Buffalo's mandatory minicamp began with a pair of sessions scheduled for Wednesday and the morning practice saw the offense struggle at times when it came to team work. After a brief red zone segment where several passes were turned away by the defense, the 11-on-11 segment had some spotty execution. So much so that offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins pulled the entire offense in for a huddle.
"Coach Modkins did that," said head coach Chan Gailey. "He talked about execution. They hadn't done a good job of that up until that point and after that it got a little better."
Shortly thereafter Trent Edwards made four straight completions including a shot deep over the middle to a wide open Jonathan Stupar for a 20-25 yard pickup. As involved as Modkins is with the orchestration of the offense in the practice setting, Gailey interacts with the quarterbacks a lot between series and sometimes even between plays.
"He's a very interactive coach," said Edwards. "He's one of those guys that will call the play and step back and want to talk to the quarterbacks about it. So you'll see the play going on in front of you and if you're not in there you can stand next to Chan and he'll tell you what he's thinking on a play. He's talking about reads and where we're going with the football, what matchup we like, quarterback talk."
QB UpdateIn the morning session Trent Edwards was the first signal caller through in the rotation as he took reps first during 7-on-7 red zone and during 11-on-11. He was followed in the rotation by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm. Rookie Levi Brown did not take any snaps in the morning in the team segments.
In the afternoon Ryan Fitzpatrick was the first quarterback in the rotation followed by Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. However, at the end of practice during a two minute drill Edwards went first and was followed by Fitzpatrick who finished the workout. Brown got a few reps in the afternoon.
In the two minute drill Edwards led a long 13-play drive, that started at the offense's own 35-yard line, but on fourth down his pass to Roscoe Parrish carried him out of the back of the end zone to go incomplete. Fitzpatrick's drive went only eight plays after a big 20-yard pickup down the middle on a pass to Jonathan Stupar. A pair of receptions by Felton Huggins helped to set up Fitzpatrick's touchdown pass to the front right corner of the end zone where Chad Jackson made a difficult catch for the score.
ObservationsAndra Davis and Paul Posluszny have been some of the primary play callers on defense through the course of the spring, but another veteran has recently taken on those duties as well. Kawika Mitchell was calling plays in the defensive huddle when he was on the field in the morning practice.
Mitchell did that last season for one game when Paul Posluszny had yet to return from injury and he was playing middle linebacker against the Browns, but then Mitchell was injured and missed the rest of the season. Prior to that the last time he called plays in the huddle was his last season in Kansas City in 2006.
Coach Gailey made it clear he wants his veteran linebackers handling the play calling duties.
"Those guys have been in the fire so to speak, so you would like for those guys to be able to handle it as much as possible," said Gailey. "Those veteran guys will end up getting the majority of that kind of responsibility on our football team. That's what you want. You want your veterans to be able to do that. And in this day in age you never know when injuries are going to hit. You're trying to make sure that we have as many people that can handle that duty as possible."
In another related note about linebacker, recent signee Reggie Torbor continues to work at outside linebacker, and has recently been seeing some reps with the first unit. Torbor is being rotated in with Aaron Maybin, but Torbor isn't reading anything into his reps with the starters.
"It's early," said Torbor. "But it's good to get back in and move around a little bit. The more you get to play with not only in the defense, but with the guys and learn how everyone plays the better it is. It's early and we'll see how it goes."
Not participating Monday due to rehab situations included Demetrius Bell, Keith Ellison, Nic Harris, Joe Klopfenstein and Ed Wang. Limited were Jairus Byrd, Terrence McGee, Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Stroud.
McGee participated in the team segments in the afternoon. Meanwhile Mitchell and Stroud had the afternoon off along with Wood.
Corey McIntyre left the afternoon practice early due to illness.
For the first time this spring Jamon Meredith got some reps at right tackle with the second unit. Since the rookie minicamp in early May, Meredith had been exclusively at left tackle.
Wood does a bit moreEric Wood's progress continues to move along incrementally in the practice setting. After taking just a couple of team reps on Tuesday the right guard got a handful on Wednesday morning. Gailey is very pleased to see Wood on the field ahead of the schedule he got from the team's athletic training staff, but it appears clear that the pace for Wood will be slow and steady.
"One of the first things I did was talk to (head athletic trainer) Bud (Carpenter) about what the prognosis was and he said we'd be lucky if we got him back in training camp and probably not the first (day) of training camp. To me either he's a quick healer or they've done a great job or some of both, but it's amazing to have him out here this early."
Wood did not participate in the afternoon practice session.
HighlightsHighlights from the morning session leaned to the defensive side of the ball. Drayton Florence got things started breaking up a pass intended for Felton Huggins during red zone work.
Ashton Youboty had a pair of PBUs, the first coming on a throw for Jonathan Stupar with the other coming in the end zone when Marcus Easley was targeted.
Chris Kelsay knocked away a pass intended for Stupar in the back corner of the end zone, which drew praise from Kelsay's defensive teammates.
In 11-on-11 Reggie Corner turned in a couple of nice plays defending a pass for Lee Evans to force an incompletion. He also ripped a pass right out of the hands of rookie David Nelson, who appeared to make a catch over the middle before he was stripped.
Offensively, Naaman Roosevelt pulled in a couple of touchdown passes during red zone work with the better of the two coming in the back of the end zone where he toed the line to get both feet in for the score.
Donald Jones made a good looking outstretched reception on a quick hitter from Brian Brohm during 11-on-11.
And Jonathan Stupar hooked up with Trent Edwards for a 25-yard pass play when he was wide open over the middle.
In the afternoon Felton Huggins made perhaps the play of the spring with this diving catch in 7-on-7 on a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Lee Evans reached high for this pass along the far sideline from Brian Brohm for a first down.
During 11-on-11 red zone work Steve Johnson pulled in a touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick.
Jonathan Stupar had a 20-yard reception down the middle of the field as he found an opening down the seam.
And Chad Jackson wrapped up the afternoon session with a touchdown catch in the front right corner of the end zone from Fitzpatrick to cap a two minute drill.
On the defensive side Drayton Florence broke up this pass intended for Roscoe Parrish in 7-on-7.
George Wilson had a pair of pass breakups including one over the middle on a throw intended for David Nelson.
Chris Kelsay had a batted pass at the line of scrimmage to force an incompletion and Lonnie Harvey also got his hands up to bat down a pass a few plays later in 11-on-11.
ScheduleThe Bills have another pair of practices Thursday with the first set for 10:55 am.