The voluntary portion of Buffalo's spring workouts came to a close Monday with the final OTA practice for the Bills. And the defensive staff made a point of shifting the lineups around a bit.
Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny did not participate in any team work as it appeared the staff wanted to take a closer look at their second team linebacking corps. So rookie Nic Harris and Ashlee Palmer along with Marcus Buggs worked with the first team defense and fared relatively well.
Harris came clean on a blitz call and would have had a knockout shot on the quarterback in a live football setting. Palmer meanwhile made a high leaping interception during red zone work. But Harris wasn't reading a whole lot into getting reps with the first teamers.
"It's not that significant at all honestly," said Harris. "It's a long way from the season. Right now that aspect of coming in and working with the ones is so minute in comparison to the bigger scheme of things. Ultimately, I want to make sure I learn everything I need to know and make the plays I should make."
In an effort to stay busy during some of the team work Mitchell and Posluszny at one point were doing straight leg sit-ups with a giant medicine ball over their heads and throwing it back and forth to one another.
Keith Ellison meanwhile got some reps at middle linebacker with the second unit as well as the third.
Schobel back, T.O. absentAfter missing the past two weeks of voluntary OTAs, Aaron Schobel was back on the practice field. Ryan Denney, however, took most of the first team reps at right defensive end during team work through the course of the workout Monday.
Terrell Owens was not on hand for the final voluntary OTA practice. All told the veteran wideout made it to 10 of the 12 voluntary spring sessions.
McGee and Youboty do team work
Terrence McGee and Ashton Youboty continued their road back to full strength coming off injury as both lined up for team work Monday. Youboty was expected to increase his rep count in the final OTA, but McGee was more of a question mark.
McGee worked at his familiar left cornerback role and looked no worse for the wear coming off a bruised shoulder.
Youboty meanwhile saw time with the second unit defense at left cornerback and also got some work in the slot in the nickel package.
"Ashton who really has been out is just getting back in sparingly. He had 10 reps the first day and then 15 and 20, and today was really his first day of extensive team work," said defensive backs coach George Catavolos. "He didn't do bad, but it's just getting back into the swing of things."
Leodis McKelvin participated in individual drills, but is still not ready to take reps in team work due to his finger ailment.
Trent Edwards effectively beat the blitz with a sharp throw over the middle to Derek Fine.
Justin Jenkins made an athletic grab as he got both feet down before going out of bounds on a 20-yard pass play along the sideline despite tight coverage.
Fred Jackson made an acrobatic reception reaching behind his body to pull a pass in as he went over the middle.
Marshawn Lynch had a good run after catch as he accelerated past a couple of defenders after making a catch out of the backfield.
Josh Reed had a catch and run into the end zone during 11-on-11 red zone work. Reed had six catches on the day.
And Xavier Omon found the end zone on a run off right tackle in red zone work as well.
Defensively, Reggie Corner had a pass breakup on a throw intended for Reed.
Spencer Johnson had a batted pass to force an incompletion and almost had an interception as he tipped a pass on a coverage drop.
Drayton Florence had a pass breakup on a pass for Justin Jenkins. Florence had one of his stronger coverage days Monday during the OTA period.
Chris Kelsay blew up a run play coming off the left side which would have resulted in a tackle for loss under live conditions.
And rookie linebacker Ashlee Palmer had a leaping interception during red zone work.
Notable rolesDrayton Florence got first team reps at right cornerback with Leodis McKelvin still dealing with his finger ailment.
Aaron Maybin saw some first team reps at left defensive end in practice during the team setting.
Alvin Bowen and Keith Ellison were the linebackers in the second nickel package, while rookie Nic Harris and Marcus Buggs worked as the first pairing. Again Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny had the day off.
Andy Levitre and Eric Wood continue to rotate in and out for first and second team reps on offense with veterans Kirk Chambers and Seth McKinney.
Rookies Cary Harris and Lydell Sargeant worked as third team cornerbacks.
In and out
In addition to Owens, Shawn Nelson, Roscoe Parrish and C.J. Hawthorne were not in attendance for the final voluntary workout.
Not participating were John DiGiorgio, James Hardy and Pat Thomas.
Leodis McKelvin was limited and receiver P.K. Sam for the first time in OTAs was participating on a limited basis.