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Bills rookies happy to get their feet wet

Posted May 13, 2012

It was just three days and four practices, but if you ask any of Buffalo’s draft choices how significant the weekend rookie minicamp was for their development in getting accustomed to the way the Bills do things they were all in agreement.

“Invaluable,” said offensive lineman and sixth-round pick Mark Asper.

“It was a great experience I learned a lot,” said top pick Stephon Gilmore. “I learned a lot from (secondary) coach (George) Catavolos. He’s trying to teach me the plays and playing with good technique and I had a great camp.”

Overall head coach Chan Gailey was pleased with the focus and tempo of his youngest and newest players.

“Great effort,” said Gailey. “We got to see some guys run around and tried to retain what we had taught them for three days. It was very good work, in my opinion, it was very good work. We were able to get outside all three days and we were able to get a lot accomplished.”

Gailey and his coaching staff naturally have measured expectations going into a rookie minicamp knowing there’s only so much they can give the rookies and execute effectively on the field. At the same time Buffalo’s staff didn’t baby them.

“It’s just a lot to grasp,” said offensive lineman and fifth-round pick Zebrie Sanders. “It seemed like every day we were installing 20 or 30 new plays. I’m just trying to take it all in at one time and then learn what coach is trying to teach me. But I loved it. It was a great opportunity.”

“Installation was the hardest part,” said fourth-round pick Ron Brooks. “I’ve been staying in my playbook though and slowly but surely I’m picking up on it.”

Not surprisingly, Gilmore was one of the more consistent performers through the course of the three day minicamp turning in three interceptions and a countless number of pass breakups.

“I felt like I got a lot better and if I just keep working on my technique I can improve even more,” he said. “I feel like it helped me out and I got better every day and I’m looking forward to the future.”

“He did a great job during the week. He is a big, long corner that can run and has a great feel for the game,” said Gailey. “He did a very good job during the weekend.”

Buffalo also had a total of 21 tryout players in for the rookie minicamp so the coaches could conduct practice with the proper number of players, while also seeing if some prospects would catch their eye.

“Yeah, we had a couple that impressed us well enough and we’re going to go in and discuss exactly who we might need to bring onto the team or not bring on the team,” said Gailey.

With 88 players on the roster, Buffalo currently has two vacancies knowing the offseason roster limit is 90.