The fifth day of organized team activities brought the first extended red zone work during the team segments of practice Wednesday. Good plays were turned in by both the offense and the defense during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work inside the 20-yard line.
“Today with the red zone with it being the first red zone (work), typically it’s a completely different package and that’s why guys were thinking a little bit and they were trying to get everything worked out,” said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. “It’s a lot different than the field. It happens so fast down there whether it’s pads or no pads. Everything is quicker down in that red zone. We’ve talked to the guys all the time. So we have to be able to execute that.”
Among the better plays by the offense in the red zone Wednesday was a post route run by
Defensively, some plays were turned in as well.
Special teams focus
The segments for special teams look to be the same as last year in terms of length, but special teams coordinator Danny Crossman is breaking things down to the grassroots level to ensure that each and every player that has a chance of making this roster as a special teamer knows exactly the way to execute no matter the situation.
The focus in week two of OTA practices has been kickoff coverage. In addition to lane responsibility and the dos and don’ts when it comes to leverage, Crossman at times has made a point of stopping a rep and making corrections immediately on the field for all to see. Many times a coach will wait to correct it in film review in the classroom, but Buffalo’s special teams coordinator is trying to address while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s an interesting approach that’s not often seen in the practice setting.
Crossman has also made use of some of Buffalo’s new additions this offseason to serve as cornerstones of his special teams units. Free agent signees like
“It’s great. I started my career off as a special teamer. I enjoy it. It’s something that I really pride myself on,” Graham told Buffalobills.com. “So to have the opportunity to go out there and lead guys and show guys how to do it the right way it’s special. I’m glad that he put that responsibility on me and I look forward to having the opportunity to do that.”
Handling kickoffs Wednesday were
Hopkins will need to maintain that type of consistency to convince the coaches he can be an asset to the team’s kick coverage unit.
Carpenter meanwhile put two through the back of the end zone and another nine yards deep in the end zone on his best kicks of the day.
The only other note from special teams work was
The biggest change in the lineup Wednesday was
Also on offense Kevin Elliott was rotated in for some first team reps as well as Chris Hogan with
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz continued to mix and match nickel linebacker combinations Wednesday. With Alonso out and Brandon Spikes back from a day out of team work, it was mostly Spikes and
Schwartz made it clear that he’s not ready to cement anyone in any job at this point in time.
“The stuff that you’re seeing on the practice field, we’re not judging players on how they finish plays. It’s a non-competitive situation,” he said. “We want to learn their role in the defense. We want to learn how everything fits together, and they are being judged on that and their work ethic.”
Thursday will be the last day of week two of OTA practices. Start time is scheduled for 10:30.