Reporter Art Moore contributed the majority of this report
Marcus Jones' play continues to impress and is showing the pass rush the team hoped to get when they signed him as he could have been credited with two sacks if it practice had been a game. Keith McKenzie was in on a deflected pass earlier in practice.
It's obvious the Bills are working Travis Brown hard in hope he'll win the number 2 QB spot but the results have been mixed. He
threw an interception today as well as a touchdown. Alex Van Pelt looked his usual solid self.
Punt return teams got some work today and those in the mix were Nate Clements as well as Bobby Shaw and Clarence Coleman. Jon Dorenbos was long snapping most of the punts and some good coaching on how to pick up blocks after the snap. Meanwhile, punter Brian Moorman was doing sideline punts.
Sunday Afternoon Practice:
WE'VE GOT OURSELVES A TIGHT END: Mark Campbell (trade from Cleveland) looks like the real deal. He is big, strong, fast, and presents a BIG target that can actually make the catch. What a surprise! Tom Donahoe makes another steal. Between Campbell and Moore, I believe the Bills have what they are looking for in the TE department.
WE'VE GOT OURSELVES A KICKER: Rian Lindell looks like he has plenty of leg for kickoffs. From our angle it was difficult to get a direct read but it appeared that he was booming them 60 to 70 yards from the tee. The afternoon session started featuring Lindell vs Witczak. It was Lindell hands down. Witczak couldn't match Lindell's distance by a good 15 to 20 yards/kick. It is a relief to see this after watching years of Christie and Hollis trying to kick off. I'm not saying the problem is solved, but from the initial indications it looks headed in the right direction.
NOW THAT IS AN OFFENSIVE LINE: Last year we were pondering the wisdom of moving Trey Teague to center vs left tackle and the positives of having Jonas Jennings at left tackle vs having Mike Williams line up there. This year the line looks to be set in my opinion. They look like one formidable line if they can stay intact. One that the opposition will look at and call time-out so they can use the bathroom. Williams, Sullivan, Teague, Brown and Jennings...we are golden. Mind you, Williams lining up with pretty much anybody looks good too.
Antonio Brown continues to flash incredible speed on kickoff returns. He has good hands but he revealed a key weakness if he is going to compete as a wide receiver; you can push him around way too easily. There was a drill where the object was to circle the cones before the defender pushed you away. Several times he was knocked off balance in relatively short order. No competition there. He just doesn't have the strength/balance combination to pull it off in the NFL at receiver. He will make an excellent returner, because it seems he covers 20 yards before the ball is in his hands. Sam Aiken continues to impress with his size/speed combination. Josh Reed also continued to have a good camp and it is likely that he'll make us forget Peerless. Andre Rone also stood out with a few nice catches. It is too bad that Coach Graves had the prostate problems because I believe that we could greatly benefit from his guidance. Get well soon Coach Graves.
QB COMPETITION - One of the competitions between the QB's was a football toss at the garbage cans located about 45 yards away. The object was to get the football in the garbage can. Travis Brown came the closest, hitting the can but no direct entry. I don't put much credence in these type of events but it was fun to watch. Drew did ok but the youngster Jason Johnson couldn't quite keep up with all his throws. I was surprised that Alex Van Pelt could still throw it that far accurately. From my point of view, the important thing is that Drew makes his throws stick to the receivers.
There was a little fight today between Pat Williams and Ross Tucker, nothing major.
Injured Bills sitting out today include OG Mike Pucillo (sprained ankle), DT Lauvale Sape (strained calf) and S Jerton Evans (strained shoulder). Anthony Denman was the only player that was not injured to miss practice today. Coach Williams said Denman is dealing with ''personal issues'' and is expected to report at some time.
There will be just one practice tomorrow, the first of the prime time practices under the lights. Practice will run from 6:30-8:00pm, tickets are required for admission and is already sold out.