OTA Notes: Red zone emphasis

After a down day, the offense came back and made a few more plays than they did Tuesday, but as is customary this time of year the defense continued to carry the better of the play in Wednesday's team workout.

Red zone was a focus for the offense and defense during the majority of team work. Unfortunately during the first series rookie fullback Mike Viti went down with what appeared to be a lower left leg injury. He left the field early and did not return. Viti had just made a reception in the left flat and his leg was inadvertently rolled up on by a pursuing defender as he fell over the sideline. Not long after tight end Tim Massaquoi left practice early with an undisclosed injury as well.

Offensive notes
With Roscoe Parrish back after missing Tuesday's practice, he and Josh Reed got the majority of first team reps at wideout. James Hardy was mixed in behind them at times.

As for highlights Fred Jackson had a good looking run around the left corner as the offensive line did a nice job sealing the edge as he went in for a touchdown. Fullback Jonathan Evans also had a touchdown reception as Trent Edwards hit him coming out of the backfield in a goal-to-go situation.

Steve Johnson pulled in a touchdown reception from Gibran Hamdan during red zone work on a post pattern in the back of the end zone. Teyo Johnson had a nice catch and turn upfield in the flat from Matt Baker.

During two-minute drill work Reed set the offense up first-and-goal with the offensive play of the day. Reed made a difficult catch deep down the right sideline as Edwards put the perfect touch on the throw dropping it over Terrence McGee, who had good coverage on the play. Reed jumped just a hair higher than McGee to pull the ball in for a 30-yard gain.

Unfortunately the offense was unsuccessful punching the ball into the end zone on four straight attempts. Derek Schouman made a catch in the right flat for a short gain on first and goal. On second and goal Edwards rolled out but had to throw it away. On third and goal his pass was incomplete, and the result was the same on fourth and goal.

That being said the offense is throwing a lot of different variations out on the field in terms of formation and pre-snap shifts and motions. Edwards believes if they can execute properly it will serve to make Buffalo's offense more unpredictable.

"It just depends on the play and depends on the package and depends on the style of offense we want to run and we're working on that right now," said Edwards. "There's no telling whether or not we'll do that this year or not. But the fact that we have the ability to do that and we know where we're going with those formations and shifts it's going to provide a lot of different looks for the defense."

J.P. Losman was back practicing Tuesday and was mixed in with Gibran Hamdan during team work behind Trent Edwards. Jason Peters and Lee Evans were not in attendance. Melvin Fowler and Robert Royal did not participate.

Demetrius Bell appeared to get a few more reps than he had been getting in previous practices. Facing Copeland Bryan a good portion of the Bell held his own.

Defensive notes
On Tuesday it was Jabari Greer that shined. Wednesday it was rookie free agent linebacker Jon Banks. Playing mostly middle linebacker in the OTA setting Banks (6'1 ½", 233) got his day off to a good start with a pass breakup during red zone work on a throw over the middle by Hamdan.

A few plays later Banks picked off a pass in the end zone off Matt Baker. Later in the practice Banks pulled in a second interception on a deflection. Reggie Corner deflected the pass away from the intended receiver, and Banks caught the loose ball returning it in the other direction.

But the defensive play of the day goes to Paul Posluszny. During 11-on-11 red zone work, Posluszny after settling into his drop, timed his jump perfectly at the goal line, and snared an Edwards pass intended for James Hardy in the back of the end zone with one hand for the interception. It was an acrobatic play.

Not long after John McCargo flashed as he got great penetration and blew up an outside run play. The back was forced to turn the run play back inside where there was nowhere to run.

With Angelo Crowell not in attendance due to his upcoming nuptials this weekend, Keith Ellison stepped in with the starting unit. Stepping up to fill his role with the second unit was rookie Marcus Buggs.

Leodis McKelvin again got some first team reps as he gave McGee a lighter workload. Will James also got some first team work on the outside. Corey Mace got a heavy dose of first team reps all day as he worked alongside Marcus Stroud with the first unit at defensive tackle. He later played left defensive end. Mace played both of those positions in college.

McCargo and Kyle Williams were paired up with the second unit. Reggie Corner continues to get a lot of work in the slot and appears to be running second string behind James for that role.

"I played nickel and the dime package in college so it's not anything I'm not used to," said Corner. "I'm working on it and I'm learning more since the first day we put it in and I feel like I'm doing pretty well."

For a second straight day defensive lineman Spencer Johnson did not participate. Aaron Schobel was not in attendance.

The Bills are back on the field Thursday morning at 10:30.

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