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Practice Notes - Day 18

Mother nature had something to say about the length of practice for the Bills on Tuesday afternoon as lightning and a 20-minute downpour with strong winds blew across the St. John Fisher campus, and forced practice inside with players and fans running for cover.

"That was fun huh," said Dick Jauron after practice. "That (rainstorm) came fast.  We track it all the time so we knew that it was close, but as it got to the, what we call the danger point, we got off that field fast and then it came."

Players took the pads off once inside and finished the remainder of practice in walk through mode in the college's fieldhouse gym.

"It takes the whole physical aspect of the game out of it," said Paul Posluszny of having to take off the pads. "It's just something where you've got to go in there and concentrate mentally because everything's much slower."

"We got all of our work done," said Jauron. "Everything else, we missed a little bit of a special teams period, and what we call a pressure period."

Owens not in attendanceAfter practicing on a limited basis on Monday for the first time in a week, Terrell Owens was not at practice with his teammates on Tuesday.

"He ran on it last night in the individual and it was a little bit sore," said Jauron. "Then he stood out for a while and he was a little uncomfortable standing, so we just went back. We said we will just treat it and keep him off of his feet and see how it gets in the next couple of days."

Jauron would not call Owens' inability to practice setback.

"Last night it was protocol," said Jauron. "We were taking the next step just to get a feel for where it was.  We didn't anticipate that he would have a full practice. We were hoping that he could maybe do the same thing (Tuesday), but we didn't have any preconceived notions. It was just a test."

Red zone
Buffalo's offense was executing plays during 11-on-11 work in the red zone, but they did not reach the end zone all that often during the last outdoor segment of practice.

After the first team defense held the first team offense out of the end zone on six straight plays from inside the 15-yard line, the second team defense did the same prompting Donte Whitner to shout from the sideline.

"You're not getting a sniff of this end zone today!"

Buffalo ranked fourth in the league in red zone touchdown percentage allowed last season, but after a subpar showing the first preseason game this summer the defenders are again making it a major priority.

"The red zone for us is huge especially since in our first preseason game we didn't do as well as we wanted to in the red zone," said Posluszny. "But that was something that we were successful at last year during the season was stopping opponents in the red zone and we want to get back to that. If a ball gets down that close, we want to have it so the percentages are definitely in our favor and that we do everything that we can do keep them out."

It was not until one of the last plays of the segment when Gibran Hamdan hit Shaine Smith for a touchdown in the back of the end zone that the offense definitively scored.

HighlightsWith a rain shortened practice highlights were limited, but Ko Simpson got things started with a pass breakup during an early 11-on-11 segment.

Aaron Schobel had a quarterback pressure to force an incompletion.

Marcus Buggs had a pass breakup over the middle to knock away a throw intended for Jonathan Stupar.

Ellis Lankster had a pass defensed on a throw that had Shaine Smith targeted.

Chris Kelsay had a batted pass to thwart a potential touchdown pass from Edwards to Derek Schouman.

On offense Josh Reed had a touchdown reception on a quick slant from Edwards.

Dominic Rhodes got to the corner on an outside run play and was able to turn it up the field and reach the end zone for a score.

And Smith had a touchdown catch from Hamdan.

Lineup changesWith Bryan Scott returning to practice Tuesday coming off his sprained knee suffered in the Chicago preseason game, it led to some lineup juggling at safety.

Scott re-joined Donte Whitner with the first unit at strong and free safety respectively.

The second unit for most of practice consisted of George Wilson and Ko Simpson. John Wendling and Jairus Byrd ran with the third team defense.

Byrd however, did rotate in for some reps with the second unit in place of Simpson.

With Drayton Florence out the second team cornerbacks are now Ashton Youboty and Reggie Corner.

Ellis Lankster based on reps also appears to be the team's fifth corner with Florence on the shelf.

Not participating
Unable to practice Tuesday were Matt Baker, Justin Jenkins, Drayton Florence, Xavier Omon, Travis McCall, Pat Thomas, Ashlee Palmer, Corey Mace and Marcus Smith in addition to Owens.
Returning to practice along with Scott was Felton Huggins.

The Bills final practice at training camp is Wednesday morning and is scheduled for 9:30 am.

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