Skip to main content

Bills-Steelers pre-game notes

Bills head coach Dick Jauron won't say how much, but the starting units for both the offense and defense are expected to see more time than they did last Saturday at Washington.

"Probably not significantly more, a little more and a lot of it will of course depend on the health of people," said Jauron. "We'll just have to watch it."

Jauron is referring to his offensive tackle situation as Matt Murphy suffered a shoulder injury Monday night and is not expected to play. During that same practice Patrick Estes also suffered a left leg injury when he was rolled up on a running play. But Estes did make the trip. He's questionable for the Thursday night game.

Buffalo just played last Saturday night, so getting back on the field five days later for another contest is a bit of an adjustment.

"It's been a quick turnaround and we had a couple of practices and it seemed like we just played a couple of days ago," said Trent Edwards. "I feel like a lot of the guys in the first group are anxious to get back out there. I know we had only two series last week."

With a bit more time on the field expected Edwards is hoping the first unit offense can improve on their execution.

"We're going to have to make some adjustments from last week's game," Edwards said. "We want to eliminate certain mental errors and not turn the ball over or force it into coverage. We want to get in the flow of our offense a little bit more and get in and out of the huddle. I just felt like those things weren't where they needed to be last week."

Toronto effect
With the Bills playing this preseason game in Toronto it's a bit of change since it's considered a home game. But the players are excited about the prospect of playing in front of their Canadian fans in their backyard.

"We have a lot of fans above the border and it's good to bring them this game and it's exciting for us, because it is in Canada and you don't see that happen," said Chris Kelsay. "So it brings a little excitement during training camp."

"It's a preseason game and we're getting ready for a regular season up here too," said Jauron. "So we're getting a feel for how the trip goes, crossing the border, our hotel situation, our meeting rooms the whole thing, the stadium, our locker room. We'll have been there once before our regular season game. So we're looking forward to it."

The team had a morning walk through practice in the Rogers Centre Thursday.

Personnel update
Right guard Brad Butler could see time at right tackle in the game if Estes is unable to play. He got snaps with the third unit in practice Tuesday.

Butler has experience at tackle so he knows how he'll have to change his game.

"When you play guard you're using quicker footwork and it's a lot more constricted and tight," said Butler. "At tackle you have to take up a lot more space and take out their pass rush. That's the biggest difference between guard and tackle."

After missing regulars Angelo Crowell, Terrence McGee, Josh Reed and Donte Whitner for the first preseason game, there's a good chance that Buffalo will have three of them back in the lineup.

Crowell, McGee and Whitner all returned to the practice field this week and should dress for the game barring any setbacks. Reed, however, did not practice at all this week and is not expected to play. James Hardy is expected to start in his place.

Questionable for the game are Marcus Buggs (knee), Blake Costanzo (head), Tim Massaquoi (groin), Scott Mayle (hamstring) and Roscoe Parrish (sore knee).

Steelers update
The Steelers starters only got one series of work in their opening preseason game against Philadelphia, which Pittsburgh won 16-10. Much like Dick Jauron, however, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not say specifically how much more time his top offensive and defensive units will see against the Bills.

Newly signed quarterback Byron Leftwich will play and is expected to take snaps under center after starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's night is over. Leftwich will be followed by rookie Dennis Dixon.

Not expected to play for Pittsburgh are QB Charlie Batch (collarbone), DE Kyle Clement (right knee sprain), ILB Mike Humpal (stinger), FS Ryan Mundy (high ankle sprain), SS Troy Polamalu (hamstring), P Daniel Sepulveda (knee) and Deshea Townsend (groin).

Preseason series
This week's game will mark the seventh preseason meeting between the Bills and Steelers. It's the first time the two teams are meeting in preseason play in seven seasons.

The last time the Bills and Steelers met in preseason play was in 2001 at Pittsburgh. The Steelers won that game 20-0.

The Bills and Steelers met in the regular season last year in week two. It was the first trip to Heinz Field for the Bills. Pittsburgh's defense held Buffalo to only three points and won the game, 26-3.

Bills-Steelers in HD
The game will be televised on the Bills Television Network and will be broadcast in high definition.

The broadcast will air on the Bills regional family of networks including WKBW-TV in Buffalo, WHAM 13 in Rochester, WVTH in Syracuse, CityTV in Ontario, CA and WSEE in Erie, PA.

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.