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Practice Notes - Day 8 - Red zone success, Stevie limited

Posted Aug 3, 2012


Friday brought the hottest temperatures for a practice thus far at Bills training camp as temperatures reached the mid-90’s on the field. It also ushered in the first red zone work during the team periods as the offense went against the defense in scoring territory in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.

The offense usually has an upper hand down close to the end zone and had their share of touchdowns though the defense did turn in a couple of plays early.

George Wilson broke up a pass intended for Stevie Johnson over the middle from Ryan Fitzpatrick during 7-on-7.

Da’Norris Searcy also had an interception on a Vince Young pass to the end zone and promptly took a knee after making the play.

But Naaman Roosevelt got things going for the offense with a touchdown on a crossing route from Young.

Four plays later Young showed good touch on a fade pass to the back right corner of the end zone to Dorin Dickerson for the score.

Ryan Fitzpatrick worked the same part of the end zone to hit Derek Hagan for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick also found T.J. Graham in that same corner for a score after the defensive back fell down on the play.

Ruvell Martin had a score on a quick slant from Fitzpatrick to round out the scoring.

In 11-on-11 red zone work, David Clowney had a well-timed play with Young, who hit him in stride just before he reached the sideline in the left side of the end zone for a score.

Young also hit Marcus Easley for a touchdown on a slant inside.

C.J. Spiller burst through a nice hole by the offensive line to score on a 12-yard carry.

Donald Jones pulled in a touchdown from Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson made a touchdown reception off play action from Fitzpatrick.

For all the highlights just watch our daily Bills Roundup report in the Media Center at Buffalobills.com.

Stevie limited
Stevie Johnson was limited in practice Friday when he experienced some tightness in his groin according to Chan Gailey.

“He didn’t even strain it,” he said. “His groin got tight and we just backed him out of there for that.”

“It is very frustrating, but I will be back though, so I know it is nothing major,” said Johnson. “I guess they are just looking out… They do not want it to be anything like it was last year, where I play through it and something happens. I might be playing through an entire season with something. So we are just being extra cautious. I do not know exactly what it is. I went in, got a few tests and everything and I think they gave everything to coach. He will come up with everything.”

When asked if Johnson will miss some practice time, Gailey said he’d have to see how Johnson came out of treatment tonight and tomorrow before he would know for sure.

Left tackle rotation changes
Friday was second-round pick Cordy Glenn’s turn to get first team reps at left tackle in the daily rotation in and out between he and Chris Hairston. The way the reps were handed out however, were in stark contrast to what has happened in previous practices.

During one 11-on-11 series, Glenn got first team and second team reps at left tackle while Chris Hairston watched all three offensive line units roll through. The next time through however, Hairston was inserted as the first team right tackle and also flipped over at times to the left tackle with the second unit and third units.

Flipping back and forth in the same practice is no easy task.

“It’s kind of like writing with a pencil,” said Hairston. “You write with your left hand for a long time it’s going to be pretty hard to write with your right, but it’s something you’ve got to work at. In order to be a part of this league you’ve got to be versatile and it’s just something I’m working toward now.”

Head coach Chan Gailey maintained that it was not an indication that Cordy Glenn had moved ahead in the left tackle position battle. Instead it was an effort to overcome the loss of Erik Pears in the team periods as he recovers from a strained groin.

“We were trying to get Hairston some (reps) at right since Pears has been out,” said Gailey. “We’ve been trying to find a way to get him some at right so that meant more reps at left for Cordy. So we were trying to get a three-man rotation a little bit in those first 12 (plays).”

The other player involved in that three man rotation was Sam Young, who had been the primary fill-in for Pears at right tackle with the first unit.

Drops in the pass game
One area of practice that wasn’t up to snuff in Chan Gailey’s estimation was the receiving. Unofficially there were six dropped passes over the length of Friday’s session and the head coach was not happy at all.

“A huge case of the drops,” said Gailey. “Quarterbacks had to be -- they would never say it, but I’ll say it for them -- that’s unacceptable. We can’t have that. We drop the ball that much, we won’t win any games.”

2 minute drill
The situation the offense was facing on Friday was 1st-and-10 at the opponent’s 30-yard line with 40 seconds on the clock, no timeouts and they needed a touchdown to win.

The second team offense got first crack at it. Vince Young took off on first down tucked it and ran after finding no one open and ran for 15 yards and got out of bounds to stop the clock with a fresh set of downs.

After hitting David Clowney on a quick slant for minimal yardage, he hit Naaman Roosevelt in the back corner of the end zone, but the pass carried the receiver out of bounds. On third down Young’s pass was broken up by Nick Saenz in the right flat and Saenz broke up the fourth down attempt to the end zone to end the series.

The first team offense fared better. Ryan Fitzpatrick moved the chains on second down after hitting Ruvell Martin along the right sideline with Martin getting out of bounds to stop the clock with 19 seconds left. At the 19-yard line Fitz then hit Scott Chandler on the left side of the field, but he did not get out of bounds forcing Fitzpatrick to spike the ball with five seconds remaining on the clock.

On the next play from the five-yard line, Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson, who was split wide left for a touchdown as he wrestled his way into the end zone as time expired.

Short skirmish at practice
Perhaps the heat got the best of them, but second string left guard Mike Jasper went after defensive end Robert Eddins midway through the practice Friday.

Jasper and Eddins squared off after a pass play with Jasper knocking Eddins helmet clean off. It sailed about 10 feet before hitting the ground.

The big offensive lineman indicated after practice that Eddins had been getting too close to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on his pass rushes and that his quarterback needed to be protected.

Once the helmet flew as far as it did the skirmish ended rather quickly.

Shep returns
A day after seeing some work in individual drills, Kelvin Sheppard participated fully in practice on Friday.

“Shep came back and pushed through,” said Gailey. “He didn’t look full speed to me, but he came out and got work in which he needs to do.”

“It felt pretty good, of course, to get back on the field with my teammates and everything like that,” said Sheppard. “So I just have to continue to progress and take it day-by-day.”

Other injuries
After being limited Thursday with a thigh contusion Bryan Scott sat out practice altogether on Friday.

Erik Pears has been limited to individual position drill work with a strained groin.

Kellen Heard, Chris Kelsay, David Nelson and Justin Rogers all remain sidelined.

Schedule
The Bills have another 3 pm practice Saturday and live goal line plays will be installed with full tackling.

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