Steve Johnson got tripped up and the ball sailed over his head. Brohm then hit Jonathan Stupar for 13-yards. Brohm then threw a 10-yard pass to Donald Jones to finish the drill.
The team then got back together to work on some more 11-on-11 drills. Trent Edwards started it off with a 5-yard pass to Jonathan Stupar. CJ Spiller then ran up the middle for 3-yards. Edwards then overthrew Lee Evans. Spiller got the ball again and ran up the middle for 6-yards. Chad Simpson then got his chance and was stopped after 2-yards. Edwards finished the series off with a 7-yard pass to Chad Jackson. Ryan Fitzpatrick then came in and felt a ton of pressure from Alex Carrington. Chad Simpson then ran behind a huge hole made by Kirk Chambers for a gain of 8-yards. Joique Bell then got a chance and ran behind the left guard for 5-yards. Aaron Maybin then flew into the backfield and would have sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick. Joique Bell then ran up the middle for 4-yards. Fitzpatrick finished the series off with a 6-yard pass to Chad Jackson who made a nice leaping catch.
Trent Edwards came back onto the field and dumped off to CJ Spiller for 2-yards. On the next play, Edwards would have been sacked by Chris Kelsay. Edwards then hit Naaman Roosevelt for 3-yards. He then overthrew Donald Jones. Joique Bell then carried the ball and ran up the middle for 4-yards. Trent Edwards then decided to keep the ball and ran for 20-yards. Brian Brohm came in next and started out with a horrible low snap by Christian Gaddis. He then handed it off to Bell who ran around the left tackle for 5-yards. On the next play, Brohm felt major pressure from Chris Ellis, but got the ball to Steve Johnson for 20-yards. Chad Simpson then ran up the middle for 7-yards. Andre Anderson then got the ball and ran around the left tackle for 8-yards. Brohm finished the series off by finding Jonathan Stupar, but Lydell Sargeant got his hand on it and forced the incompletion.
The starting offense came back and worked on a 1-minute drill to finish the day. Trent Edwards hit Roscoe Parrish for 6-yards. He then felt pressure from Aaron Maybin and threw it away. On the next play, Edwards overthrew Steve Johnson. He then connected with Donald Jones for 5-yards. On the next play, Edwards threw the ball right to Reggie Corner who would have been gone for the touchdown, but he dropped it. Edwards then felt major pressure when both Chris Ellis and Aaron Maybin got into the backfield, so he threw it away. Edwards then connected with Roscoe Parrish for 2-yards to end the drill.
1. It looks like Steve Johnson has a challenger for the #2 receiver job. After two solid games, Chad Jackson is kicking it up a notch in camp and made quite a few catches right in the middle of the field. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win the job, after Steve Johnson disappeared in pre-season so far.
2. Chad Simpson is another player that won’t leave without a fight. He’s showed really good speed and the ability to plow thru people in the 11-on-11 drills. Plus he can also return kicks and is a solid special teamer. I love Joique Bell, but both players are having a solid camp. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Simpson win a roster spot based on his special teams play. But letting Bell hit the waivers is a bad idea. He’d get scooped up instantly.
3. Another diamond in the rough is Antonio Coleman. He’s been getting more reps each day at camp and has also worked as a starter. If the Bills decide to save salary, I could see Kelsay getting released in favor of Coleman.
4. George Wilson is my last player to keep an eye on. He had a great day, making several “tackles” and also showed excellent hands during the individual drills. Sure we’ll miss Jairus Byrd when he’s out, but I don’t think you’ll see that much of a different. Wilson is a solid player. He’s also a great guy, signing autographs and chatting with the fans many times at camp. I’m glad he’s on the team. And to think, he used to be a Wide Receiver several years ago.
5. Only negative that I have today is Reggie Corner. Sure he made lots of pass deflections, but he has been badly burned in the pre-season games and has hands of stone. I was surprised how many times he missed the ball in the individual drills. He also dropped at least one sure fire interception. Hopefully he can pick it up before it’s too late.
Overall, it was a quiet day at St. John Fisher College. It actually felt a bit like the Dick Jauron training camp because of how little action there was on the field. But that’s to be expected after a tough game on Thursday night against the Colts.
(Photo: Michael Thomas)