The defensive unit performed admirably up front as the third week of OTAs commenced Tuesday. Buffalo’s defensive linemen were consistently getting pressure on the quarterbacks flushing them from the pocket during team work.
On the day the defensive front unofficially had four ‘would be’ sacks and three pressures as Buffalo’s quarterbacks were forced to scramble on more than a handful of occasions.
Defensive line coach Bob Sanders has been focusing a lot on hand technique with respect to pass rush with his linemen, and took it up another notch bringing in Joe Kim, a Tae Kwan Do expert that has worked with six NFL teams over the past 18 years.
“Since 1991 I’ve been working with NFL teams,” said Kim. “What I try to do is bring my martial art background and I try to figure out how the hand-to-hand fighting, the leverage and the footwork can help their pass rush skills now.”
Kim has worked with the likes of Bill Belichick, Jim Bates and Nick Saban. Sanders began working with Kim in Miami and later Green Bay, and made the short drive up from his home base of Cleveland to tutor Buffalo’s players.
“We’ve watched every sack in the NFL over the past two years this offseason and 90 percent of the sacks in the league are off counter moves,” said
Kim affirms that the Bills players are hungry to learn his techniques, which is no surprise knowing Buffalo has ranked 29th in the league in sacks over the past two seasons. And there appeared to be an improvement just in the first practice Tuesday alone.
Taming the Wildcat
Buffalo’s defense got a respectable amount of reps in against the ‘Wildcat’ formation that Miami made so popular last season. The coaching staff realizes they’re likely to see more of it within their division and possibly elsewhere.
“We know that this is a copycat league, and we know that Miami got off to a fast start last year with the Wildcat catching some teams off guard and it got the momentum rolling for their season,” said Whitner. “Obviously they drafted Pat White and it doesn’t take to a rocket scientist to know that they’re going to use him in the Wildcat and they’re going to add a lot more wrinkles to the Wildcat. And he’s a dangerous guy, and that formation is dangerous if you don’t stop it early.
“If you continue to just let them pound away with it and get big plays and feel good with it they’ll use it the entire game and you don’t want them to do that.”
Whitner is glad the coaching staff is keeping their approach to defending the Wildcat formation fresh in the players’ minds. He feels getting reps against it once a week will help keep Buffalo’s defenders ready for it.
For the first time during OTAs the Bills practiced outside in Ralph Wilson Stadium. That allowed the coaching staff to take advantage of the stadium’s audio system as they blared loud music down onto the field to challenge the offense’s ability to communicate.
Overall they fared well with just one snap count issue.
Nelson added to absentee list
Bills fourth-round pick
Chris Kelsay had a ‘would be’ sack on
Three plays later Kyle Williams knifed into the backfield and got to Edwards before the pass was thrown.
Run plays were more of a focus for the offense so there were fewer opportunities for Buffalo’s receiving corps as Lee Evans and Terrell
Owens combined for five catches in the practice.
During the two minute drill portion of practice the offense needed a field goal and had one timeout at their disposal. Trent Edwards led the first unit into safe field goal range with time still left on the clock.
Roscoe Parrish spelled Josh Reed in the slot with the first unit, but also lined up wide on occasion. Steve Johnson was also sprinkled in for some first team reps in four wide formations.
The second team cornerbacks were sixth-round pick Cary Harris and the seventh-rounder Lankster.
Free agent signed
Sam and Hardy were doing work on the side with the Bills’ athletic training staff.
McKelvin is hoping he can be back some time this week.
Youboty has an outside chance to return next week.