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4 things to take from Friday's practice

Posted Jul 25, 2014

After a day off Thursday, the Bills got back to work Friday night at St. John Fisher with an evening practice on the turf field.

1. Dareus lining up

Earlier in the day DT Marcell Dareus was removed from the Non-Football Injury list after passing his physical and was added to the active roster. Friday night Dareus was lining up with his fellow starters on Buffalo’s defensive line.

“It’s good to have him back,” said line mate Kyle Williams. “We’ve got a long way to go to get ready for our season and we need him to play for us. He’s a big part of our puzzle. It’s good to have him back and getting him in the swing of things.”

Dareus got a fair share of work during team segments of practice and turned in a sack early in 11-on-11 on EJ Manuel.

I’m sure he’s fine,” said Williams. “I’m sure he’ll also tell you that he probably has a few things to work on because your first day is always a challenge. We all have a long way to go and we’re going to push each other to get there.”

Fellow DL Alan Branch was also added to the active roster Friday and got some reps in team work as well.

2. EJ and Woods synching up

In the first few practices of training camp EJ Manuel and Robert Woods weren’t connecting in the passing game as often as they would like. That began to change in Wednesday’s morning practice earlier in the week and continued to progress Friday night.

“I think we’re meshing very well,” said Manuel. “Woody runs great routes, gets open. It’s just my job to give him a chance to make a play.”

Woods caught a handful of passes from Manuel through the course of practice. It was the busiest he has been since camp opened.

“I think he’s getting better,” said Woods of Manuel’s timing. “He’s going through the reads and everything. He’s finding the open guy. We just come out here and work to get better every day. Watch the film, study it and just try to improve every day.”

“I think each and every day we’re working to get better with all the guys, especially myself,” said Manuel. “Woody is going to do a great job for us this year.”  

3. Rookie settling in

The first couple of practices at his first NFL training camp the speed of the game appeared fast for fourth-round pick Ross Cockrell. Over the last two practices however, it appears the game is slowing down for the young cornerback.

“I’m definitely getting more comfortable and the guys have been helping me out a lot,” Cockrell told Buffalobills.com. “They’ve been doing a great job of pulling me aside and working with me a little bit extra so I can get accustomed to what we do here.”

Cockrell showed better anticipation of routes and where the ball was headed as he turned in a pair of pass breakups on the night. He also was able to knock the ball free from Chris Hogan’s grasp near the goal line in 7-on-7.

“One thing we don’t want to do as a defense is give up points,” said Cockrell. “That’s something I want to show, when it gets down to the red zone I’m never going to give up until the ball crosses the pylon and that’s what I did tonight.”

4. Carpenter perfect again

Bills kicker Dan Carpenter got off to a good start at camp going 8-for-8 on field goal attempts on day one of practice. On Friday night he repeated the feat hitting all six of his attempts. His long was from the right hash at 51 yards.

Even though head coach Doug Marrone has stated that there is no kicker competition, Dustin Hopkins was given a pair of attempts in practice hitting from 40 and 55 yards. His 55-yarder made it with plenty of room to spare.

Schedule

The Bills have another night practice Saturday at 6:10 pm.