**Offense moves the ball
**Buffalo’s three offensive units got a chance to go against the defensive groups at the end of practice Thursday and put a scoring drive together. Typically in practice the first unit goes for three reps and rotates out for the second unit and so on. On Thursday they each went as long as they could keep moving the chains for a fresh set of downs.
The third team offense was the only group that reached the end zone. Nate Peterman came out firing hitting TE Wes Saxton down the right sideline for a 40-yard pass play.
“He was my second read and I got to him and he won,” said Peterman. “He made a heck of a catch too so great job by him.”
Saxton despite tight coverage from LB Abner Logan, reached underneath and inside of the linebacker to make the catch. After a couple of unsuccessful run plays, Peterman hit Dez Lewis on the right sideline again for a 15-yard pickup.
After a run play by Cedric O’Neal put the offense in the red zone, Peterman found Saxton open in the end zone for a touchdown and pumped his fist after making the completion.
“Double move, so I’ve got to hold the safety a little bit, but he did a great job again,” said Peterman of Saxton. “Wes really did good today and put himself on the map so I’m really happy for him too.”
The starting offense came out and moved the ball with Tyrod Taylor completing three of his first four passes. But the drive stalled when Taylor threw incomplete, Eddie Yarbrough batted down his next pass attempt and there was a fumbled exchange on the next play.
“That’s the closest to the game, as far as live, that we’ve gotten,” said Taylor. “It forces the defense to play honest, and play the down. Me and (Eric) Wood just talked about that. That’s when defenses start to tire out – around play four to seven. That’s when you need to capitalize on those big plays. We had a mishandled snap. But, overall T.J. took his group down, and the (third group) scored a touchdown on the last drive. There’s definitely some things we can work on and watch film.”
The second string offense also put together some plays to move into scoring territory. T.J. Yates made use of his tight ends hitting Logan Thomas twice for pass plays and undrafted rookie Keith Towbridge early in the drive.
Walt Powell climbed the ladder on a throw over the middle that went for 18 yards for the most acrobatic play of the drive. Yates completed his last five passes on the drive, until his throw intended for Jeremy Butler on the right side was knocked away by Kevon Seymour on fourth down.
**There may not be much that has changed with the starting linebacker unit, which is made up of Lorenzo Alexander, Preston Brown and Ramon Humber. But there is an awful lot of shuffling with the second unit both with players and position assignments.
There are four primary players rotating among the three spots. Gerald Hodges, Reggie Ragland and rookies Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo have all seen time with the second unit.
Hodges has been moved around the most.
“I’m a linebacker so it doesn’t matter if I’m outside or inside,” Hodges said. “I’ve played them all before. It’s all about getting the defense down and getting the concepts and I’ve got that down so I feel really comfortable whether I’m outside or inside.”
Heavy dose of red zone There was a heavy dose of red zone segments on Thursday to open practice. First an 11-on-11 segment, followed by a couple of 7-on-7 segments.
Tyrod Taylor was unofficially 4-6 passing with a pair of touchdowns finding Nick O’Leary and a wide open LeSean McCoy. He also scrambled a couple of times, one for what looked like it might be a touchdown.
T.J. Yates was unofficially 5-8 passing with a touchdown pass to Rod Streater. He had another chance for a touchdown, but undrafted rookie TE Jason Croom couldn’t get his second foot down in the back right corner of the end zone.
Nate Peterman was unofficially 2-8 passing with a pair of touchdowns caught by rookie tight ends Keith Towbridge and Jason Croom.
Bonus notes Taiwan Jones got his first reps on kick return during the special teams segment of practice.
Kevon Seymour rotated in as the first nickel corner with Leonard Johnson.
Shamiel Gary continues to get first team reps at safety in the absence of Micah Hyde (hip).
Jordan Mudge is taking snaps at left guard and center.
Seantrel Henderson took snaps at left tackle in place of starter Cordy Glenn (foot).
DE Eddie Yarbrough took first team snaps during the long drive series as Shaq Lawson was sidelined toward the end of practice.
S B.T. Sanders made a great pass breakup in the end zone on a pass intended for Rod Streater as he covered for his cornerback who looked to be out of position on the play.
LB Sam Barrington had a nice read on a run play racking up a tackle for loss during a red zone period.