Ratcheting up the intensity
After winning with a straight rip move on his first rush,
“You’ve seen two,” shouted Spikes. “I’ve got another move left though!”
The Steelers backs will have to wait for Thursday because the drill period was over before Spikes was up again in the rotation.
The receivers might have been even more amped up than the linebackers. There was an awful lot of jawing between Buffalo’s receivers and Pittsburgh’s defensive backs. As receivers and DBs went 1-on-1 the other wideouts and defensive backs provided a running commentary based on what happened on the play they were witnessing.
It was sparked by Ike Taylor in the first play of 1-on-1 against
That intensity carried into the first team period when the Bills offense faced the Steelers defense. Doing first down work there were a good number of run plays. On the second play from scrimmage
When everyone got off the pile Spiller sprang up and was hot. Both teams got real close and the jawing continued. Spiller had to be escorted to the sideline by one of Buffalo’s assistant coaches to cool off. There were a couple of other minor skirmishes through the course of the session.
“That’s football,” said
Tight ends making plays
The tight end contingent for the Bills has been beset with injuries. It’s really slowed down their progress in the passing game as a group this summer.
Smith had three receptions on the day with his best play coming on a well-timed throw by EJ Manuel over the middle that went for 20 yards. Chandler’s best reception also came on a crossing pattern with Manuel hitting him in stride allowing him to run for more yards after the catch on another pass play that went for 20-plus yards.
“I think it was just one of those days. I thought I’ve been on page or on mark with all of our guys. I think it’s just a matter of our quarterback play,” said Manuel. “You’ve got to be accurate and put the ball on them to allow them to make plays. I thought Scott (Chandler) did a great job and Lee (Smith) did a great job too. They just happened to be open and it’s just finding a cavity within their defense and that’s where they were. That’s what I did, just threw the ball to them.”
Brandon Spikes then went with a spin move to escape the clutches of Miguel Maysonet to get to the quarterback.
“Not bad at all Preston,” said Pagac. “Not bad at all.”
Bradham looked significantly quicker off the ball than anyone else in the drill on either side of the line.
For the Steelers the offense on Wednesday was very stripped down according to Big Ben. When asked if he did much at the line pre-snap during team Roethlisberger said their approach was pretty straightforward.
“No, nothing,” he said. “We had one snap count. We didn’t do any hand signals, no audibles. You noticed when we were going they were getting off the ball quite a bit, so one time I changed the count and got them all to jump, but we kept it very, very basic (Wednesday) and we will (Thursday) too.”
The Bills on the other hand ran everything just as they do in their own intrasquad team segments at St. John Fisher.
“We played ball. We didn’t tone anything down,” said EJ Manuel. “We did our normal protocol as far as our plays. It’s just a matter of us going out there and executing against what they’re doing on defense.”
After Manuel’s post-practice press conference was over I asked him why he thought there was such a difference in philosophy about how to run the offense in these intersquad practices. Buffalo’s QB had a good answer.
“You can do that when you’ve got two Super Bowls like Ben,” Manuel said in reference to Pittsburgh’s approach. “That’s where we’re trying to get.”