Here's the Bills news of note for Aug. 8th.
**1 - Darby doing extra
**Buffalo's most tenured starter in the secondary has just two years under his belt. Though he's working to get used to three new teammates in the defensive backfield, Ronald Darby is also working on the one aspect of his game that left him supremely disappointed last year.
Darby did not have a single INT last season despite the fact that he had several chances to make them. So he's been putting in extra time to rectify that.
"When you have free time you have to use it to work on the little things. I can't say I'm going to do it and then after practice just run inside and expect to catch more," said Darby. "When I've got free time I throw the tennis ball off the wall and catch it, just working on my hand-eye (coordination). The key is just looking it in once you get your hands on it. So you've got to find the time to do it."
Darby was on the practice field long after the team session was over working with secondary coach Gil Byrd on getting his head around and catching the ball for a takeaway.
"His main thing he's said to me is I'm there, just finish, finish, finish," Darby said. "That's whether it's tackling, running to the ball, he said everything is about finishing. So with interceptions just looking it in, that's the key thing."
And why train with tennis balls?
"Tennis balls… it's more for hand-eye coordination. At DB we're moving on the run. A receiver knows the ball is coming. We're reacting to a lot of things," said Darby. "So as a corner everything is last second. A tennis ball is a smaller target, so if you work on getting your hands on a smaller target, it's simpler for a football."
Even though Darby is doing all he can so he's prepared when the opportunity for an interception presents itself, he knows he can't be thinking about interceptions out on the field.
2 - Jim Kelly to be featured in NFL Network's 'A Football Life'Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has had just a compelling life off the field as he had during his football career. That's why it's little surprise that NFL Network has decided to take on Kelly as one of their latest subjects in 'A Football Life' series.
The episode on Kelly will air before the end of the year though no specific air date has been publicized by NFL Network. Produced by NFL Films, A Football Life examines the iconic individuals and subjects that have had an undeniable and profound impact on the history of the National Football League, offering an inside look at their untold stories.
The new season of 'A Football Life' premieres on Friday, Sept. 15th at 9 pm on NFL Network.
3 - Safety Gary gets prime runBills safety Shamiel Gary has been getting first team reps for the bulk of the time that Micah Hyde missed on the practice field with his sore hip. As head coach Sean McDermott explained, Gary's name wasn't picked out of a hat.
"He's earned it," said McDermott. "He's working extremely hard and the work that he's put in up to that point in time – you know, he wasn't just moved up because he was just another name. He moved up because he deserved it, he earned that right to be moved up. So, he's done a nice job, not only on defense but on special teams, as well."
Gary is trying to stay even keeled about the situation. He refuses to put much stock in his move up the depth chart due to injury knowing there's a lot of training camp and preseason left.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time," Gary told Buffalobills.com. "Not looking too deep into things. It's still early and we haven't played a preseason game yet. I'm just focused on my eyes and on the details that will get me better."
If you knew what Gary has been through at the NFL level you'd know why. Since 2014, Gary has been on the practice squad of five different NFL clubs including the Bills late last season.
So resting on his laurels or assuming something prematurely is just not in his nature. The 27-year old just hopes his body of work is good enough to land a job on the 53-man roster.
He has six NFL games played in his career, all with Miami in the second half of the 2015 season. He's just hoping there are more in his future.
"I'm just taking it like I would any other day," he said. "Focused on my eyes and not making any mental errors and just working hard every day."