Buffalo Bills Training Camp: 7/28/2013
Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:01 AM
It's official. The long offseason is now over with and Buffalo Bills Training Camp has finally begun. Fans packed the house as there was a lot of interest in seeing the what the new regime under Coach Marrone would be like. It's only the first day, but the quicker tempo was noticed right away. You could tell the team is going to be run a bit differently from the Chan Gailey Era.
To start the day off, the Bills came out to loud cheers and practiced at Growney Stadium for most of the night, with a few drills done on the Polisseni track and field complex. As always, the Bills started off with their warm-up drills where the QB hands the ball off and then the whole offense jogs 20 yards with the running back. Following this drill, the team did something that they haven't done in years. They actually stretched out on the field and did several different stretches, plus jogged in place. This was something that used to be done regularly before Gailey.
After they got their stretching done, the team went right to work on the fundamentals in the individual drills. Coach Marrone was walking all around the field, but spent quite a bit of time working hands on with the offensive lineman, including putting his hand on the ground. I was watching the running backs and noticed they were working on hand eye coordination by catching a pass, handing it off and then turning the other way for another quick pass. After about 10 minutes or so, the Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends left the main field to work on passing drills on the grass field.
Following the individual drills, the players came back to Growney Stadium to work on passing drills for the fans. I was amazed with how fast the Quarterbacks were getting the ball out. Both Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel showed a very quick release. They worked on some deep passes, with the receivers torching the defensive backs several times. Stevie Johnson got it started with a nice leaping catch from Kolb. EJ Manuel then came in and underthrew Brad Smith a bit, but he made a great catch with his hands. Both quarterbacks did a great job with the deep ball and connected with their receiver on a bunch of passes.
The team worked on the one-on-one drills for about 10-15 minutes, then the horn sounded and they began 7-on-7 drills. I couldn’t believe how fast paced the team was. Kevin Kolb started the drill out, but Nigel Bradham broke it up. EJ Manuel then came in and his Brad Smith for 11-yards. Jeff Tuel then got his shot and found Da’Rick Rogers for 5-yards. Kolb came back and hit Chris Hogan for 12-yards. Manuel then threw a 15-yard pass to Kendall Gaskins. Tuel came back in and threw a nice 60-yard bomb to Brandon Kaufman for a touchdown. Kolb returned and hit Stevie Johnson for 6-yards. Manuel then returned and found Hogan 8-yards. Tuel came back once again and hit Mike Caussin for 15-yards. Kolb came on the field for a final time and hit Stevie Johnson for 5-yards. Manuel then returned his final time in the drill and dumped it off to CJ Spiller, but Arthur Moats broke it up. On the final play of the drill, Jeff Tuel came back and found Kevin Elliot for 13-yards.
Following the 7-on-7 drills, the team worked on 11-on-11 with a focus on the running game. CJ Spiller led off with a run up the middle for 2-yards. He then tried again and gained 3-yards until Aaron Williams closed the hole. On the next play, Kevin Kolb felt some pressure from Jerry Hughes, which forced him to throw an incomplete pass to Frank Summers. Following that play, Kolb felt even more pressure and would have been sacked by Torell Troup. He then chose to run with the ball to avoid pressure and would have been crushed by Stephon Gilmore. On the next play, Kolb threw a nice pass to Scott Chandler for 25-yards. The backups then entered the field and Tashard Choice ran up the middle for 2-yards. EJ Manuel then hit Mike Caussin for 11-yards. On the next play, Manuel handed the ball off to Tashard Choice, who was stuffed for no gain by Corbin Bryant. Choice then got another chance to carry the ball and gained 4-yards up the middle. Manuel then decided to pass the ball, but he overthrew Chris Gragg. He followed that up with a fumbled handoff to Choice. The starters then came back and Fred Jackson exploded up the middle for 6-yards. Kevin Kolb then threw an 8-yard pass to Lee Smith. On the next play, Kolb felt a ton of pressure from Jerry Hughes and threw it away. Fred Jackson then got another chance to carry the ball, but was tackled at the line by Aaron Williams who sniffed out the play right away. Jeff Tuel then came out with the third team. Kendall Gaskins got the ball and ran up the middle for 2-yards. However, on the next play he was tackled behind the line by Corbin Bryant. Jeff Tuel the threw a pass to DeMarco Sampson, who dropped the ball. To finish the drill off, Gaskins ran up the middle for 5-yards.
The horn sounded and then the team went to work on special teams. They mainly focused on assignments and positioning. Leodis McKelvin, TJ Graham, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin were the punt “returners” and caught “punts” from the jugs machine while the rest of the players worked on their assignments and were directed where to line up and who to cover. Unlike previous years, the team didn’t spend much time on the special teams drills. But then again, it’s only the first day and then don’t have any pads on yet.
Following the special teams break, the team went right to work on 11-on-11 drills again. This time it was a faster paced compared to the prior 11-on-11 drill. CJ Spiller led it off with a 6-yard run up the middle. Kevin Kolb then hit TJ Graham, but he dropped the ball. On the next play, Kolb tried to hit Dorin Dickerson but he couldn’t hang on to the ball. Kolb then ran with the ball with 5-yards. EJ Manuel then came onto the field and threw a beautiful long pass to Kevin Elliot for about 45-yards. Zach Brown then got the ball and ran around the left tackle for 4-yards. Manuel chose to run the ball on the next play and gained 7-yards. He then connected with Marquise Goodwin for 6-yards. Manuel followed that with a 5-yard pass to Scott Chandler. On the next play, Manuel tucked the ball and ran with it for 8-yards in what looked like the read option that seems to still be a small part of the offense. He then threw a pass to Mike Caussin, but he dropped it. On the next play, Sam Young was beat cleanly by Jerry Hughes for a sack. CJ Spiller then ran around the left tackle for 10-yards. However, on the next play Spiller was tackled behind the line by Corbin Bryant. Manuel then finished the series off with a nice 13-yard pass up the middle to Marcus Easley. Jeff Tuel then entered the field and dumped the ball off to Kendall Gaskins for 6-yards. Gaskins then carried the ball two consecutive times and gained 3-yards and followed it by getting stuffed at the line. Tuel finished the series off with a pass to Da’Rick Rogers for 10-yards.
The starters came back onto the field and Fred Jackson got the ball and ran up the middle for 7-yards. Kevin Kolb then spotted Stevie Johnson for an 8-yard gain. He then tried to go back to him, but threw the ball behind Stevie. Kolb then threw a nice 17-yard pass to Kevin Elliot. On the next play, Ron Brooks came in on a delayed blitz and would have had the sack. Fred Jackson then ran up the middle for 2-yards until Jarron Gilbert met him. EJ Manuel returned onto the field and connected with Brad Smith for 11-yards. Zach Brown then ran up the middle for 3-yards. On the following play, EJ Manuel felt pressure from Manny Lawson and scrambled to get away. Brown then got another carry and gained 2-yards up the middle. On the next play, Manuel threw a bad looking pass where he stared down his receiver and was intercepted by Mana Silva who returned it for a touchdown. On the next play, Manuel felt more pressure and tucked the ball and ran for about 5-yards. Kevin Kolb came back onto the field and dumped the ball off to CJ Spiller who flew down the field for 20-yards. He then went back to Spiller with a screen for 14-yards. Kolb then hit Marcus Easley for 6-yards, but he dropped it as he hit the ground. On the final play of the drill, CJ Spiller was stuffed behind the line by Jarron Gilbert. After that play, the horn sounded and the Bills decided to end practice early. It went for 2 hours and 15-minutes instead of the scheduled 3-hours. But the fans seemed happy as they all rushed to the fences to get autographs.
1. For all the people that grew bored with the Chan Gailey and Dick Jauron training camps, there is a big difference now. The practice seemed to fly by for the most part and the tempo was fast paced all night long. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it goes when they start wearing pads. I have a feeling there will be quite a bit of contact.
2. I have always been able to take lots of notes and photos at the same time, but I struggled during the passing drills and some of the 11-on-11 drills. They were running a no huddle offense that was completely different from any no huddle we've seen in the last 10-yards. I was really impressed with how fast the Quarterbacks were getting the ball out. Both Kolb and Manuel showed a very quick release.
3. This will be an interesting QB competition. I think they are evenly matched for the most part. Kolb impressed me with several throws and held his own with the deep ball. But EJ Manuel had an even better deep pass. His two long passes in the 1-on-1's to TJ Graham were placed right in the sweet spot and would have both been 40+ yard touchdowns. I do worry about Manuel having happy feet though. He liked to run with the ball anytime he saw pressure coming.
4. Look out for Aaron Williams. He looks to be reborn at safety. I was impressed with how many running plays he was right there to make the tackle and then he also did a pretty good job with pass coverage too. Maybe safety is where he will finally flourish.
5. The not so shocking news of the day was that Mario Williams was held out of practice. Apparently he had a sore foot and was held out at the last minute. Hopefully this isn’t something that lingers. I look forward to seeing what he can do in this defense.
6. Props go to EJ Manuel, Robert Woods, Dustin Hopkins, Rian Lindell, Bryan Scott, Stephon Gilmore, Scott Chandler, the offensive linemen and several rookies for spending time chatting with the fans and signing autographs after a long first day of practice.
Overall, it was a good first day. There was a big crowd of people and they were cheering the big plays, plus keeping themselves entertained with different chants. The weather was pretty nice for the most part, except for a quick rain. The action on the field was surprisingly fast paced and the best thing of all was that football was back! I'm looking forward to later in the week when the players start wearing pads. That's when the real fun begins.
Oh and here's my training camp gallery too....http://s159.photobuc...13 Sunday Night
Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:07 AM
Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:09 AM
I hope Wood is ready as our Center, we are going to rely on him a ton this year. Some people might not realize that.
Edited by BuffaloFood, 29 July 2013 - 11:11 AM.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:15 AM
Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:40 AM
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Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:17 PM
Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:18 PM
One comment on the pics...in the 3 where the QBs were working together EJ was 1/2 step behind in each.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:33 PM
Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:36 PM
One comment on the pics...in the 3 where the QBs were working together EJ was 1/2 step behind in each.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:38 PM
Honestly, I watched these drills closely and thought that EJ looked good and much quicker to th point of release than Kolb or Tuell.
There were some where he lagged behind. Like I said earlier in Astro's thread, I wasn't sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but he was generally the first to the point of release. Take it for what its worth. Im sure the first TD he throws, someone will say he looked much better than the others, but I'm sure the first interception thrown someone will sy he forced it.
Edited by mrags, 29 July 2013 - 01:38 PM.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:40 PM
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