He met with famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday in the hopes of being granted final medical clearance to practice coming off of offseason Achilles surgery. Merriman got the news he was hoping for as he participated fully on the second day of Bills OTAs.
"I felt pretty good," said Merriman following Thursday's practice. "It was the first day of practice for me anyway in a long time. I had a lot of time off and got a chance to go back out there and put on a helmet again."
Merriman participated in individual position work with the rest of the defensive linemen as well as team work at right defensive end, mainly with the second defensive unit.
"We don't have on pads and stuff right now so you can't really go out and do everything you want to, but it's still good to get all the football motions down and a little contact and change of directions and things you do in a game," he said. "I'm happy where I'm at right now."
For the veteran pass rusher it's the first time in a long time that he's felt like he's had two good legs underneath him.
"When you're walking around the mornings are tough and you get so much inflammation and swelling back there and you can't push off," said Merriman of his Achilles. "That's how I've been playing for the last two and a half years where I couldn't push off and couldn't go out there… I couldn't compete. I was going out there and giving everything I had at the time, but to go out there and be able to do everything now and get that push off and get that explosion that made me the player I am in this league, it feels great."
Young adjusting to new schemeQuarterback Vince Young is steadily adjusting to Chan Gailey's offensive scheme after playing last season in Philadelphia.
"We've got some long plays," said Young of the terminology. "We're doing some things out there to showcase a lot of the talent that we have from the backfield to the tight end to the receiver. It's definitely long, but coach does a great job to make sure we get the scripts and go over them, over and over. One thing that's been helping me out is a lot of film work, seeing the play and then calling the play. And then seeing it on film has been helping me out learning plays pretty fast."
Young was also helped Thursday by the opportunity to work with the second offensive unit with Tyler Thigpen a spectator due to an undisclosed ailment.
"It just takes some time but overall I'm staying in the book and trying to stay ready making sure when my number is called out there on the practice field I know where guys are at, know where to get them and know where the ball needs to be," he said.
Brooks an under the radar talentBills fourth-round pick Ron Brooks looked sharp on Day 1 of OTAs Tuesday displaying some of the quickest feet and most sudden burst in individual position drills. However, the modest cornerback isn't taking anything for granted. On Thursday he was just trying to build on what he did in the previous practice.
Brooks told Buffalobills.com he's been getting a good amount of time on the field in the team work portions of practice and for him it's very helpful in picking up the scheme.
"That's the way I learn," he said. "I'm better going out there and doing it and getting reps at it. Whatever the coaches feel like they want to do with me and how they feel they need to play me I'll do it. I'll work every day like I did (Thursday) and keep competing."
The LSU product feels he belongs on this level physically. He's just trying to adjust to the speed of scheme installation at the NFL level.
"Coming from college, you probably have about a week to learn each coverage," he said. "They slow things down at the college level, but here they put two or three different coverages and it's your job to come out here and learn it and that's what I'm trying to do, learn it and compete."
HighlightsFor highlights from Thursday's practice go to the Media Center at Buffalobills.com.
Roster moveBuffalo swapped one undrafted rookie for another Thursday signing CB and releasing LB Garrick Williams.
Green was in attendance and practiced with the team Thursday.
ScheduleThe Bills wrap up Week 1 of OTAs on Friday with an afternoon practice beginning at 12:35 pm.