1 – Cassel is first man throughBills head coach Rex Ryan and the offensive staff gave respect to veteran experience on day one of training camp as 10-year vet Matt Cassel was the first man through in the quarterback rotation Friday. He was followed by fifth-year QB Tyrod Taylor and then EJ Manuel. Manuel got most of his work with the second unit.
"It was great to be back out here, it was great to have everybody out competing, it's always an exciting time of year when you get back to camp because it starts for real now," said Cassel. "You can see the excitement and the energy that the guys brought. Now we get back at it.
In the spring the coaching staff rotated the order of the quarterbacks almost daily. We'll see if that holds to form here in training camp Saturday.
2 – Mario activatedMario Williams' time on the Active/Non-Football Injury list didn't last long. Williams was cleared, dressed and participated in practice on day one of camp. The Bills Pro Bowl pass rusher was limited as he did not participate in any team segments. Williams only did individual position drills Friday.
"It was a minor back deal for Mario," said Ryan. "He'll be ready to roll."
DE Jarius Wynn took the team reps in practice at Williams' left defensive end position in his absence.
3 – Darby flashesWith Leodis McKelvin on the Non-Football Injury list the defensive staff plugged rookie cornerback Ronald Darby into McKelvin's starting left cornerback position and he did not disappoint.
On the third play in team drills Darby ran step for step with Robert Woods down the right sideline, turned and made a leaping interception, outjumping Thigpen for the ball inside the five-yard line. Darby also had a pass breakup on a throw from Matt Cassel that was intended for Sammy Watkins.
"I know he can't play the football down the field, that was what they said about him right," said Ryan sarcastically. "He looked good on that first play."
Bonus notes Cyrus Kouandjiowas lined up as the starter at right tackle with the first unit on Friday. Seantrel Henderson ran with the twos.
At safety Corey Grahamlined up with starter Aaron Williams in the secondary during team work. The second safety combination saw Jonathan Meeksand Bacarri Ramborotating in and out opposite Duke Williams.
LeSean McCoy'sbest play came in 1-on-1 pass catching drills against linebackers. Running downfield shoulder to shoulder with Nigel Bradham, McCoy was able to elevate up over Bradham's outside shoulder to make a leaping catch in the red zone that drew 'oohs' from the crowd.