Training camp 2007 came to a close with Buffalo's newest addition taking the practice field. Defensive end Al Wallace was glad to get some work in after a long offseason.
"I haven't been strapped up since December so it was a good feeling to get out here and play some football," said Wallace. "I'm happy to be here and hopefully I can be productive and help the team in any way I can."
Wallace worked at both left and right defensive end, but was not used extensively in the practice setting Wednesday.
"He'll learn both sides," said head coach Dick Jauron. "We had him out there working on the right and the left mainly in pass rush situations."
The plan is for Wallace to get some action in Friday night's preseason game against Tennessee, but he'll be limited to obvious passing downs.
"We plan to play him sporadically," said Jauron. "We don't want to overexpose him. There's always similarity in pass rush and that's the situations we'll try to put him in. We're not going to try to fit him into our scheme yet because even though there will be similarities the terminology will be different and he hasn't had time to practice. It will mostly be pass rush."
Veteran ends breathing easier
After the loss of Ryan Denney both Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay were anticipating that they'd be carrying a significantly larger portion of the load in terms of snaps per game. But with the arrival of Wallace the two starters are breathing a little easier.
"It is always great to get a guy in with NFL experience," said Kelsay. "I have seen some film on him through common opponents so you know he can play. With the injury to Denney and the situation with Anthony our numbers are cut kind of short so it's always great to have another guy in here."
Kelsay believes the addition of Wallace allows them to stay consistent in their plan to rotate heavily as they did last season.
"Obviously we will have that rotation back," Kelsay said. "It was looking kind of scarce there, we were counting on the younger guys to step up and fill that void and they will have the opportunity to continue to do so. Any time you have a guy that is a veteran with game experience come in and be an instant contributor it is always a positive for our defensive line, especially for our rotation."
The addition of Wallace will also take the heat off of the younger alternatives at defensive end to produce immediately and play consistently.
"It is definitely going to be a positive for everybody," Kelsay said.
Playing time Friday night
Dick Jauron laid out part of the playing time plan for Friday night's game.
"They'll go at least a half, maybe into the second, but maybe not," he said. "We just need to get better and more consistent everywhere."
However, the quarterback rotation behind J.P. Losman is still yet to be decided and Jauron seemed to give an indication that Nall might not see a lot of time.
"We haven't really decided that yet and Trent needs to get every snap he can get and J.P. needs time in there too," said Jauron. "So we'll just have to see with Craig."
There were just a few highlights in the 90-minute workout. Robert Royal caught a pretty looking pass from Craig Nall over the middle.
Josh Stamer had a forced fumble after short reception by Kevin Everett that was recovered by the defense.
And Peerless Price beat Trevor Hooper and Chris Thompson deep for a 50-yard touchdown reception.
Sam Aiken did not practice due to a hip flexor injury and is not looking good to play in Friday night's game.
Angelo Crowell practiced on a limited basis and coach Jauron said he was "optimistic" that his starting strong side linebacker would play Friday night.
Melvin Fowler and Brad Butler participated sparingly. Aaron Merz and Josh Scobey did not participate.
Farewell to Fisher
Head coach Dick Jauron again praised the St. John Fisher campus for its convenience and hospitality as camp closed out for another year.
"It really is a great facility for what we do," said Jauron. "It's been a long camp. We needed it and we still need more work. We're anxious to get back to our facility and we look forward to the next two games."