Here are the four takeaways from Buffalo’s final practice at St. John Fisher.
Offense made strides
“I think getting everybody on the same page,” Jackson said. “That’s the thing about offense. You can’t have one guy go out and make a play. You can have one guy contribute, but if we’re not all on the same page we’re going to look like it.
“The best thing we can do is all get on the same page so we’re where we’re supposed to be, make plays how we’re supposed to make them. Having EJ get comfortable with the way receivers run routes where they’re going to be. Where we fit in pass protections and that’s how we’re evolving and hopefully when we get to the regular season we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”
“Communication has been huge,” said Manuel. “That’s one of the things I really wanted us to work on from OTAs moving into training camp. I feel like our communication has been tremendous from what it was the first day we got out here until now. Especially on the field telling guys this is what I was expecting on this route, or this is why I ran the route this way or this is what I saw in that protection. That kind of communication has improved a lot.”
What can Brown do for defense?
Brown has been lining up at the outside linebacker positions in addition to his middle linebacker role.
On Thursday Brown was lining up in just about every defensive package during team portions of practice. He’s seen a ton of work in nickel packages and was also getting first team reps at middle linebacker.
“It’s good to be busy,” Brown said. “The more things I can do to help the team I’m just trying to do that. Going out as SAM, WILL, mike, whatever it is I’m willing to do it.”
Brown is really pushing veteran
“It’s always in the back of your mind. You know that somebody is going to have to be out there playing,” he said. “So you’re always thinking about it, but you’re just trying to get better every day. In those games you just try to make strides. After these next couple of weeks we’ll be in the real fire, so we’ve got to be ready for the real games.”
Brown, who has already earned high praise from his defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, got some more from his head coach on Wednesday when Doug Marrone appeared on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550.
“Preston Brown is having as good a camp as Kiko (Alonso) had last year,” said Marrone.
His best play Thursday was his tight downfield coverage on
Two minute drill
In preparation for Saturday’s game the Bills ran a pair of two-minute drives in practice Thursday. After a pair of short to mid-range completions, EJ Manuel hit
Manuel then hit Scott Chandler down the seam for a first down, and followed that with a completion to Fred Jackson out of the backfield for another first down. The offense then called timeout with 28 seconds left. After a short gain play and pair of incomplete passes to Williams and then to Chandler in the end zone, it was 4th-and-5 at the defense’s 20 for the offense with 19 seconds remaining.
Manuel threw low and outside to Mike Williams to keep the defender from making a play on the ball along the right sideline, but the ball was trapped off the turf and an incompletion.
The second unit tried to put together a drive as well with
Williams had five catches before they were midway through practice. It’s been a stellar camp for the receiver they acquired via trade and his teammates and coaches are noticing.
“I think Mike has done a great job getting himself healthy and doing a great job of competing,” said receivers coach Rob Moore. “I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”
“Mike has definitely proven to me that he can go out and make big catches for us,” said EJ Manuel. “In OTAs we weren’t necessarily always on the same page. But the things we’ve been doing after practice and trusting him in practice and letting him go up and make big catches for me has been huge for us. I’m very excited to have both of those guys in our receiving corps this year.”