Skip to main content

3 things to know from Bills-Browns practice - Day 2


1 – LeSean McCoy injury
McCoy became the fifth Bills running back injured during training camp on Tuesday. He left practice early due to a hamstring issue. Head coach Rex Ryan wouldn't say that it was a pull, but he did say that McCoy would get an MRI.

"The trainer said that the hamstring's intact, it's not off the bone, so that's real positive," Ryan said. "Hopefully it's not a pull, hopefully it's just a strain."

The injuries are frustrating for the whole team. With fewer and fewer players to take reps, players succumb to injuries more easily. Beyond that, it becomes hard for injured players to get in regular season form.

"You want to get things accomplished in the preseason and you need numbers to do so," said Fred Jackson, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury of his own. "We want to get back out there. Obviously [Boobie Dixon and I] are hurting, but the more numbers that we have, that's going to take a lot [of reps] off everybody's plate. So we'll try to get back out there as soon as we can."

McCoy's injury leaves rookies Bronson Hill and Ricky Seale as the only healthy true running backs on roster for Thursday's preseason game in Cleveland. Hill is expected to start on Thursday. The Bills signed Seale, a Stanford graduate, on Tuesday morning. Although the offensive playbook is complex, Seale should be able to grasp much of it by Thursday.

"[Offensive coordinator Greg Roman] was a coach at Stanford my freshman year, so some of the plays, some of the play jargon, I already kind of know," Seale said. "I don't know all of it so I'm looking forward to learning the rest." 

2 – The defense shines for a second straight day
Despite all of the injuries across the board for the Bills, the defense looked sharp against Cleveland's offense on Tuesday. Notably, cornerback Nickell Robey had a pass breakup and a sack against Browns quarterback Josh McCown on back-to-back plays. Safety Ron Brooks and linebacker Preston Brown had interceptions and linebacker Jerry Hughes and safety Corey Graham had sacks.

As a unit, the secondary stood out above all else. Players like cornerback Aaron Williams were diving for balls and did not give Browns wide receivers any room to work with. According to safety Bacarri Rambo, the unit is coming together well and working hard down the field.

"Everybody is buying into the scheme and learning the playbook and understanding the coverage and just communicating," he said. "It's allowed us to play fast and just use our instincts to fly to the ball."

Rambo finished practice strong on Tuesday with a pass breakup in the end zone against Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel on the last play of practice. He also had breakups that led to second and third and long situations. 

"We're just being competitive," he said. "Everybody is learning this system and understanding everything and communicating and that lets us fly to the ball. We've got a lot of hawks back there who want to get the interception."

3 – Solid quarterback play across the board
Although injuries at wide receiver have slowed the quarterback competition a bit, Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor all played well on Tuesday night.

Manuel, working with the second team, looked especially good. Manuel was four-for-four passing during 11-on-11 drills. Most notably, he hit wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on a quick hitter to the right flat and stepped up in the pocket to find wide receiver Deonte Thompson over the middle for a 20-plus yard play.

Cassel looked sharp during red zone work against the Browns, going four-for-five with three touchdowns to tight ends MarQueis Gray and Nick O'Leary and Goodwin.

Most of Taylor's completions were on underneath throws and throws to the flat. He had a touchdown pass to Goodwin during seven-on-seven red zone drills, but appeared to have more run plays called during his reps.

Ryan said the offensive series had to be cut short due to the shortage of backs and receivers for Buffalo, but that the evaluation of the quarterbacks would not change.

"Once we really started getting guys going down at wide out, we made it tougher," he said. "You evaluate based on what you see on tape. Next man's got to step up, and then the next man and the next man and the next man."

Bonus notes
New Bills DE/LB IK Enemkpali disrupted Cleveland's offense very well on Tuesday. Enemkpali sacked Johnny Manziel and pressured him on several more plays, one of which led to Brooks' interception. He also freed himself to stop a run up the middle on a goal-to-go situation.

Just days before the Bills signed him, RB Ricky Seale was working with special needs children in California.

"A few days ago, I was actually, I was down in San Diego at a place called ACES," he said. "It was a great job and then the Bills called me so I got up here as fast as I could."

TE MarQueis Gray had some nice plays. Gray caught a pass from Manuel and took off up the sideline for 20-plus yards. His touchdown reception came against former Bills defensive back Donte Whitner.

WR Robert Woods took a rest day on Tuesday. He experienced muscle tightness after getting a large number of reps on Monday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.