It was the first night practice of camp at Bills training camp this summer, and while the tempo at practice was healthy the execution still hasn't reached the description of crisp. It's early and head coach Chan Gailey knows with the brisk pace of installation improvement is going to be marginal day to day.
"Probably for a few days you won't see significant improvement," he said. "There was improvement, but you won't see it because we're putting stuff in everyday. Actually, we put four days worth of installation in two days because we're trying to get our base in. We'll start to really slow it down here in the next few days and let it all catch back up. We felt like we had enough people returning that we could go a little bit faster these first couple of days and back off as time goes on."
Nicked up draft picksBuffalo's top three draft choices all had to exit practice at one point or another during Sunday's night session. Top pick Marcell Dareus had to step out after his calf muscle began cramping up and did not return.
Meanwhile second-round pick Aaron Williams exited practice after the receiver he was covering during 11-on-11 went head over heels and inadvertently kicked him in the back of the head.
Gailey said both of them would be fine. The news was not as encouraging for third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard. Participating in his first practice since signing his rookie contract Saturday, Sheppard pulled up during a 1-on-1 coverage drill and grabbed the back of his left thigh.
"Sheppard pulled something in his leg about the first third of practice, and seems to be the worst of the three," Gailey said.
The Bills head coach did not have a timetable for when Sheppard might be able to return.
Easley sittingThe nature of Marcus Easley's knee injury was explained by Gailey after the second-year wideout missed Sunday night's practice. Easley sustained an injury late in practice Saturday and did not return.
"That knee is bothering him," said Gailey. "It was just one of those things. He hyperextended it, you could see it on the film, plain as day. It could've happened to anybody."
No word on how long Easley might be a spectator on the sidelines.
Hit of the dayThey were only in shells, but the offensive and defensive linemen had some good battles in 1-on-1 line work. The best shot of the day went to top pick Marcell Dareus. He got underneath the pads of one of Buffalo's guards when he fired off the ball, lifted him off the ground and deposited him on his back. A true pancake, which is what is usually done by an offensive lineman to a defensive lineman. Impressive power and strength.
McGee in slotTerrence McGee has been an outside corner for several years now, but in the first two days of practice he was moved inside to the slot in nickel situations. Whether it's being done in the absence of Reggie Corner (Active PUP) or because Aaron Williams, who comes on as the third corner, is taller and bigger than McGee.
Whatever it is it's the first time McGee has seen noticeable time in the slot since his first couple of seasons in the league.
Seventh-round pick Justin Rogers has also seen time in the slot with the second unit.
Getting repsReps are going to be hard to come by for the undrafted rookies in camp. The coaching staff needs to get the regular up to speed and ready for the season so practice time in the team segments will be hard to come by. One undrafted rookie seeing a good deal of reps the first two practices has been U.B. product Domonic Cook.
With Reggie Corner on Active PUP and unable to practice and Drayton Florence unable to practice until the new CBA is ratified, the younger corners have all moved up on the depth chart. Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin have been lined up as the starters with second-round pick Aaron Williams the third corner in followed by seventh-round pick Justin Rogers.
After them however, Cook has seen the next most reps, so at this stage of the game he's the fifth corner. That will obviously change once Florence and Corner are back in the fold, but they're valuable reps for a rookie right now and he's made a few plays.
Good hangUndrafted rookie Reid Forrest was known to be a good hang time punter, which special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven likes a lot. In his first stint coaching with the Bills under Marv Levy, DeHaven had Chris Mohr who was very consistent at hanging it up for a long hang time while the ball traveled 40 yards and the coverage unit would force a fair catch.
Moorman is a very, very good hang time punter, but for a rookie Forrest isn't too bad. His punts Sunday night ranged from 4.6 to 4.8 on most of his attempts. Moorman still had the best unofficial hang time of the night however, a 4.95.
HighlightsEarly on in 1-on-1 passing and coverage drills, undrafted rookie Kamar Aiken made a big deep ball catch down the far sideline.
Naaman Roosevelt turned in a similar play in 1-on-1 a few snaps later.
On the defensive side, sixth-round pick Chris White knocked away a pass that was intended for fifth-rounder Johnny White coming out of the backfield in 1-on-1's.
George Wilson had an interception in 1-on-1's on an errant pass that was intended for tight end David Martin.
In 7-on-7 Aaron Williams jumped a flat route by David Nelson and almost came up with an interception, but settled for a pass breakup.
In the first play of 11-on-11 he picked off a pass that was tipped by Stevie Johnson and took it the other way down the far sideline.
He also had another pass breakup later on a throw that had Paul Hubbard targeted.
Leodis McKelvin turned in a pair of pass breakups on the night knocking away one pass that was intended for Johnson and another late for Lee Evans.
Antonio Coleman had a quarterback pressure in 11-on-11 flushing Ryan Fitzpatrick from the pocket.
Both C.J. Spiller and Johnny White had a couple of sharp looking runs. Fred Jackson also fit nicely through a hole on one play and got applause from the fans in attendance when he ran it the full 80 yards to the end zone. The younger running backs soon followed suit with that.
Roscoe Parrish turned in one of the better catches of the night during team work with a 30-yard grab down the far sideline despite blanket coverage from Terrence McGee.
Justin Rogers made the most athletic looking play of the night when at a full sprint down the far sideline with receiver Felton Huggins he leaped and fully extended his body to knock away what would've been a 40-yard completion.
Fourth-round pick Da'Norris Searcy rounded out the evening with a pass breakup that could've been an interception.
Practice MondayMonday's practice is set for 3:30 pm.