Bills rookie quarterback Levi Brown was a signal caller that thrived in an up tempo offense in college at Troy. So when he got his first opportunity to run a two-minute drill at Bills training camp Tuesday he looked right at home.
Brown led a competent looking 10-play drive that was capped by an acrobatic reception by Chad Jackson in the end zone for a touchdown. Jackson’s momentum was headed to the back right corner of the end zone, but the ball was headed for his inside shoulder. Jackson made an adjustment in mid-air and as he turned to face the ball he reached his left arm back to pull in the pass for the score.
“Great catch,” said Brown of Jackson’s effort. “I told him he made me look good. It was a terrible throw, but he caught it so I’ll take it.”
“It was just a little simple corner route and the sun caught my eye a little bit but I just had to make a play,” Jackson said. “When the ball is in your area you’ve got to make a play.”
Brown went 6-9 passing on the drive including a pair of third down conversions. He also had a called scramble that set up 1st-and-goal.
“He’s very comfortable away from center,” said Gailey of Brown. “That’s what he did at Troy and I think he feels good in the gun.”
Gailey wanted to make sure that his rookie signal caller got a two minute drill under his belt in the practice setting knowing he might get a chance to run one at the end of Friday night’s preseason game.
“I felt really good,” Brown said. “Obviously it’s new stuff. It’s the first time I ever ran the two minute offense here, so there was a little bit more thinking involved than normal. But it just takes reps, getting used to it and getting used to calling your own plays in two minute.”
Good offensive day
Overall the offense fared well when it came to making plays in the passing game. In the first 7-on-7 red zone series Trent Edwards had a hot hand going 5-6 passing with three touchdowns passes. The first went to Roscoe Parrish on a corner route. David Nelson and Shawn Nelson also pulled in touchdown receptions during the six-play series.
Marshawn Lynch also had an agile looking catch along the near sideline as he reached high to make the catch then stretched to get his toes back down the ground in time to get two feet in bounds before his momentum took him over the sideline.
Brian Brohm and Ryan Fitzpatrick continued the offensive momentum with Brohm hitting Naaman Roosevelt on a post pattern for a score and Fitzpatrick finding Parrish for a touchdown in the front left corner of the end zone.
Even when the defense got the upper hand during a live goal line series by holding the offense out of the end zone on three straight run plays, Buffalo went back to the pass game with success as Steve Johnson out jumped his defender to make a leaping, twisting catch from Brohm before doing a 180 in mid-air to turn and get his feet down inbounds for a touchdown.
C.J. Spiller also looked quick and elusive as he took a pair of run plays in 11-on-11 and cut them to the backside for big yardage as he got into the secondary on both plays before anyone laid a hand on him.
James Hardy also made a tough hands catch along the near sideline in the two-minute drill.
Defensively, Ryan Manalac knifed into the backfield and almost blew up a run play before it started.
And John McCargo had a quarterback pressure in 11-on-11 team work.
Friday night playing time hints
Gailey did not provide much in the way of how his quarterback rotation will work and who will play for how long. As for his starting units he hinted that they might play more than the typical one or two series that most teams do taking into account the fact that there are new offensive, defensive and special teams schemes to employ.
“We’re going to play guys as we think they need to be played,” he said.
In and out
Marcus Easley was back on the sidelines Tuesday after seeking a second opinion concerning his injury. Though there isn’t a final determination as to how to address Easley’s injury, Gailey did confirm that the rookie receiver will be out a while.
“We’re in the process of making the final decision in the next day or so about what direction that thing is going to go,” Gailey said. “But I would say longer rather than shorter.”
When asked if the injury could be season ending, Gailey said he did not yet know.
Fellow receiver Felton Huggins could also be lost for a lengthy period of time following a severe shoulder injury Monday. Gailey said that he was going to learn what the course of action was to address Huggins injury Tuesday evening.
James Hardy appeared to get nicked up at the end of Tuesday’s practice, but Gailey said it didn’t look like anything significant.
LB Danny Batten had his arm out of his shoulder sling at practice Tuesday, but he’s still a ways off from participating.
“He’s getting better,” Gailey said. “We’ll see where that takes us. He won’t be ready this week, probably next week either. He’ll probably be lucky to get the last couple (of practices).”
TE Derek Schouman, who has missed the last four days with an undisclosed nagging injury may try and practice Wednesday according to Gailey.
Demetrius Bell continues to make progress in his return from a lengthy offseason knee rehabilitation. Bell took a few team reps and even participated in 1-on-1 pass rush drills with defensive linemen for the first time in camp Tuesday.
Corey McIntyre returned to practice after missing just a single workout Monday night following a minor ankle injury earlier in the day.
The Bills have a pair of practices Wednesday with the first closed to the public and scheduled for 9:45 and the second a night practice at 7:15 pm.