It was a practice that went to the defense in a lot of ways Monday night. Defensive linemen were getting good penetration upfield, linebackers and defensive backs were again getting into the passing lanes and they were successful in foiling a pair of two minute drill series by the offense.
John McCargo, Larry Tripplett and Kyle Williams all flashed during team work. Early on McCargo got into the offensive backfield quickly to stop Dwayne Wright for a tackle for loss. Williams effectively stuffed a gap to gobble up a ball carrier as well. In the red zone in 11-on-11 work Williams also teamed up with Chris Kelsay to plug up another run play at the line of scrimmage. Tripplett got by a guard on a stretch play forcing the tailback to take a wider angle than designed.
The front seven also got good pass pressure throughout the evening, which hurried some throws. Ryan Denney looped inside on an end-tackle stunt and was on J.P. Losman in the pocket quickly for a 'would be' sack. A play prior to that Angelo Crowell got around the edge of the right side of the offense's formation for another sack.
Paul Posluszny was involved as well. On an outside run play Posluszny scraped over the top and came around the corner and cracked Shaud Williams as he approached the second level. Williams got knocked off his feet before springing back up again. The scary thing was Posluszny wasn't only moving at about half to three-quarter speed.
"Obviously on offense we wanted to do some things better," said Robert Royal. "The defense stepped it up today and hopefully we come out here and put on a better showing tomorrow."
Two minute drill
Buffalo's offense ran a couple of two-minute series against the defense and neither ended well. Losman led the first drive and was almost intercepted on the first play from scrimmage as his throw to Lee Evans was almost picked off by Terrence McGee. Five plays later, just as the offense was reaching the red zone, Losman threw an interception over the middle right into the waiting arms of Kiwaukee Thomas. It appeared as if Losman tried to pull the ball back seeing the danger in throwing it where he did as it fluttered high out of his hand.
The second two-minute drill was run by Trent Edwards. He completed his first pass, but was sacked on second down. On third down he completed a short throw to Fred Jackson, but threw an incomplete pass on fourth down ending the drive.
John DiGiorgio was full go for the first time in about a week and was back getting reps with the first team defense. The highlight of his evening was his interception off J.P. Losman which he took back for a touchdown.
Lynch prepping for Friday
The only offensive player that shined was top pick Marshawn Lynch. The running back was darting through holes and shaking off hits. Lynch has this ability to bob and weave as he's approaching defenders while still maintaining his speed. That makes it very difficult for defenders to break down and tackle.
At this point Lynch is focused on tying up the loose ends of his game for the first preseason game.
"It'll be here shortly and there's still some time for things that I need to make sure I accomplish out there to make sure I'm ready for when that day comes," said Lynch.
Hitting on special teams
The punt coverage team was putting on the hits during special teams work.
Sam Aiken was used as a gunner on punt coverage and manhandled two jammers that were assigned to slow him down. After making a move past one, Aiken raced the other downfield, and though the second jammer was in position to make a block, Aiken knocked him clear off his feet and to the turf as he angled in to make a "tackle" on the returner.
Mario Haggan also got a nice shot in on punt returner Scott Mayle. Coming from his inside position on the left side of the field Haggan effectively cut off the outside lane for Mayle. The rookie free agent thought he was quick enough to take an inside lane before Haggan could close the space.
He was wrong. Haggan just dipped a shoulder into Mayle and knocked him sideways to the turf. Special teams coordinator Bobby April had one comment for Mayle.
"You've got to make sure you have room to take it up in there," he said.
Finally John Wendling got great penetration against his blocker as well, successfully cutting off the outside lane for Roscoe Parrish and forcing him inside into traffic. Wendling also dumped his blocker on his rear.
Jason Webster was back to full action as he participated fully, but on the other side of the field. The defensive staff flipped Webster and McGee Monday night with Webster manning the left cornerback spot and McGee the right.
"We do switch corners sometimes and we do like matchups at times," said Jauron. "They both have to be comfortable on either side so George (Catavolos) and Perry (Fewell) felt tonight was a good night to start. It looked like it was pretty good. It looked good to me."
Duke Preston and Jason Whittle continued their rotation at right guard, but with Brad Butler out with a hamstring injury and Aaron Merz sitting out with some shoulder trouble Monday night, the right guard that rotated out with the first unit played right guard with the second unit instead of moving to second team center as was the case in the first week of camp. Rookie free agent Christian Gaddis is getting the second team reps at center.
Donte Whitner did not practice after suffering a lower abdomen injury. It's not clear whether it's a groin or hip flexor injury.
Aaron Merz was held out due to some shoulder trouble according to Dick Jauron though it doesn't sound serious.
"Aaron has a couple of shoulder issues," said Jauron. "We're thinking they're not major. We want him to be able to perform on Friday night, so we thought if took it a little bit easier with him early in the week coming off two days of rest and give him a little work Tuesday and on into Friday that it would serve him better."
Brad Butler and Josh Scobey were also spectators.
Brian Moorman is still away on personal business, but is expected back Tuesday.