Day one of training camp is in the books and the offense looked pretty sharp for their first two practice sessions. Usually the defense has an early edge as the offensive unit looks to get their timing and execution in sync. But very few balls hit the ground Friday.
"I think there are some pretty high expectations in that locker room," said Trent Edwards. There's a lot of confident players in there that have a lot to gain off last season's success that we had. We're headed in the right direction. I feel like we had a good first day of practice."
Lee Evans was the headliner in the passing game Friday particularly in the afternoon when he was consistently getting separation from opposing cornerbacks. Evans ran one inside slant so effectively he forced Jabari Greer to hold his jersey and still made the reception and the play.
He feels he's already in sync with Edwards.
"It's only day one, but we certainly have a comfort level with each other," said Evans. "I think he trusts me and I trust him and now it's just a matter of getting in that rhythm and staying in that rhythm and staying consistent."
Edwards got off to another good start completing his first 10 pass attempts in 7-on-7 for the second straight practice before a tipped ball was intercepted by Ko Simpson. A deep ball intended for Evans was tipped on a nice play by Ashton Youboty and Simpson was the final beneficiary.
One of Edwards prettiest passes of the series was when he looked the safety off to the right and then dropped a well-timed ball in between three defenders to Josh Reed on the left side of the field for a 20-yard gain.
There looked to be more of a run game focus in 11-on-11 team work in the afternoon. Marshawn Lynch looked especially elusive and quick through the hole and on receptions coming out of the backfield. Fred Jackson was also used heavily in this capacity.
Dwayne Wright worked with the second team unit while Xavier Omon and Bruce Hall ran with the third team.
Defensively, there weren't as many highlights as the morning session. Jason Jefferson had a batted pass at the line of scrimmage and both Aaron Schobel and Copeland Bryan had a couple of quality pass rushes. Will James also had a nice pass breakup.
For a look at some of the highlights go to the multimedia section and click on Bills Roundup.
Defensively there was one lineup change. Spencer Johnson ran with the first unit and lined up at right defensive tackle next to Marcus Stroud. In the morning session it was John McCargo manning that role.
McCargo ran with the second unit in the afternoon at right defensive tackle while Jason Jefferson moved to left defensive tackle. Kyle Williams, who was excused for the birth of his second child is expected in Friday night or Saturday morning.
In for Jason Peters at left tackle was Kirk Chambers who was the team's swing tackle last season and started in place of Peters in Week 17 at Philadelphia last season.
"Kirk last year when he was called upon did a real nice job for us and proved to be a real good pickup for us on the field and off," said head coach Dick Jauron. "He fits us. He fits our guys. He likes it here and wants to be part of it and when called on last year did a nice job and we're confident."
At tight end Robert Royal was on the field and participated fully in 7-on-7 work coming off of offseason knee surgery. He and Derek Schouman lined up in two tight end sets with the first unit. But Royal's participation in 11-on-11 work was very limited as it appears they're easing the veteran back into scrimmage work.
Courtney Anderson was the next tight end in the rotation.
Josh Reed was on the outside at receiver with the first unit as the offense stayed mainly in their base formation the entire practice. James Hardy and Roscoe Parrish primarily worked with the second unit.
On the defensive side of the ball with Kyle Williams excused for the birth of his second child, John McCargo stepped into the starting lineup at right defensive tackle next to Marcus Stroud. Other than that everything remained the same with the starting defense as it was in the spring.
At center Melvin Fowler got most of the first team reps, but was relieved on occasion by Duke Preston. It's likely due to the fact that Fowler is coming off of offseason shoulder surgery.
During 7-on-7 work Trent Edwards had a perfect completion percentage as he went 10-10 passing, but he also settled for a lot of short gains as he checked down numerous times to backs during his first two series of work.
J.P. Losman took a bit of a different approach as soon as he stepped under center. Losman aired out his first attempt of camp 40 yards downfield. It was intended for Roscoe Parrish, but Ashton Youboty made a nice effort to break up the pass. The ball was also a bit underthrown as Parrish had a step on Youboty.
Another good defensive play was turned in by Will James who raked a ball away from Scott Mayle near the left sideline.
Third-string quarterback Gibran Hamdan looked sharp and the ball came out of his hand cleanly on most of his throws. He found some open receivers in the intermediate range a bit more successfully than the top two signal callers during this segment.
In full team work the passing game opened up a bit more. After a few running plays Edwards hit Lee Evans over the middle for an 18-yard gain and followed it up with a dart over the middle to James Hardy on a well executed crossing route.
Crossing routes seem to be more prevalent in Turk Schonert's scheme than that of Steve Fairchild, but Edwards doesn't believe that means you'll necessarily see more of them in September.
"It's something we need to work on a little bit better," said Edwards. "It takes a lot of time just to get those routes down whether it's zone or man or whether receivers have to sit down or keep running. I think that's why we're practicing them so much, but we have the type of receivers that have the talent to get open on those sorts of plays so we're going to be continuing to call those."
J.P. Losman faced a second-string defense that was ready in 11-on-11. Will James jumped a pass intended for Roscoe Parrish to make the first interception of camp. Two plays later rookie Alvin Bowen tipped a Losman pass up in the air and it was almost intercepted as well.
Edwards also was intercepted once by Terrence McGee when he slightly overthrew Schouman on a roll out, but Buffalo's starting QB also had a pair of nice throws during the series to Evans and Josh Reed.
Reed and Evans made the most plays during team work Friday morning. Reed's best effort was a grab he made over the middle in traffic. Evans had a nice reception on a deep crossing pattern. Hardy also made a couple of plays over the middle.
Defensively, Shaun Nua had a 'would be' sack on Hamdan. McGee and Ko Simpson teamed up on a pass breakup.