Practice Notes - Day 8

Week one of training camp came to a close with a spirited two minute drill run by the second team offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick led the unit with a couple of short completions to Fred Jackson and Derek Fine before hitting C.J. Hawthorne for a first down play.

A short time later Lydell Sargeant was called for pass interference on a pass deep down the near sideline by the NFL officials on hand practicing themselves. Though the call was borderline, it set the offense up in the red zone.

Following a quick slant reception by Shaine Smith and a run play, Fred Jackson made a catch out of the backfield and got out of bounds with seven seconds left on the clock and no timeouts. Needing a touchdown Fitzpatrick fired a bullet to Felton Huggins in the front right corner of the end zone for a what appeared to be a score, but the side judge called offensive pass interference on Huggins who pushed off of Sargeant to get open and make the play.

On the first drive by the first unit, they were stopped by the defense before getting to the red zone. On the first three plays Derek Schouman had a pair of receptions and Trent Edwards beat the blitz on a short throw to Josh Reed with Kyle Williams putting the pressure on.

After another completion thanks to a mismatch with Kawika Mitchell forced to cover Lee Evans, the defense got a sack from Chris Kelsay who muscled his way to Edwards. With one more play Edwards threw long to the end zone and Terrell Owens was there. Owens laid out for the ball, but it fell incomplete prompting Owens to shout in frustration.

As it turned out the outcome of the play would not have mattered as there was a holding call on the play by the offensive line.

Though the offense did not score they did execute more effectively than they had a few days ago. Head coach Dick Jauron extended the drill giving the offense a few more plays than he had earlier in the week, even if they did not get a new set of downs themselves.

"I thought both sides had their moments today," said Jauron. "The offense executed well enough and the defense made plays. I really like that drill, but would like to extend it and force them to make more calls and force them to go when they're tired and push the drill down the field."

O-line progressThe offensive line had some good execution on Saturday. They executed a few screen passes in team work, which has been inconsistent in years past. They also provided Dominic Rhodes with a good alley on another play during 11-on-11 that came up the near sideline.

This new unit seems more mobile, so it's logical to think they'll afford the offensive staff with a few more options to keep opponents guessing. Eric Wood, Geoff Hangartner and Andy Levitre are look to be above average pullers.

In 11-on-11 they also converted a 3rd-and-1 with a good surge off the line.

Andy Levitre got all the first team reps at left guard with Kirk Chambers nursing a foot injury, and held his own. Assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown even gave him some praise after one particular block saying, "Nice pad level Andy!"

Also impressive was Eric Wood in one-on-ones. The rookie guard was effective in anchoring down and keeping Marcus Stroud under wraps on a few reps. His anchor and strength are tough to top.

Spann on hand
Newly signed safety Antwain Spann got his first work in with his new teammates as did defensive linemen Corey Mace who spent most of the past two years with the team on the practice squad.
Spann got just seven plays of work at free safety with the third team defense as he gets acclimated to the scheme.

"It went pretty good," he said. "I'm just trying to get the feel of how they run things around here and trying to get some calls down on defense and stay in tune with what's going on on the field."

Spann says there isn't a whole lot of carryover from New England's defensive scheme to that of the Bills, and plans to be in his playbook Sunday.

Mace got 10-12 plays of work in the team setting and has prior knowledge of the defensive system. He lined up at defensive tackle.

Highlights
Terrell Owens ran a solid route early in 11-on-11 as he effectively gained separation to get a fresh set of downs for the offense.

Marshawn Lynch and Dominic Rhodes were both the beneficiaries of some good line play as they both had big gains coming off of screen plays out of the backfield.

Lynch, who spoke for the first time at camp, liked what he saw from his teammates the first week of camp.

"It's  going pretty good. You can see a lot of things from every position on the field, things that we still need to improve on," he said. "But overall through the first week I think we had a pretty good camp and it can only get better."

Trent Edwards fired a bullet over the middle into tight coverage where Owens pulled it in for a touchdown.

Lee Evans caught a deep ball down the near sideline during 11-on-11 as he got around Leodis McKelvin for a 30-yard pickup.

Derek Schouman made a nice catch down the seam for about 20 yards.

Bruce Hall had a good run against the grain as he got past the line of scrimmage for good yardage.

Owens had a stop and go move that led to an impressive score. With Edwards changing the play at the line at the last second he gestured to Owens split right, who after the snap stood at the line as Edwards immediately fired him the ball on a now route. Owens then took a step inside as Terrence McGee closed in on him, but quick cut on a dime and took it outside to the end zone for a five-yard scoring play.

C.J. Hawthorne pulled a similar fake late in 11-on-11 as he got about 15 extra yards on the play.
Josh Reed proved difficult to cover in 7-on-7 as he found the soft spots in the coverage consistently with three receptions in one series.

On the defensive side of the ledger, Ashlee Palmer had a good stick on Xavier Omon during run game work as the two met in the hole.

George Wilson had a pass breakup on a throw intended for Fred Jackson.

Kawika Mitchell had a pass breakup on a throw short intended for Lynch.

Drayton Florence had a leaping pass breakup in the back of the end zone in red zone work.

Bryan Scott had an interception on a tipped ball by Keith Ellison that was intended for Lee Evans.

Kyle Williams had a quarterback pressure, while Chris Kelsay had a sack.

Moorman's moonshotsBrian Moorman got in some good punt work during the special teams segments of practice. The two-time Pro Bowl punter was routinely dropping punts inside the 10 and sometimes five-yard lines.
Gunners worked on downing Moorman's punts and keeping them out of the end zone.

Punt returners also worked on fielding Moorman's skyscraping kicks. At one point Roscoe Parrish let out a 'whoo' as he prepared to catch one of Moorman's higher kicks. 

His best hang time on the day on my watch was 4.95 seconds, which is pretty good.

Players offThe players get Sunday off and most of them were welcoming it.

"My legs are a little tired," said Mitchell who has been on the field for every snap. "It's much needed and I'm definitely going to enjoy it."

The players return for a 2:25 pm practice on Monday. 

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising