1 – Robert Woods shinesHe's been having one of the most consistent training camps of any player on Buffalo's roster. On a day where the Bills' receiving corps was severely depleted (see below) Robert Woods stepped up and shined.
Woods had five catches for an unofficial 115 yards and a touchdown against the Browns defensive backs, who were depleted as well without top corner Joe Haden.
"I thought Robert Woods had a great day," said QB Matt Cassel. "He went out there and competed each and every play. He's been doing that, but he had a fantastic day. So it's just a process of him coming out every day and working hard."
Among Woods' bigger plays was a 25-yard catch along the right sideline from EJ Manuel. Five plays later he pulled in a 40-yard pass from Cassel on a blown coverage. He also had a touchdown catch after gaining separation on a route that took him across the back of the end zone for a 20-yard scoring play on a throw by Cassel.
"We got our opportunity to really go at them," said Woods. "A lot of deep throws attacking these guys and giving the coaches opportunities to see those plays being made."
2 – Low on numbers at RB and WRHeading into their first practice against the Brown, the Bills were shorthanded at both running back and wide receiver. Buffalo had just two healthy running backs in LeSean McCoy and Bronson Hill, forcing them to call on WR/PR Marcus Thigpen to handle some carries in the run game.
In addition to Fred Jackson and Boobie Dixon being sidelined, Bryce Brown wasn't ready to return from a tweaked hamstring and Karlos Williams was checked into a local Rochester hospital Monday morning.
"Karlos Williams, we don't know the extent of what his injury is yet, but he went off to a hospital this morning, and then Bryce Brown couldn't go. So we threw in Thigpen as a running back, put a tight end sometimes at running back. We tried to make the best of it as we could."
Ryan couldn't provide many details on Williams condition.
"He woke up in the morning and felt a little something weightlifting in the (previous) afternoon but it wasn't anything. Now obviously he had this thing where if you touch him, obviously he's in a lot of pain."
Buffalo shortage at receiver only got worse as practice went along. They went into practice with just seven as Percy Harvin (hip), Marcus Easley (knee), Tobais Palmer all sat. And Marcus Thigpen was with the running backs.
During practice Marquise Goodwin and Chris Hogan had to pull out of practice early due to heat related issues. Sammy Watkins also stepped out early with some tightness in his glute. So the receiving corps was down to four players, Woods, Andre Davis, Dezmin Lewis and Deonte Thompson.
"It was just one of those things where we tell those (young) guys that you've got to show up and show mental toughness and just finish the day," said Woods. "Everybody is dog tired or hurt so just show you can gut it out and keep grinding and finish practice."
3 – Manuel's repsTyrod Taylor got the majority of the reps between the three quarterbacks Monday with the four-year veteran next up to start in Thursday's preseason game. He had a handful more than Matt Cassel and then EJ Manuel got the fewest snaps and worked primarily with the second team and third team.
Manuel was asked if he's bothered by being third in the rotation.
"My main focus is to take the reps that I get," Manuel said. "I understand with the rotation and things like that, so that's not something I can worry about. I just have to go out and do the best with the reps that I have a chance to go with.
"It's not disappointing to me because if I got disappointed then I wouldn't play as well. I still feel like I'm playing really well. I see improvement in myself. I think you can't deny tape and that's how I going to continue to go forward."
4 – Bills 'D' wins matchupsBuffalo's defensive line and Cleveland's offensive line was a much anticipated matchup Monday with both sides boasting Pro Bowl talents. But when it came to execution the Bills defense had the better of the play.
"For the most part, the Bills defense I thought had the upper hand," said Browns head coach Mike Pettine. "Just some of our guys are different tempos. They've got to understand the guy across from them is going at game-type speed, other than the live tackling part. We were just inconsistent with our expectancy of what we were getting from the other side. So I thought they did a good job."
Bonus NotesBackup ILB Ty Powell may have been lost for the year as he suffered what appeared to be a torn ACL and was carted off the field.
"We had some terrible news happen," said Ryan. "I'm sure you guys saw Ty Powell got carted off. That's a possible ACL and that young man would be done of the year if that is indeed the case. That guy had been playing great for us and really coming into his own, and a key cog in our special teams so obviously that's going to be a great loss for us."
Undrafted rookie AJ Tarpley and rookie sixth-round pick Tony Steward are prime candidates to fill the void.
WR Andre Davishad the catch of the day, a one-handed grab in the back left corner of the end zone on a throw from Matt Cassel.