A hot and muggy night at St. John Fisher saw a few big offensive plays, a few big defensive plays and a big round of applause for Brian Moorman among the other happenings in Thursday night's practice.
Overall head coach Dick Jauron thought it was typical of the first week of training camp.
"Some good and bad," said Jauron of the performance. "It still looks like training camp and that's exactly where we are. Both sides of the ball made some plays. We were really good at times and then both sides looked sloppy at times."
The defense got things started in the opening no huddle series that typically gets practice up and running. J.P. Losman led the offense, but on the third play of the series Donte Whitner got a hand on a pass over the middle that was eventually intercepted by rookie free agent cornerback Riley Swanson.
The no huddle series was followed by a 9-on-7 run game segment. Anthony Thomas looked spry and he made two nice runs to start the series. Marshawn Lynch got the next three carries and had an impressive run when he ran off left tackle. As Lynch reached the line of scrimmage cornerback Jabari Greer came down in run support and dropped his shoulder into Lynch. But Lynch bounced off of him, kept his feet and sidestepped another would-be tackler as he deftly demonstrated his strong balance.
Shaud Williams, Dwayne Wright and Fred Jackson also got carries during the segment.
Applause for Moorman
During the first special teams segment Brian Moorman put his punting prowess on display for the fans in attendance. Special teams coordinator Bobby April was running a punt coverage drill with Moorman doing live punting to the returners at the other end of the field.
One of Moorman's early efforts was a moonshot that traveled 60 yards. A collective 'ooh' went up in the crowd as the ball soared from one end of the field to the other forcing the return man to retreat to his 10-yard line. Almost immediately a loud round of applause went up for the two-time Pro Bowl punter.
Later in practice Moorman put a coffin kick out at the three-yard line which also drew a hefty amount of applause.
The offensive highlight during this period came when J.P. Losman found Josh Reed deep down the right sideline as he got by Terrence McGee for a 50-yard touchdown hookup.
During the red zone period Losman connected with Lee Evans for a touchdown over the middle in traffic as Evans made a leaping grab. Losman also hit Lynch coming out of the backfield for a touchdown as there appeared to be a blown coverage assignment in the secondary.
"Offensively, we're doing some things consistently now," said Losman. "We've had a couple of good practices in a row and it's starting to become more and more fun, the more and more you do things right. And we're starting to do those things right on a consistent basis. We just have to keep in our playbook."
Trent Edwards hit rookie free agent Scott Mayle in the back corner of the end zone on a nice fade pass. He also got a pass underneath to Sam Aiken who fought off Greer to leap headlong over the goal line for a TD.
In 11-on-11 work Evans made a nice grab on a deep post pattern as Losman hit him in stride. Dwayne Wright made a nice sidestep move as he got around safety George Wilson at the line of scrimmage on one of his rushes. And receiver Donovan Morgan showed some vertical leaping ability when he went up the ladder to grab a high pass from Edwards along the far sideline.
Lynch had another couple of nice runs during the full team scrimmage portion of practice as well. After getting through the line Lynch juked past Ko Simpson who was coming up in run support. He also had a good looking outside run.
Rookie free agent receiver Jemalle Cornelius factored more into the passing attacked Thursday night as he had four receptions on the night.
Jabari Greer, who took almost all of the reps with the first unit at right cornerback in place of Jason Webster (hamstring) took advantage of the extra playing time recording a pair of pass breakups. He defended a pass intended for Sam Aiken during the red zone period and then thwarted a throw intended for Roscoe Parrish along the sideline in 11-on-11.
Despite the fact that Webster has missed the last three practices, Jauron indicated the starting right cornerback job is his to lose.
"We're really happy we have Jason Webster," said Jauron. "That to me is a real good signing for us. He's a really good player who started a lot of games in this league. He's a quality guy. Hopefully he will get well fast and be right back out there. I think he's going to be a hard player to unseat."
Angelo Crowell finally came down with an interception. The past two practices Crowell had successfully positioned himself for a takeaway, but could not hold onto the ball two times. The third time was the charm as he jumped all over a receiver screen and took Losman's pass to the end zone.
Coy Wire turned in the hit of the day… twice on the same player. During 11-on-11 Wire cracked Jemalle Cornelius who came inside on a quick slant knocking him off his feet. Five plays later he did the exact same thing to Cornelius again. Both times Cornelius popped back up and finished the play.
Toward the end of practice left tackle Jason Peters went down during 11-on-11 on a play when his leg got rolled up under a defensive lineman who was pursuing the flow of the ball. Things got real quiet, real fast as Peters laid down on his stomach for 10 to 15 seconds before getting up slowly. He gingerly walked off the field and was speaking with the athletic training staff.
Head coach Dick Jauron did not think Peters' suffered a serious injury, though he did not participate in the remainder of practice.
I didn't see it," said Jauron. "I just saw him on the ground. I was just glad to see him get up."
Anthony Hargrove also left practice toward the end of the workout after he appeared to re-aggravate his strained hamstring.
"Anthony tweaked it a little bit at the end but he made it almost all the way through," said Jauron. "(Head athletic trainer) Bud (Carpenter) didn't think it was a setback per se, but I wish he could have finished."
Not participating were Brad Butler (hamstring), John DiGiorgio (hip flexor), Christian Gaddis, Josh Scobey (calf) and Jason Webster (hamstring).
The Bills have a pads practice in the afternoon Friday beginning at 2:15.