Buffalo's rookies along with first and second-year players got things going on the practice field Friday morning on the team's grass field. The players had to dodge some raindrops later on during the morning session, but were able to finish the hour-plus workout before the field got too slick.
"It's always good to get on the field," said head coach Chan Gailey. "You can only talk football so much. You need to be on the grass or on the field and be able to go see who can do what on the field."
LineupsOn the whole there weren't many lineup surprises. Second-round pick Torell Troup lined up at nose tackle with the first group here at this minicamp with third-round pick Alex Carrington flanking him at left end. Marlon Favorite saw some time at end and nose tackle.
Rashaad Duncan, who was signed last season as a defensive tackle, appears to be more of an end in the Bills new 3-4 scheme and lined up on the edge in practice Friday.
Sixth-round pick Danny Batten as expected played outside linebacker on the strong side while fellow sixth-round pick Arthur Moats was inside. College free agent Antonio Coleman lined up opposite Batten at the other outside linebacker spot.
Safety was where there was a noticeable change as Jon Corto has returned to a position he played early in his college career at Sacred Heart. He's changed his jersey number from 57 to 33 to accommodate the position change. We'll have more on Corto's new spot later this weekend.
On the offensive side of the ball the receiver rotation had Felton Huggins and Steve Johnson at the top. Fourth-round pick Marcus Easley and college free agent Donald Jones subbing in followed by Naaman Roosevelt and college free agent David Nelson.
Shawn Nelson was the tight end running with the first group followed by Jonathan Stupar and Joe Klopfenstein.
On the offensive line Jamon Meredith, Andy Levitre, Christian Gaddis, Jason Watkins and Nick Hennessey made up the first unit. Watkins has been mainly a tackle in his career, but kicked inside to right guard.
The second group had fifth-round pick Ed Wang at left tackle. He was joined by Andre Ramsey, college free agent Sean Allen, seventh-round pick Kyle Calloway and college free agent Cordaro Howard.
At quarterback Brian Brohm took reps with the first group and was followed by seventh-round pick Levi Brown.
"It's fun to be back out there on the field and just getting back into football, playing against a defense, seeing how the offense would unfold," said Brohm. "We've been doing a lot of work in the classroom with coach Gailey and coach Cortez and to finally get out here and see it all in action was a lot of fun."
In the offensive backfield top pick C.J. Spiller was first in the rotation followed by free agent signee Walter Mendenhall and college free agent Joique Bell.
PerformersUB product Naaman Roosevelt had a good morning practice and made a nice over the shoulder catch on a well thrown pass from Brohm during individual position drills as he beat tight coverage down the near sideline.
Roosevelt made a handful of other receptions during the course of the practice during 7-on-7.
Fellow receiver Donald Jones dove to make a good grab in the flat.
Marcus Easley ran down a nice looking deep ball from fellow rookie Levi Brown.
C.J. Spiller looked quick on handoffs making sharp cuts and dodging traffic.
"It was great," said Spiller of his first day of action."I was just really anxious to get back going. I haven't played since the end of December. I was really excited to started back up and be out there with the guys running around and learning the playbook."
At quarterback Brohm was accurate for the most part and threw mostly short to intermediate range passes. Brown tried to stretch the field more and throws a nice looking long ball. His arm looked lively in the first practice session.
On the defensive side of the ball Reggie Corner and Leodis McKelvin came to play. Both got their hands on their share of passes through the course of practice. Corner even wrestled a pass away from his receiver assignment for what could've been considered an interception.
Lydell Sargeant had a pass breakup on a throw intended for Huggins.
Rashaad Duncan had a batted pass.
McKelvin the afternoon headliner
Cornerback Leodis McKelvin was more exuberant than perhaps he's ever been on the practice field Friday. In the morning session he was talking trash and making plays on the ball in the form of pass breakups. In the afternoon practice those PBUs turned into interceptions.
McKelvin had two off Brian Brohm. The first was a short pass near the middle of the field, but McKelvin reached around and underneath Marcus Easley to come up with the INT. Later in practice McKelvin made his second interception as the timing appeared off between Brohm and Felton Huggins on a pass play down the near sideline.
"It was very nice to get a couple of picks," said McKelvin. "I was telling Levi (Brown) I was going to get one from him, but he never was out there when I was playing corner. So I got them off Brohm, but it was pretty good to get my hands on a lot of balls."
McKelvin and Brown are both alums of Troy University.
Other plays turned in on defense were made by LB Ryan Manalac who had a pair of pass breakups in coverage.
LB Mike Wright also had a pass breakup on a throw intended for Shawn Nelson.
Speaking of Nelson he had a quality reception reaching high on his way to the sideline early in 7-on-7.
College free agent WR David Nelson had a nice catch over the middle on a well-timed play with Brohm.
And Easley snared a short pass from Brown.
The Bills have a pair of practice sessions Saturday with the first scheduled for 10:55 am and the second for 3:45 pm. Stay close to Buffalobills.com for full coverage of both workouts including exclusive highlights in our media lounge in Bills Roundup at the end of the day.