1 - Healthy bodies coming back
After an aggravating string of nagging injuries, the Bills showed signs of getting healthier in their Saturday morning workout at St John Fisher College. Running Back Fred Jackson took a full turn at running back, after missing the last several weeks of camp with a hamstring strain.
"The plan all along was to get out here this week," Jackson said after practice. "I wanted to see if I could push around on it, and it felt good out there. Hopefully I can continue to work on what I put on it today."
Also getting work with the first unit-- Defensive Tackle Kyle Williams, who has been out a couple of weeks with a thigh bruise. Head Coach Rex Ryan said it's good to be on the positive side of the injury news for a change.
"That was great," he said. "We had Fred today, Sammy did individual, and then Kyle Williams looked like he's fine, obviously. So yeah it's good to start getting some of these guys back."
As far as veteran Fred Jackson is concerned, Ryan said his return is critical considering all the roles he can play.
"Looked pretty good," Ryan said. "I was happy to see him, you know he was doing more than I thought he was going to do. Heck, he's catching kicks--he's doing everything. So I was really happy to see that."
For the last several weeks, Ryan has mentioned that the third preseason game, one week away, should see the return of most of Buffalo's injured players. It appears that prediction is on target.
2 - QBs sharp again, Ryan reaffirms plan to keep three**
Saturday's practice was one of the best of the camp in terms of quarterback play, with Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel looking especially sharp. All three QBs, including Matt Cassel, got time with the first team on a regular rotation.
In the first team session, Taylor threw a beautiful deep sideline pass to Marcus Easley who got past the coverage and ran into the end zone for a touchdown.
In seven-on-seven work, Manuel threw a strike over the middle to tight end Charles Clay. And Taylor connected with Marquise Goodwin on a high pass that Goodwin brought down for a reception.
When they got into red zone seven-on-seven work, Manuel lofted a high pass to Tight End MarQueis Gary for a four yard touchdown. And in the final team session, it was Taylor hooking up with Goodwin again for a deep pass down the middle.
After practice, Rex Ryan re-stated what he told BuffaloBills.com on "Coffee with the Coach" four days ago. He says there's a high possibility he'll keep all three quarterbacks on the roster when the final cut downs are made in two weeks.
"Well, all three of them are playing really well. So we've said from day one that we'd keep our best 53 in our opinion and regardless of the position. But clearly there you have three good quarterbacks so that's a high, high possibility."
3 - Dareus talks contract after practice
Defensive Tackle Marcel Dareus talked to reporters after practice about weekend reports that he was not happy with the progress in talks his agent has had on a contract extension.
"We all know how I feel, we all know how the team feels," Dareus said. "I want to be a part of the Buffalo Bills. I want to be a part of the history that we're going to make here. But at the same time, it's a business. We have to go through negotiations just like anybody else in any other career. So, we're just trying to do what we can and try to move forward, and we'll get over that hill when we get there."
"When you see what the numbers were and all that stuff so, I might settle for those numbers, but I'm not sure. I don't play defensive tackle. But in that, obviously that's his business and that's his agent's and our team and things like that. I stay out of the negotiating type stuff obviously."
---After practice, Ryan was asked if the Bills used defensive and offensive scout teams to give Bills players an early look at their opening day opponent, the Indianapolis Colts.
""Why would we put in things for Indy?" Ryan said, with his tongued buried in his cheek. "We've got Pittsburgh to play and that's a vital preseason game…"
The Bills open the regular season against the Colts in three weeks.
---Ryan had little in the way of an update on the condition of injured wide receiver Chris Hogan. He left Thursday's game in Cleveland in the first half with what the team described as an ankle injury. Ryan said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Hogan would be ready to return against the Colts, but he had little to say other than that. As far as veteran Percy Harvin, Ryan said he'll definitely be ready for the season opener, and he's holding out hope Harvin can play in one of the final two preseason games.
---Fullback Jerome Felton was held out of Saturday's practice, but Ryan said it's "no big deal."
---With backup LB Ty Powell out for the year, the Bills continue to look for depth at that position. And rookie Tony Steward may be the guy they're counting on. Ryan said Steward has been getting reps at the "Mike" LB position in recent days.