Finally some of the newest Buffalo Bills were able to show their talent on the field Thursday night as quarterbacks
“It was great to see everybody and most everybody made some kind of play out there,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “It was great. It was good to see those guys. I didn’t see much of Nick (Barnett) because I’m watching the offense obviously. I’ll have to go watch it on film. It looked like he got around the ball a couple of times. Drayton made a play or two. I saw that. I thought Tyler did some nice things for not ever having taken a snap in our offense, at least the one here. So it was good.”
Barnett and Thigpen were thrust right into the action as both got a lot of work both in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team work. Barnett lined up at inside linebacker alongside veteran
“I didn’t mind the pads too much. My conditioning was fine,” he said. “When you’re out there and you have the pads on and you’re trying to think about the defenses sometimes you get a little discombobulated. Other than that I thought I felt really well out there running and tackling and doing what I’m supposed to do.”
Barnett said he simply needs to get a better handle on the terminology and he’ll be good to go. That’s why in the nickel package he let Torbor handle the calls knowing he doesn’t quite have the command of the system that he needs to lead the unit.
“For right now Reggie and Andra are going to make the calls until I get everything down and we’ll figure out what happens from there,” he said.
For Thigpen, it was a solid first practice of work having never lined up with any of his new teammates before. Thigpen and the other new signees couldn’t even line up in the morning walk through earlier in the day because the new CBA had not yet been ratified. All things considered Thigpen performed admirably and made some plays.
“It’s one of those things Chan definitely feels confident that I know the offense well enough to go out there and make those calls,” said Thigpen, who ran the second team offense. “That’s what five days in the classroom will do for you. You’ve just got to go out and apply them on the field.”
Thigpen got off to a quick start in 7-on-7 red zone as his first throw was a touchdown pass to
Developing a rapport with the rest of the receiving corps is at the top of Thigpen’s to-do list.
“Timing, location with the balls, some footwork issues,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a controlled five (step drop) and sometimes it’s a quick five (step drop) things like that you’ve got to get down pat. In individual today we did all red zone routes so I didn’t get a chance to do any field routes, but (Friday) I’m not sure if it’s red zone or not, but I would imagine it’s probably field work so that’s something I can work on. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Smith, who was wearing a white receiver’s jersey instead of a red quarterback jersey, only got a handful of reps during individual and another handful during 7-on-7 red zone work. It was enough time for him to throw a nice fade pass in the back right corner of the end zone to Chandler for a score. During the 11-on-11 team periods however, Smith did not take any reps.
Drayton back in the Flo
Drayton Florence was back at his familiar starting right cornerback spot with the first team defense as he took the field for the first time. And Florence turned in a big play on the night with an interception during one-on-ones, which he took up the near sideline to the cheers of the fans on hand.
Florence is already focused on preparing for the team’s first preseason game, which is just over a week away.
“The guys have looked pretty good,” he said. “Everyone seems to be in shape. The guys took care of themselves in the offseason. Hopefully we can get into the swing of things, be ready for that preseason game and fine-tune the things we need to before we open up in Kansas City.”
With Florence back in the lineup, the two starting corners in the base defense were Florence and
Leaving practice early was
There was also a momentary scare when top pick
“They just held him out for precautionary reasons,” said Gailey. “He could’ve finished practice. He tweaked something and they said hold him out for the rest and we’ll get him back (Friday).”
Dareus did not go to the locker room as he remained on the field for the final 15 minutes of practice.
Not participating Thursday night were
Stevie Johnson was putting on a show during 1-on-1 drills with the receivers and defensive backs. Johnson made a difficult catch over his head along the near sideline that drew some applause. He got the big oohs and aahs after he leaped and made an impressive one-handed grab on a pass.
TE Scott Chandler got off to a good start in his first practice with a pair of red zone touchdowns during 7-on-7.
“He’s a big guy and a huge target,” Gailey said. “We’ve got to try to get him involved a little bit down there because of his size.”
Chandler goes 6’7” and 272 pounds.
Defensively during that segment
In 11-on-11 team work
Roosevelt showed good footwork on a sideline catch and he dropped his toes in bounds before falling over the sideline for a reception.
Florence put a solid hit on Stevie Johnson at the goal line after making the reception. Jairus Byrd also came up to make a nice hit at the line on tight end
Rookie running back
Da’Norris Searcy also had a pass breakup when he pulled the ball loose from the receiver’s hands for an incomplete pass.
Roosevelt pulled in a pair of touchdowns both of which came from Tyler Thigpen. His second was a well executed slant route that got inside leverage on the defensive back for the score.
The second-year U.B. product also made a big play when he leaped and pulled in a 40-yard bomb from
The Bills are back on the practice field at 3:30 pm Friday.