The pads were on for the first time for the Bills at training camp and though the tempo hasn't been dialed up to full live work just yet, the power of strength of the defensive line was. The defense is typically ahead of the offense at this stage of camp, but there's a big difference from last year in terms of the surge off the line from the defensive front. At least that's how head coach Chan Gailey saw it.
"I think we're more physical than we were last year," he said. "I feel more push defensively when I stand behind the offense. There seems to be more things happening on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage than we had last year. It feels that way."
The most disruptive player defensively up front was Kyle Williams. He was frequently in the offensive backfield getting pressure on the quarterback or tagging out a ball carrier before he reached the line of scrimmage. Dwan Edwards had a batted pass and Marcell Dareus was getting a consistent push off the left side and had a 'would be' sack on a pass play.
Gailey did say that it may not always be that way in camp, but it was more a reflection on how fortified the offensive front has become than it was about the performance of the offensive line. In fact the men up front on offense opened a handful of good holes during an extended run game period Monday.
Mansfield Wrotto did a good job of climbing to the second level to pick off a linebacker that allowed C.J. Spiller to not only get through the hole but out to the secondary. Undrafted rookie Emmanuel Moody had a couple of good looking rushes including one where he juked past a safety for extra yardage.
Fred Jackson got through a hole that was closing in time to get to the first down marker and Spiller hit a good one up the middle.
Big man rundownThe linemen were going against one another in practice in one-on-one pass rush drills. Among the players that looked good Monday were guard Kraig Urbik, who neutralized a couple of the bigger defensive tackles on a few snaps.
Geoff Hangartner also used some technique to Chris Kelsay showed some good power on a bull rush. Ed Wang did a good job with a couple of the speed rushing outside linebackers while lined up at left tackle. Alex Carrington had a good rep to beat an offensive tackle clean. Torell Troup had the best move of the day with a nice swim move on a center to get to the QB target.
Troup worked hard on his body in the offseason and really strengthened his core, which has help him fight through blocks pretty well in the early going.
"I could just tell playing last year that it was one of my weaknesses," he said. "I would take on double teams and guys would get me on one leg and I couldn't recover back to my opposite leg and a lot of that had to do my core strength and being unable to tighten up once that double team came. I also had a lot of trouble with my back so strengthening my core has helped a lot with that."
Injury newsThe news was not good for ILB Kelvin Sheppard and WR Marcus Easley on Monday. Head coach Chan Gailey provided a prognosis for Sheppard's pulled hamstring and Easley's hyper extended knee.
"Sheppard is going to be out for a little while," he said. "I think at least a week and then we'll re-evaluate at the end of the week."
With respect to Easley, Gailey said he's also looking at about a week of being out of action, which isn't a good thing for a receiver looking to bounce back from missing last year.
"It's a big setback for him and it hurts our football team because we'd like to know what he can do," said Gailey. "We didn't get a real good look at him last year and obviously we don't have a very good look at him now. It hurts him and it hurts us, but it's one of the things you go through. That's life in the league."
Undrafted rookie Domonic, who has had a decent couple of days left practice early on Monday with a right knee injury. He hobbled to the sideline after sustaining the injury during 7-on-7 work.
"He tweaked his knee is what he told me," said Gailey. "They took him in for more examination so I'll find out more tonight or tomorrow morning."
After being examined by athletic trainers, Cook did limp to the locker room under his own power.
Corner backBills cornerback Reggie Corner was the one bit of good news on the injury front as he was on the practice field for the first time after beginning training camp on the active PUP list. After passing a physical he was able to participate Monday.
"I just had a little ankle tweak, but it's feeling a lot better now," he said. "I'll continue to rehab it to get it better and so I can put more pressure on it. I'll do whatever I have to do."
"It was good to get him back on the field," said Gailey. "It was good to see him. We'll work him in slowly to make sure we're smart with him, but it looked like he did a pretty good job. I'll have to go watch the tape."
Corner said he was feeling good and stayed on the field to get as many reps as he could knowing he has some rust to knock off. He had a nice pass breakup early during 7-on-7 work on a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Searcy getting reps with the twosFourth-round pick Da'Norris Searcy ran with the third team defense at the outset of camp, but the defensive staff is already trying to get him some reps with the second unit at strong safety. On Monday the staff was rotating him in and out at times with veteran Bryan Scott to get him additional time on the field.
The staff has high hopes for the rookie, so it's a move that bears watching.
Dotson inBuffalo's waiver claim, DL Lionel Dotson got to training camp just as Monday's practice was ending. He participated in a conditioning drill in shorts for about 15 minutes.
Dotson was traveling up from Miami this morning. The defensive lineman is a former seventh-round pick of the Dolphins. Even though he's new to the Bills he can begin practicing right away since he didn't sign a new contract. Buffalo simply inherited the one he had with Miami.
HighlightsIn addition to some of the aforementioned plays Shawne Merriman almost had an interception off of the batted pass by Dwan Edwards.
Merriman also sniffed out a run play and had C.J. Spiller plugged up near the line of scrimmage.
Spencer Johnson had a 'would be' sack as he flushed Ryan Fitzpatrick from the pocket and tagged him out before he got rid of the ball.
Jairus Byrd was able to close on a 40-yard bomb to the right corner of the end zone from Fitzpatrick to Johnson to break up the 'would be' touchdown.
Offensively Roscoe Parrish had a good grab along the right sideline in 7-on-7 work that went for close to 20 yards.
Naaman Roosevelt made a tough catch along the right sideline and eluded the cornerback to get up the sideline for extra yardage.
Practice TuesdayBuffalo will have a walk through in morning and then an open practice at 3:30 in the afternoon.