An early scrap in practice got day two of camp off to an intense start for the Bills. During a portion of practice called 'Run Fits' where the offense executes their run plays and the defense tries to fit up the run as a unit the pads were popping early.
At the tail end of a run play Fred Jackson got knocked off his feet after he had entered the secondary by Aaron Maybin, who had come from the other side of the field and put a lick on him.
That didn't sit well with center Geoff Hangartner, who came across the field himself grabbed Maybin and took him to the ground. From there a wrestling match took place, which required about 10 players and coaches to break things up.
"He hit our 1,000-yard rusher in the back when he's not looking and it's going to kind of cause some hard feelings with the O-line," Hangartner said. "That's kind of the way things go. We've got to protect our guy."
When asked if he was surprised that his hit led to the altercation, Maybin indicated he wasn't.
"No, never with this team," he said. "It's never a dull moment with these guys. You already knew something was going to happen today it was just a question of when."
Following that play Maybin was pulled out of the lineup for a handful of plays. Meanwhile the intensity continued to ratchet up as there was a lot of jawing back and forth between the offense and defense.
"Everybody got all fired up. It made practice a little more fun," said Hangartner. "Stuff like that happens, no hard feelings, none of it carries over it just kind of happens. It'll happen again before the camp is over with. It may not be me and him, but it'll be somebody else and it will happen again."
QB updateAs expected after Trent Edwards got his snaps with the first unit, Brian Brohm was the next quarterback under center as he and Ryan Fitzpatrick rotate between the second and third units. Fitzpatrick worked with the second unit on Thursday.
Levi Brown was mixed in for a few more reps Friday morning. Brown has displayed solid arm strength with his passes through the early stages of camp. His arm is at worst the second strongest in camp.
Extra work for two rookiesA pair of rookies that play in the trenches are getting more work early on in the training camp setting. Third-round pick Alex Carrington and fifth-round pick Ed Wang are getting extended reps during the team portions of practice.
Carrington is not only getting snaps with the second team defense at right defensive end, he's also getting reps with the third unit at left defensive end. It's clear that the defensive staff wants to bring him along as quickly as possible to make him a contributor sooner rather than later.
Wang is in a similar situation as he's playing left tackle with the second offensive line unit as well as the third. The Virginia Tech product missed some practice time in the spring workouts due to an ankle injury, so the extra reps should provide him with the added exposure to Chan Gailey's scheme.
Other rookies getting opportunityA handful of other rookies are also making their presence felt early in camp. On the offensive line joining Wang on the second unit at left guard is undrafted rookie Cordaro Howard. Howard, a Georgia Tech product was coached by both Chan Gailey and offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris early in his college career, so he's familiar with the techniques being implemented. Another undrafted rookie, Sean Allen is currently manning the pivot with the second unit.
Morning highlightsDuring run fits, the offense tried to execute a play fake, but Andra Davis wasn't buying it, as he dropped into coverage and made an interception on a pass intended for Roscoe Parrish.
Also on defense rookie sixth-round pick Arthur Moats stripped Shawn Nelson of the ball after he made a catch coming across the field, with Ellis Lankster scooping up the fumble and heading the other way.
Marcus Easley had the catch of the morning as he split the safeties down the middle of the field and made a difficult one-handed catch in stride on a throw from Trent Edwards.
Leodis McKelvin had a pass breakup along the far sideline that was intended for Lee Evans.
Ashton Youboty reached back behind him to break up a pass play along the far sideline near the end zone that had Marcus Easley targeted.
Non-participantsThe only new non-participant in the morning practice was DE Marcus Stroud, who joined Keith Ellison, Chris Kelsay and Paul Posluszny. Terrence McGee appeared limited as he did little to no work in the team periods, with Leodis McKelvin spelling him at left cornerback.
Kawika Mitchell continues to spell Posluszny at inside linebacker, while Chris Ellis stepped in for Kelsay and Spencer Johnson started at left defensive end in place of Stroud.
NIGHT PRACTICE NOTES
The team's newest linebacker, Donovan Woods, was dressed for the team's night practice Friday after signing earlier in the day. He ran with the third team defense at inside linebacker and though he did not get a lot of reps he made the most of one particular play in 7-on-7 work.
Woods was able to snare a deflected pass out of the air for an interception.
"I understand just coming in guys have been here working. I'm just looking forward to getting in where I fit in and try to make an impact," Woods said. "It's good to get noticed in a good way."
Pass rush progressThe offense carried most of the play in the morning practice Friday, but there was an element of Buffalo's defense that took a noticeable step up in effectiveness in the night practice and that was the unit's pass rush.
During 11-on-11 team work, the defensive ends were getting a consistent burst off the ball and putting pressure on all four quarterbacks. Most impressive was Aaron Maybin, who was effectively dipping his inside shoulder to slip underneath the offensive tackles he faced through the course of practice.
Maybin had a 'would be' sack on Edwards, got another pressure leaving the opposing tackle on his seat to force an incompletion. Also tallying a pair of quarterback pressures was rookie Antonio Coleman, who has an impressive first step. Coleman got into the backfield on back-to-back plays to disrupt the timing of the offense's passing game.
Alex Carrington had a pressure as he got around the opposing tackle effectively and Chris Ellis had a pressure as well. Head coach Chan Gailey felt the unit's pass rush took a step up.
"I thought our guys rushed the passer pretty well," Gailey said. "They got off on the ball better tonight than they have before. I thought there was some quickness. I have to watch the tape, I hate to single out people but I thought there were some good things."
Passing game makes playsBuffalo's passing game to its credit has looked good in terms of keeping the ball off the ground. Despite some of the aforementioned pressure, there were several good receptions made in tight coverage and a lot of good decisions by the quarterbacks in where to go with the ball.
Trent Edwards was particularly sharp in 7-on-7 work right from the start completing seven of his first eight passes with four of those completions going for 15 yards or more. The quarterback believes he's playing looser than he did last year.
"I've been through everything I've been through before," he said. "I've been through anything I'm going to be through in the future. It's not like anything can't faze me in the future, but I've sort of resorted back to my rookie year where it's just, have some fun, throw the football around, go through your reads, and the rest will take care of itself."
HighlightsAmong the offensive highlights, Jonathan Stupar showed strong hands on a catch deep over the middle.
Steve Johnson made a tough catch in tight coverage, which was being provided by Leodis McKelvin.
Roscoe Parrish went up high for a 20-yard catch and came down hard after getting up ended by Drayton Florence, but held onto the ball.
Chad Jackson made a big catch in the middle of the field as he ran wide open with Edwards hitting him in stride. Jackson also had a pair of back-to-back receptions during 11-on-11 as he saw his greatest number of reps in the practice setting.
James Hardy had a well-timed reception over the middle at the close of 7-on-7.
In the run game Marshawn Lynch appears to have rediscovered that sudden burst and elusiveness in the open field. Fred Jackson's slashing style is still finding creases and Chad Simpson looks very quick through the hole.
Defensively, Cary Harris pulled in an interception off a deflected pass just before the ball hit the ground.
And Ellis Lankster had a pass breakup on a throw to the near sideline for Chad Jackson.
Lindell on the markDuring the special teams portion of practice, Rian Lindell was sharp during field goal work. Lindell was seven for eight on his kicks, hitting from 34, 38, 39, 46, 47, 49 and 53 yards. His only miss was on his first 49-yard attempt, but he came right back and nailed it the second time.
In and outBack after being limited in the morning practice was Terrence McGee. Marcus Stroud also returned to practice after skipping the morning session.
Leaving practice early was Spencer Johnson with an apparent leg injury suffered during one-on-one pass rush drills with the offensive linemen. Gailey said he hoped that Johnson would miss only a few days.
He also provided an update as to when Keith Ellison might be able to return to the practice field as he has yet to participate.
"It should be short term," said Gailey. "We're hoping to have him back sometime next week."
Gailey also stated that it's his hope that Chris Kelsay's injury is short term as well.
Paul Posluszny was the other non-participant.
Demetrius Bell sat out the night practice after participating in the morning session. He's not going to be practicing twice a day for the forseeable future.
ScheduleThe Bills have a single practice Saturday set for 3 pm.