Midway through camp and the players are growing tired of banging on the same guys every day in the practice setting. Some of that showed up in practice Wednesday afternoon as there was a bit more pushing and shoving after the play.
Alvin Bowen and Seth McKinney got into a shoving match early in the run game 11-on-11 work, with several teammates surrounding them to separate the two. A few plays later Langston Walker took on Bowen driving him back into the secondary about 20 yards.
“It’s about that time of camp when everybody’s hormones are out of whack and the heat starts to bear down on you and you start to not like the guy across from you,” said Walker. “But it’s just what happens and coach is good about controlling that sort of thing.”
“It is football,” said Bowen. “We are just having fun, we are on the same team and we are out here to compete. No harm, no foul. We aren’t taking it outside of the field. Sometimes one person gets more aggravated than the other and it leads to that.”
“What usually happens is somebody gets beat and they’re not happy about it and they don’t know how to respond so they start something and it has nothing to do with football or the game,” said Dick Jauron. “And if it happens in a game it costs us.”
Under Dick Jauron on game day it hasn’t cost the Bills much at all. Buffalo was one of the least penalized teams in the league in 2008.
Break for Poz and Mitchell
Paul Posluszny and Kawika Mitchell have seen a lot of reps through the first 10 days of camp. Not only are they both first team linebackers, but they’re also the first team nickel linebackers as well. That’s why head coach Dick Jauron gave them most of the Wednesday practice off.
“We put them through individual and got them a little involved and decided to give them a bit of a rest,” said Jauron. “We worked our first group really hard Tuesday night. We got them through the individual and thought we’d get the backup guys a good hard workout in practice defensively knowing they’re going to see the brunt of the action on Sunday night.”
Filling in for the two starters with the first unit were undrafted rookie Ashlee Palmer and Marcus Buggs who joined Keith Ellison.
As a result Alvin Bowen and Nic Harris ran with the second unit at linebacker flanking Pat Thomas.
Playing time Sunday
Jauron and his staff have not yet decided on how much playing time the starters will get Sunday night in Canton. He said they would play, but how much is still up in the air.
The first team offense worked on a lot of underneath routes as well as the screen game with backs as well as receivers Wednesday, so there really weren’t any big plays to report.
Lee Evans did run a nice route on and inside out move creating good separation to pull in a pass from Trent Edwards. Evans was also a focal point in the screen game.
Roscoe Parrish made a good grab along the sideline and then darted between a pair of defensive backs for extra yardage.
Marshawn Lynch continues to hit the hole with authority and juked a linebacker on one particular run play.
Terrell Owens got good separation enabling him to make a clean catch over the middle.
Shaine Smith found a soft spot in a zone coverage and Hamdan zipped it in to him while rolling out for first down yardage.
C.J. Hawthorne made a nice spin move after pulling in a throw from Gibran Hamdan. Hawthorne made the catch while coming inside, but saw his lane was cut off and quickly spun back outside and took it up the sideline for extra yardage.
On the defensive side of the ball Pat Thomas had a pass breakup on a throw by Ryan Fitzpatrick. He also had a tipped pass at the line later in the workout.
Reggie Corner had a pass breakup on a crossing route by Justin Jenkins. Chris Ellis also assisted with a quarterback pressure on the play.
Jon Corto had a “sack” when he came hard off the left side untouched.
Steve Johnson was back practicing Wednesday for the first time in a week, albeit on a limited basis. Johnson just did individual position drills, but appeared to be loose and limber and not favoring his torn rib cartilage much. He also appeared to be wearing a flak jacket.
Whether he’ll be healthy enough to play in the preseason opener Sunday night is a big question mark.
Leodis McKelvin appeared to be full go for the first time in a couple of days taking his normal workload at right cornerback.
Copeland Bryan, Marcus Smith and David Lindquist are still not practicing. Lindquist was not in attendance.
Brad Butler is still on the mend from his lower back injury, but did make it out to practice Wednesday after getting treatment. Butler was walking very gingerly across the practice field.
Demetrius Bell continues to work at right tackle in Butler’s absence and again had another steady day on the edge. Rarely do pass rushers beat him outside and he’s held his own on bull rushes.
“I hit the weight room kind of hard and got stronger and it shows,” said Bell. “I feel better about my technique, so I feel better about everything all around. I still have a long way to go but I feel better about everything.”
Antwain Spann and Dustin Fox continue to share reps at the third string free safety position.
Drayton Florence was back as the first nickel after manning Leodis McKelvin’s starting right cornerback position while he was out the past two days.
Reggie Corner and Ashton Youboty worked in and out at second team nickel as they both took reps on the outside as well. Coming off of double plantar fasciitis Youboty has bounced back well and his head coach has noticed.
“It’s great to have Ashton back,” said Jauron. “At the time he got injured that was a big loss to us. He’s been performing very well as our nickel, so it’s good to have him pain free and working.”
Kyle Williams appeared to have a reduced workload much like Posluszny and Mitchell with Spencer Johnson getting more first team reps.
The night practices resume on Thursday with a 7:10 session scheduled.