There were a few extracurricular activities at Buffalo Bills practice Wednesday afternoon as the grind of two and a half weeks of training camp began to set in. Scuffles between DE Chris Kelsay, OL Eric Wood, RB Dominic Rhodes, and DT John McCargo broke out toward the end of practice, causing much excitement amongst the fans and the players on the field.
Wood followed through completely with his block at the end of a run play on Chris Kelsay. Kelsay did not seem pleased with that, and the two locked on to each other. Rhodes then jumped in, began to tussle with Kelsay, and they both went to the ground. At that time, Wood and McCargo squared off and began swinging at each other.
"It's just like brothers; we're all brothers," Rhodes said, playing down the altercations. "Every once in a while you get into it with your brother. It's good. It's good for team morale and we get closer that way. At least we know that we've got some scrappers out there, I guess. It's nothing big. We're over it now. We hugged and made up."
Head coach Dick Jauron wasn't pleased by the display. His concern is preventing such things from happening against an opponent in a game and costing the Bills a penalty.
"When those things occur, we don't like it," Jauron said. "But it got under control, and that was it. I don't think it shows much of anything, except the lack of discipline, so you know these guys are very competitive. They're more competitive than most people and sometimes it gets the better of them, but you know if it happens on game day it really costs them and that's what we try to preach to them.
"They know the difference between practice and game day, too, so sometimes it happens and you try to break it up as fast as you can, but only they can really stop it. Certainly coaches aren't going to get into the middle of that but players are very good about it. If you get lucky, nobody gets hurt but it doesn't make a lot of sense but it is human nature."
Marshawn the Motivator?From the sidelines, it was easy to hear RB Marshawn Lynch trash-talking with his teammates during red-zone drills Wednesday.
He began to verbally challenge DTs Kyle Williams and Marcus Stroud, even telling defensive line coach Bob Sanders to pull them out because he felt they couldn't handle the offense's run game.
The next play, both Williams and Stroud put pressure on QB Trent Edwards, forcing an incompletion. And Stroud and Williams had some words to offer Lynch after the play.
Lynch was also chatting up Leodis McKelvin at the end of a pass play when Josh Reed got the best of him.
After about an hour of hearing Lynch chirping at them, the defense was short on patience and that's when the fight ensued.
"Yeah, it is just football," said John McCargo. "We just try to encourage each other to work hard. We did get tired of it (the talking from the offense) at the end there, but like I said, it is just part of football. We are all guys, we are all talkers and we all say stuff while we are out here competing."
The chatter on the field, primarily by Lynch, seemed to offer a change up to a normally more business-like team. It got the best out of some players in some cases, and that only figures to make the offensive and defensive units better.
Alvin Bowen made the hit of the day when he stopped Corey McIntyre for a loss after a handoff from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
George Wilson made a nice interception of a Fitzpatrick pass intended for tight end Shawn Nelson. Fitzpatrick did go back to Nelson later however, completing a 20-yard pass over the middle to the rookie.
Trent Edwards touch passes were on the money Wednesday. During red zone work he dropped a pass over Josh Reed's head along the far sideline for a big gain. Edwards hit Reed for a touchdown on the next play and then on his next series dropped a 25-yard pass over Lee Evans shoulder for a score.
Derek Schouman turned a reception along the near sideline back inside and got to the end zone for a TD.
Derek Fine also had a scoring play during red zone work on a throw from Gibran Hamdan.
Dominic Rhodes got a big hole from his offensive line to take a carry in for a rushing touchdown.
Defensively, Lydell Sargeant and Leodis McKelvin both had pass breakups during 7-on-7 work.
Kyle Williams and Marcus Stroud teamed up on a tackle for loss in red zone work as they got to Fred Jackson behind the line of scrimmage. Williams and Stroud also teamed up for a quarterback pressure on Edwards that forced an incompletion.
Terrence McGee had a pass breakup in the back of the end zone on a throw intended for Lee Evans.
Marcus Smith had a sack as he corralled Ryan Fitzpatrick when he tried to scramble.
And Bryan Scott was the beneficiary of some good pressure on Edwards as he pulled in an underthrown ball for an interception.
"Garbage Can Drill"
QB coach Alex Van Pelt led a drill in which two garbage cans are bolted bottom to bottom with one stacked on top of the other and placed in the corner of the end zone. QBs start at the 5-yard line and throw, and then drop back to the 10 and 15, in an attempt to throw the ball into the top garbage can.
They practice quick release, only stepping back twice before throwing. Trying to get the ball into the can tests accuracy and the arc their throws so that it will drop into the can.
It's designed to somewhat replicate a fade pass, which must be dropped behind the defender in an area where only the intended receiver can make a play on it.
Trent Edwards dropped four of his attempts into the can. Gibran Hamdan had one successful throw into the can, as did Fitzpatrick.
Line-up changesThe battle for back up middle linebacker continues as Marcus Buggs played with the second unit Wednesday. He and Pat Thomas have been flip-flopping between the second and third spots throughout camp.
Nelson occasionally practiced in the first team drills during 11-on-11 red zone work. It's not the first time the offensive staff has inserted him into the lineup in that area of the field with the starters.
With Terrell Owens absent, due to a sprained toe, WR Josh Reed was moved into his position on the outside, and WR Roscoe Parrish moved into Reed's spot in the slot during first team drills.
Bowen practiced with the second team at weak side linebacker, due to Ashlee Palmer's absence.
Injury UpdateAlong with Owens and Palmer, DE Copeland Bryan, RB Xavier Omon, CB Ashton Youboty, WR Felton Huggins, and WR Steven Johnson did not practice Wednesday.
There are only six healthy receivers as the roster stands currently. Regardless, Jauron said that had no effect on the plays that the team ran Wednesday.
Rhodes was limited, due to his sore knee.
"It's still bothering me a little bit, but it's nothing. I'm going to work through whatever I've got to work through," Rhodes said. "It was kind of bothering me a little bit earlier in the summer and it's just something I know I have to work through and it'll go away again and I'll be back jumping around like I was earlier in training camp. "
The Bills have a night practice Thursday at 7:10 p.m.