Bills head coach Chan Gailey said on day one of OTAs that the quarterback rotation and reps were all mapped out between now and the end of June for all of the practices scheduled this spring. On day two of OTAs the rotation plans had a change as Ryan Fitzpatrick was the first quarterback through in the rotation.
Fitzpatrick got more than half the reps during 7-on-7. He was followed in the rotation by Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm and rookie Levi Brown. During 11-on-11 work Fitzpatrick was again the first man through, but he was followed by Brohm then Edwards and Brown.
The signal caller that finished the 2009 season as Buffalo's starter, however,is not putting a lot of stock in rep counts and who is first in the rotation.
"They have a system down where they're going to worry about that and try to see everybody evenly and evaluate from there," Fitzpatrick said. "It's all about coming out here and working. They still have to form their opinions of us too because what Chan has seen on film, he really hasn't seen in person, how we work in the film room, how we work on the field. There's still a lot to be worked on and working with him will be great."
With the benefit of more reps in Wednesday's practice Fitzpatrick also made a few more plays in the passing game during both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 than the other quarterbacks.
Defensive subpackages and spread sets beginThe players have commented that scheme installs are demanding with a high volume of plays going in quickly. On day two coordinators were already implementing nickel packages on defense and three wide looks on offense.
Not surprisingly, Roscoe Parrish was the primary slot receiver. With Josh Reed no longer in front of him on the depth chart there's a very big opportunity sitting in front of him. Parrish however, is focused on developing offensive chemistry as a team.
"It's all about progression and everything is going good," Parrish told Buffalobills.com. "New style, new attitude. Everybody has to get on the same page and get it rolling. There's still a lot to learn. We just don't want to make the same mistakes the next day."
Working in the first team nickel corner role was veteran Drayton Florence. Florence had a strong close to the 2009 season after stepping in for the injured Leodis McKelvin at right cornerback. His physical style of play could be a good fit inside.
Much like last season Paul Posluszny is lining up as the nickel linebacker.
Observation notesTight end Michael Matthews has been getting a lot of time as a second tight end opposite starter Shawn Nelson. Matthews has a solid history as a blocking tight end and was previously coached by Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech. With a good working knowledge of Gailey's run game principles Matthews has a head start on some of the other tight ends on the roster.
The defensive backs were effective in minimizing separation by the receivers during the team portion of practice. Receivers won some battles here and there, but coverage on the whole was relatively tight. That coverage could prove valuable during the season and possibly afford defensive coordinator George Edwards the opportunity to be more aggressive with his pass rush.
James Hardy looks to be getting a feel for how to use his 6'6" frame to shield defenders from the ball. He did just that on a reception underneath in 7-on-7 as he boxed Terrence McGee out preventing him from making a play on the pass.
Unfortunately on another underneath reception when he turned to go up field Reggie Corner punched the ball out to force a fumble. Even though the offense recovered, Gailey made sure to reiterate the importance of ball security.
"Put the ball away. Put the ball away," said Gailey sternly. "Good job defense."
Gailey also later praised rookie receiver Donald Jones for a well run route on the back side of a play where the ball did not even go to him. Suffice to say the Bills head coach doesn't miss much of anything.
HighlightsThe defense had the better of the play early. Terrence McGee had a pass break up on the first play of one-on-ones between receivers and cornerbacks on a pass intended for Lee Evans.
Leodis McKelvin also had a PBU on a pass thrown to Steve Johnson.
Ashton Youboty and Lydell Sargeant both pulled in interceptions during the one-on-one drills.
Among the receivers who made nice plays during this segment were Roscoe Parrish who ran a solid out route along the sideline. Marcus Easley got behind his defender for a long reception
During 7-on-7 work McGee and McKelvin again turned in pass breakups as McKelvin saw reps with the first unit. On day one Florence saw first team reps at right cornerback.
In the passing game Steve Johnson went up high to pull in a catch near the numbers in traffic, which would've gone for first down yardage.
Chad Jackson leaped high as well to pull down another pass to the far sideline.
The prettiest pass play of the day was turned in by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Shawn Nelson as they hooked up for a well executed pass down the seam for a 30-yard gain. Fitzpatrick split double coverage to hit Nelson in stride on the play.
Lee Evans also got in on the big play act getting behind his defender to haul in a 50-yard bomb from Brian Brohm.
In 11-on-11 the defensive front had what would've been considered a couple of sacks under live conditions as the secondary had quality coverage on the back end.
C.J. Spiller did a nice job coming back to the ball on a broken pass play and gave Brohm a target as he rolled away from pressure to the sideline. Spiller made a diving catch near the goal line for the reception.
And Felton Huggins pulled in a pass for first down yardage and more along the far sideline from Levi Brown.
Our coverage of Bills OTAs continues on Thursday when the team has a 12:05 pm practice. It's their last workout of the week before they take off for the holiday weekend.