Through the first two weeks of spring practices one thing that has clearly stood out for Buffalo's defense is the talent level of their secondary. Viewed as a strength going into the offseason, the men in the defensive backfield have been quick to back that assertion up with active hands on pass defense, which continued during the voluntary minicamp over the weekend. Strong safety Bryan Scott attributes some of that success to the fact that the personnel on the back end is unchanged.
"It definitely helps," Scott told Buffalobills.com. "We don't even have to say anything. We actually had a play in practice Saturday where we made the completely wrong call, but Drayton (Florence) and I still knew exactly what to do and were ready to go and we kind of looked at each other and just said, 'Vet savvy.'"
By no means does Scott believe that he and his fellow defensive backs have Buffalo's new defensive scheme down at this point, but knowing how to work off of teammates that you've played with already goes a long way.
What's also helping to prepare them for Sunday game days in the fall is the very varied and multiple offense of head coach Chan Gailey. With numerous pre-snap shifts, motions and formations it forces Buffalo's defense to make a lot of pre-snap checks.
"We're getting so many different looks from the offense that come game time in the fall we should have every single check down pat and know it like the back of our hands because we've seen it already," said Scott. "So every day at practice it's great that the offense keeps throwing different wrinkles at us because that way when Sundays come it'll be a piece of cake."
Nelson a factor in passing gameWith no proven number two wide receiver on the roster, the Bills passing game could be looking to lean on their tight end a bit more than they have in seasons past. With the way Shawn Nelson has performed the past three days it should serve to convince the coaching staff that it's a route they can take this fall.
Nelson made four more receptions on Sunday as he has been a frequent target during both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.
He missed the second week of OTAs due to a personal conflict at home in Louisiana, but is back in the fold and performing.
"Everything is going pretty well," said Nelson. "I think I've gotten better at blocking and I've gotten stronger. I always feel like I'm a threat in the passing game. With the offense that we've got going in, coach Gailey is putting some real good plays in for us, not just for myself, but as a team. I just think we've developed a whole lot from where we were last year as a team."
Levy visitsBills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was on hand for practice Sunday. He conversed with several people during the course of practice, but spent a long time chatting with his former and Buffalo's current special teams coach Bruce DeHaven.
Levy also chatted with head coach Chan Gailey after practice. Gailey said he was glad to have him at practice and extended an open invitation to Levy any time he wanted to take in practice in the future.
Observation notesWith Ed Wang out with his left leg injury offensive tackle Nick Hennessey has shifted from right to left tackle with the second unit to fill the void. Seventh-round pick Kyle Calloway is filling Hennessey's spot at right tackle.
An update on the severity of Wang's injury is expected on Wednesday. That's when Gailey is next scheduled to speak with the media.
Leodis McKelvin is getting closer to returning to full practice participation after straining a hamstring earlier this week. He was doing individual drills in practice Sunday.
With Lonnie Harvey still out with what Gailey called a minor injury, the rotation at third team nose tackle continues. On Saturday in the morning practice Alex Carrington took reps at the nose. In Saturday's afternoon practice it was Dwan Edwards. On Sunday it was Rashaad Duncan.
Also not participating were Terrence McGee, Lydell Sargeant, David Nelson, Nic Harris, Eric Wood, Demetrius Bell and Joe Klopfenstein.
Torbor updateBuffalo's newest linebacker Reggie Torbor did not practice on Sunday. Having only agreed to terms, Torbor has not yet signed his contract and therefore cannot practice. He's expected in town Monday to sign his contract so he can practice with the team on Tuesday when the third week of OTAs begins.
HighlightsDefensive highlights got started early during the run game portion of practice. Off a play fake a pass that went off the hands of tight end Michael Matthews was intercepted by undrafted rookie Stephan Virgil.
Donte Whitner followed a short time later in 7-on-7 with an interception on a pass thrown over the middle.
The defense also had a team sack on the first play of 11-on-11 work.
Aaron Maybin got his hands on a pass to the flat as he showed his range in coverage to force an incompletion.
Reggie Corner broke up a pass that was intended for Chad Jackson in 11-on-11 on the far side of the field.
Ashton Youboty almost had an interception on a pass over the middle, but had to settle for a pass breakup.
Marcus Stroud got great penetration to flush Trent Edwards out of the pocket and ultimately forced him to throw the ball away out of bounds.
Offensively, in 7-on-7 Roscoe Parrish hooked up with Ryan Fitzpatrick on a well-timed crossing route for a 15-yard pickup.
Shawn Nelson turned in a nice looking pass play on a throw from Edwards as he go up field for a first down and more.
Donald Jones made a catch in full stride on a crossing route from Ryan Fitzpatrick in 7-on-7.
Naaman Roosevelt was fully extended as he made a difficult catch on the far side of the field on a pass from Edwards.
Trent Edwards did a good job of beating the blitz getting the ball out quick to Shawn Nelson, who had room to run after the catch.
Marcus Easley showed good concentration pulling in an Edwards' pass that was tipped at the line by Chris Ellis.
Felton Huggins turned in a pair of quality receptions. One came on a deep out route along the near sideline despite good coverage. The other was a high-reaching grab over the middle as he slipped behind the linebackers and underneath the safeties.
ScheduleThe Bills are off on Monday, but resume voluntary OTA workouts on Tuesday with a practice scheduled for 12:05 pm.