It was a day when players had to shake the rust off. After nearly eight months away from organized team practices, the Bills looked good in some areas, but have some sharpening up to do in others. Head coach Chan Gailey provided his initial take on the play he witnessed in the first practice Saturday.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Gailey. “I’ve never been here before, so I didn’t know what to expect. There were some things that I thought were better. I thought that our run fits defensively were ahead of the first practice last year even without OTA’s and minicamp. I thought guys understood where to go. I thought our timing in the passing game, especially on the deep balls was not where it needed to be. We’ve got a long way to go there, but other than that it was probably a typical first practice.”
“It’s different when you get out there and you’re running against coverages with people getting jammed at the line,” he said. “It definitely alters the timing. That’s why you can only do so much when you’re with each other and you’re not playing against someone in a practice. Today went well. We had some good things happen. We missed some deep balls that were just a step or two long. You are going to miss some of that stuff on the first day of practice.”
Fitzpatrick said that they didn’t do a lot of installation on day one in an effort to keep everyone on the same page and he thought everyone on the offensive side of the ball handled things well.
Gailey spoke earlier in the week about easing his players into the demands of training camp practice having not had any contact work all offseason. His plan has been to limit the reps of everyone in the early going.
“Early in camp, the most anybody goes is three plays, and then as we go on it will be four plays, and then as we go on it will be five plays,” said Gailey. “So we’re trying to be smart how we practice these guys, to slowly work them in to playing shape.”
“You can work out all you want in the offseason,” said
On the whole the players liked the approach.
“Everyone is still getting into game shape, but they didn’t get overworked to where they couldn’t go anymore,” said Fitzpatrick.
Good first day for Williams
For second-round pick
It was tough to tell, but it appeared there was a miscommunication between Jones and Brown on the play, but Williams read the pass and got to the ball.
“I did a pretty good job,” said Williams, who also broke up another pass during team work. “I feel like I could have done a lot of things better that I can fix by watching the film and improving my technique. I come from Texas and I often played against big receivers. It helped me get to the point I’m at now.”
Other newcomers that had a good first day were fifth-round pick
Late in practice there was a momentary scare as
He eventually returned to his position group, but did not take any more reps as practice ended a short time later.
Head coach Chan Gailey seemed to indicate that the knee was more of a mental hurdle than a physical problem.
“He tweaked it a little bit there in the end, but I think he’ll be fine,” said Gailey. “It was a normal, coming off an injury, getting back into full speed, making sure you get your feet under you type deal.”
Stevie Johnson ran a great deep route during one-on-ones as he got behind
McKelvin however, had an answer. A few plays later McKelvin deftly broke up a crossing pattern when he slid underneath Johnson to knock the ball away. McKelvin also broke up a pass for
In 7-on-7 work
Marcus Easley ran a sharp sideline route to make first down yardage during 7-on-7.
C.J. Spiller showed some good patience on one running play where he waited for the hole to open and then burst through to the second level.
The Bills next practice will be the first night session of training camp with the players scheduled to go from 7-9:15 pm.