Pass pressure was the headline of the day at Bills practice Monday. Buffalo’s defensive pressure off the edge was noticeable throughout the team periods of practice as they unofficially logged five sacks in the session.
While the edge pressure was great to see from a defensive standpoint, head coach Chan Gailey thought protecting the pocket was an issue for his offensive linemen.
“I’ll have to go watch the film to get the real story, but obviously our pass protection we just collapsed a few times and you can’t have that,” he said. “We’ve got to let our quarterback stand back there and throw the football.”
In defense of the offensive line they were shorthanded as
The absence of Bell however, really accentuates the lack of experienced depth at the position.
“We don’t have a lot of depth right now,” said Gailey flatly. “Ed (Wang) has played none and Cordaro (Howard) played very little last year. So we really don’t have any depth at that position. We have to develop it, and that’s what training camp is about to develop that. We’d love to have had some more time to do it, but you take what you’ve got.”
For a defense that had just 27 sacks last season, the production Monday was encouraging.
The Bills are also making greater use of Spencer Johnson and Alex Carrington as edge rushers in their subpackages where they’re lined up as a rush linebacker. It’s not often you see 300-pound rushers in that role, but Johnson (306) and Carrington (304) are pretty athletic and both got sacks Monday.
“I definitely think guys are doing a lot focusing on the rush, the pass rush and coach is emphasizing it and so I think guys are really getting a lot more comfortable in the defense, so I think things are coming together a lot better than last year,” said Johnson.
Buffalo made similar use of their base ends in some subpackages last year as Johnson and
“Alex is one of those guys that’s really long,” said Chan Gailey. “He’s a tall guy that has long arms. He can press the guy and push him back in the pocket and he has enough speed and quickness to be able to get on the edge.”
“It’s good to have big guys that can move,” said Johnson. “Alex is a great athlete, I’m a good athlete myself so it’ll help us on the run and getting a little push off the edge.”
During 1-on-1 pass rush drills, defensive end
They began trading right hooks as each player was punching the other’s helmet repeatedly. The rest of the linemen let them go until they finally wrestled each other to the ground after about a dozen punches were thrown.
Later in the practice during team period,
Dotson didn’t appreciate that and got up swinging. Hangartner never threw a punch, but just calmly kept him at arm’s length with his hand on Dotson’s facemask. After Dotson had thrown about six punches, Hangartner had enough and ripped Dotson’s helmet off and may have used it against him had the other players not stepped in to break things up.
Ironically, Troup’s injury was related to the part of his game where coach Gailey feels he’s made the most improvement.
“The one thing Troup has done so much better than last year is he’s learned to use his hands,” Gailey said. “He’s become much better with his hands this year in taking on blockers in the run and the pass game.”
More will be known about Troup’s hand when the team returns to practice Wednesday.
Parrish, Kelsay nicked
“Most camps when you get to practice eight and nine that’s where it starts to wear on them a little bit because they’ve been running and doing things, but they haven’t been carrying that extra weight (pads and a helmet),” said Gailey. “Then their legs get a little fatigued and that’s what happens. It’s 90 percent lower body.”
Parrish had been getting his legs stretched out a good deal during his down periods during practice the past couple of days.
During the run game period
Shawne Merriman had a fumble recovery on a bad exchange between Ryan Fitzpatrick and
In 7-on-7 Johnny White took a swing pass 40 yards for a touchdown on what was a busted coverage as no one defensively followed White out to the flat.
Defensively, undrafted rookie
The pass breakups continued in 11-on-11 as
Smith on the very next play however, took a big time shot from undrafted rookie Robert Eddins.
The Bills have the day off Tuesday, but return for a night practice on Wednesday at 7:15 pm.