By the end of the work week for the Bills, the offense was coming around. The backs were hitting holes more consistently and receivers were making more plays in the passing game. Bills head coach Dick Jauron felt the offense made strides.
"Our second week of OTAs was pretty good," Jauron said. "They were a little rusty coming off the four-day weekend, but they worked through that. We've made progress."
Quarterback Trent Edwards points to the new elements of the offense as the main reason for their inconsistent execution through the first two weeks.
"A lot of it comes from being coached differently and having these new plays being called, and new concepts," said Edwards. "There are a lot of things going on out here and we've put a lot in and I know Turk is putting a lot of emphasis on the players understanding the concepts and installing a lot of plays too."
Still in all, the offense turned in more plays Thursday than perhaps all week as red zone and no huddle were again a focus.
Josh Reed pulled in what would have likely been a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage in red zone work as he doubled back to the outside to elude his defender. Justin Jenkins also had a touchdown reception as he has outside leverage on Ashton Youboty and used it to his advantage. Steve Johnson also had a touchdown catch as he got good separation from Kennard Cox on a pass from Gibran Hamdan.
Perhaps the best looking pass of the day came from J.P. Losman, who dropped a ball in perfectly down the seam to Courtney Anderson just over the head of the safety in coverage.
On the defensive side of the ball Terrence McGee came up with his first interception of the offseason as he pulled in a deflected pass and returned it up the left sideline during 7-on-7.
During 11-on-11 team work, John McCargo effectively collapsed the pocket on one play and batted down a pass attempt by Edwards.
John Wendling had his best defensive day Thursday as he took advantage of some second team reps he was given in place of veteran Bryan Scott. Wendling had a pair of pass breakups in the end zone during team work. First he wrestled the ball from Derek Schouman's hands on what would have been a touchdown catch. Schouman had the ball in his hands, but Wendling kept him from completing the catch as it came loose before the falling Schouman hit the ground. A few plays later Wendling also had a pass breakup at the goal line.
In addition to Wendling moving up to a higher unit for snaps, fourth-round pick Reggie Corner got some first team nickel reps in place of Will James who did not do any team work Thursday. Corner was tested several times by Josh Reed as the savvy veteran gained separation a few times to make plays. Corner also got some first team reps at left corner as Terrence McGee was given a reduced workload.
John McCargo got work with the first unit and lined up alongside Marcus Stroud inside.
With Roscoe Parrish not in attendance and Lee Evans not participating in team work, 2007 practice squad receiver Felton Huggins was the beneficiary and made a few good receptions Thursday. Huggins (6'3" 185), who has been clocked as fast as 4.4 flat for a 40 time is still developing as he's only played receiver for five years, but there appears to be more polish to his game this year.
"They gave me a chance to come in last offseason and really learn the offense," said Huggins. "Now I feel like it's coming to me a little easier. I got a little experience in NFL Europe and coming here and learning the playbook from day one I feel like its coming a little better and it's helping me produce on the field."
With Angelo Crowell and Kawika Mitchell not in attendance rookie Alvin Bowen and veteran Keith Ellison lined up on either side of Paul Posluszny with the first unit.
Melvin Fowler, Spencer Johnson, Tim Massaquoi and Robert Royal did not participate Thursday. Massaquoi suffered an undisclosed injury in practice Wednesday as well as Mike Viti, but Jauron said neither of the injuries is considered serious.
Not in attendance
Not present Thursday were Angelo Crowell, Kawika Mitchell, Roscoe Parrish, Jason Peters, Aaron Schobel and Mike Viti.