Inside The Bills

Camp honorable mentions

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2011 – 9:23 am

Our sixth annual training camp awards are up on the home page, but there were some other players that largely flew under the radar that we thought should be recognized in our honorable mention section.

CB Leodis McKelvin has not been seen making many plays defending the pass game. That’s because rarely have Buffalo’s quarterbacks thrown to his side of the field, which is an indication of his coverage ability. McKelvin may have had his most consistent camp this summer.

Undrafted rookies are really up against it in terms of trying to make the roster with the finite amount of time available before roster decisions have to be made. But here is a short list of some undrafteds that turned in noticeable plays in camp.

CB Doyle Miller
OLB Robert Eddins
WR Kamar Aiken

Of the three Eddins did the most in the practice setting.

WR Paul Hubbard had a solid camp, making more plays in three weeks than he did in the practice setting all last season. His game has noticeably improved.

CB Reggie Corner was around the ball an awful lot in this camp, perhaps more than any other cornerback on the roster. He didn’t have a lot of picks, but he likely led the secondary in pass breakups in this camp.


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Brandon: New Fisher agreement soon

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2011 – 3:48 pm

At the close of Bills training camp at St. John Fisher, Bills CEO Russ Brandon stated that while the agreement between the team and the school is expiring, he’s optimistic that a new agreement will be in place in short order.

“We’ve had a lot of discussions over the last month and the long and short of it is I think we’re close again on an agreement for St. John Fisher to be the summer home of the Bills for many, many years to come,” said Brandon.

There was the issue of addressing the limited grass field space, as the construction of a new all weather track dramatically reduced the green space that previously housed two full grass football fields. Chan Gailey and his staff were stuck with a pair of 50-yard fields instead.

“We’ve been talking about just that,” said Brandon. “How can we work through the field conditions that we had. We made it work. It was not ideal, but we think we have a solution moving forward and at the appropriate time we’ll talk to everybody about that. But we feel very comfortable that we’ll be here for many, many years to come.”


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Non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2011 – 1:44 pm

Here is the list of non-participants at practice Thursday.

Justin Rogers
Kelvin Sheppard
Shawne Merriman
Kellen Heard
Chris Hairston
Craig Davis
Shawn Nelson
Chris White


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Kyle: Extension talks are new

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2011 – 10:26 pm

Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams confirmed that talks on an extension have begun, but that it’s still very early in the negotiating process.

“They’re just talking,” Williams told Buffalobills.com. “It’s not far along so that’s really, I really don’t know much other than that. I kind of let my guy do that stuff and I don’t deal with it. But that being said, this is where I want to be. I feel like we’ve got a chance, moving in the right direction, got some good players here, and I want to see what I started here through.”

For more on Williams and his superb training camp you can reference tonight’s practice report and find his comments on how excited he is about teaming up with Marcell Dareus up front.


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Levitre confirms LG rotation

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2011 – 1:19 pm

Bills LG Andy Levitre was back with the starting offensive line at Wednesday’s morning walk through, indicating that’s where he’ll be for the Bills night practice tonight. Head coach Chan Gailey hinted that a split of time at the starting left guard spot would be taking place between Levitre and Rinehart. Levitre confirmed that after the walk through.

“We’re just rotating,” Levitre said. “They wanted to see what both of us have to offer. We’re competing for a job. We’re going to be switching back and forth.”

Presumably Levitre and Rinehart will switch off every day to keep the reps as even as possible. Levitre, a two-year starter at left guard, admitted he was a bit surprised by the move Tuesday, but is committed to proving he deserves the starting role.

“I didn’t see it coming at all,” Levitre said of being bumped down to second team Tuesday. “It’s not the greatest feeling in the world but hopefully that will bring some more competition out of me and make us both better players. I know that Chad (Rinehart) is a good player so competition will be good for us in the long run.”

 


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Non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2011 – 6:57 pm

Here’s the rundown for non-participants at practice tonight.

Roscoe Parrish
Justin Rogers
Kelvin Sheppard
Chris Hairston
Zack Pianalto
Kamar Aiken
Shawn Nelson
Chris White


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Troup to practice with cast

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2011 – 1:31 pm

Bills DT Torell Troup, who sustained a cracked bone in his hand plans to practice this afternoon after getting fitted for a cast.

That according to one of his recent posts on his twitter account.

TorellTroup Getting ready for practice. Gotta wear the big cast on my hand lol. Nothin will stop me

Head coach Chan Gailey said Wednesday night that while Troup will play with the hand injury down the line, he didn’t expect him to play this Saturday in the preseason opener.

Troup told Buffalobills.com he wants to play against Chicago.

“I have no clue yet. I’m just going to see what the coaches say,” Troup told Buffalobills.com. “Hopefully I can play. You know I want to play.”


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Troup has cracked bone

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2011 – 6:28 pm

Bills DT Torell Troup, suffered a cracked bone in his right hand. He’s not practicing tonight (Wednesday). For more on this story go to the home page of Buffalobills.com.


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New QBs get on same page w/WRs

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2011 – 10:32 am

New Bills QBs Tyler Thigpen and Brad Smith are making every effort to get on the same page with their new corps of receivers. Naaman Roosevelt, who is featured on the home page of Buffalobills.com today (Tuesday), explains what’s discussed with signal callers that are trying to nail down timing.

“Just understanding how you run routes and what you do to get open,” Roosevelt said. “As a receiver people use different techniques to get open. Whether it’s Tyler or Fitz or anybody when we’re on the side and not in the lineup in practice we talk and see what the receiver saw and what the quarterback saw and just try to get used to what everybody does and I think we’re doing a good job of that.”

Thigpen for the most part has been on target with most of his throws to this point. Roosevelt believes Thigpen’s familiarity with the offense is helping him with the timing. For Smith there’s a lot more that’s new for him, but he too has begun to find a groove with the wideouts.


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The reason Moats is now an ILB

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2011 – 5:19 pm

It’s been mentioned before, but this time Bills head coach Chan Gailey spelled out exactly why they moved Arthur Moats to inside linebacker for the 2011 season.

“The development we felt of (Danny) Batten and (Antonio) Coleman and we also got Shawne Merriman,” said Gailey. “And you look at the prototypical outside backers and there are not a lot of six footers out there and we felt like his quickness and speed allowed him to be a better inside backer than outside backer.”

Moats is only 6’0″ tall and most OLBs in a 3-4 scheme are at least 6’3″. Having a taller frame with longer arms generally makes an OLB a better pass rusher in a 3-4 scheme, which is why scouts sometimes weigh height heavily for that position.


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Troup has hand injury

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2011 – 4:53 pm

Bills DT Torell Troup, who has had a solid camp thus far, had to leave practice early with a hand injury. Head coach Chan Gailey had more.

“They said he hurt his hand and took him in for further evaluation and they never got back to me before the end of practice,” said Gailey. “It was serious enough where they had to take him off so we’ll see what happens.”

Gailey praised Troup for the improvement in his hand usage in terms of disengaging and making plays as a second-year player. Let’s just hope he’s got two good hands to put to use.


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OL Howard’s outlook

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2011 – 7:22 am

Cordaro Howard got his first work on the field Sunday as he came off PUP. So what is the timetable for him to be 100 percent again?

Howard admits he’s not all the way back yet. He still has to build up the strength and endurance in his surgically repaired shoulder. That why his reps won’t be what they are for the other linemen. And while Howard is practicing he’ll also still have to continue doing exercises to get the shoulder back right.

“It feels good,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been working hard at it. I’ll continue with the rehabbing and continue out here with the reps.”

Howard, who figures to be in the mix for the swing tackle job behind projected starters Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears, isn’t sure just when he’ll be back to normal. He doesn’t have a target date.

“Not specifically, just whenever they feel I’m ready and I feel I’m ready the same way,” he said. “That’s definitely going to be the day. It’s not set as one day. I’m just trying to progress toward it.”


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Shawn Nelson still not ready

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2011 – 4:58 pm

TE Shawn Nelson has been a spectator for most of the week after sustaining an injury Monday at the tail end of a run play, and head coach Chan Gailey doesn’t expect him back before mid-week at best.

“He pulled a muscle and he’s probably going to be a couple or three more days at least,” said Gailey.

Nelson will have missed a week of camp by the time he comes back, possibly more, and Scott Chandler and Mike Caussin are turning in plays in the passing game each day. With veteran David Martin also in the fold, Nelson is going to have some ground to make up when he returns.


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Bell injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2011 – 4:42 pm

Bills OT Demetrius Bell left practice early Sunday afternoon. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on the lineman’s status.

“He strained his shoulder,” said Gailey. “They said it’d be a couple of days and probably he’ll be back. They don’t think it’s anything long term or bad. It’s just a strain.”

More on who stepped in to take his reps at left tackle in the Practice Notes writeup on the home page of Buffalobills.com later.


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Non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2011 – 3:04 pm

Here are today’s non-participants at practice.

Donald Jones
Drayton Florence
Justin Rogers
Kelvin Sheppard
Kellen Heard
Marcus Easley
Shawn Nelson


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OL Howard back from PUP

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2011 – 2:59 pm

Bills OL Cordaro Howard has been taken off Active PUP and is practicing.

Howard is coming off offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and damaged rotator cuff.

We will let you know where he lines up when the Bills get into team drills.


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Who Stevie is reminding me of

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 10:38 pm

Stevie Johnson was flat out dominant in practice Saturday night. He had some teammates that turned in some nice plays as well, but the defensive backs really had their hands full with him. He had six catches on the night, two of which went for touchdowns during red zone work. He reminds me of another former Bills that had a dominant camp en route to a dominant season and a Pro Bowl nod.

In the 1998 training camp at Fredonia, there was a wide receiver entering his third year in the league and had done virtually nothing in the league at the position. But that summer it was evident that he was going to change that in a hurry. Former first-round pick Eric Moulds was literally unstoppable in camp practices making big plays each and every practice session.

Come the regular season Moulds was a monster and went to his first Pro Bowl after he put up 1,368 yards receiving on just 67 catches to average over 20 yards per reception (20.4) and nine touchdowns.

Now Saturday night was just the first practice where Johnson looked to be too much to handle, but in this shortened offseason he may just be hitting his stride now after a week of getting back into the swing of things. And he seems more focused than ever.

“I’m at a point where do you just want to be a one-year wonder or do you want to be one of those guys that everybody remembers around the league,” Johnson said after practice. “I’m just learning from Lee really, checking out what Lee’s doing and checking out his patterns and just trying to build off my last year and be better.”

All I know is tonight I watched a performance that reminded me of those Moulds’ camp practices from ’98. Let’s hope they lead to a similar kind of regular season.


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Jones, Sheppard updates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 9:20 pm

WR Donald Jones missed practice Saturday night and LB Kelvin Sheppard is still sidelined with a pulled hamstring. Here’s an update on their conditions.

Head coach Chan Gailey said Jones just got kicked during Friday’s practice and his right calf was sore. He expects Jones to be back in a day or two at the most.

Meanwhile LB Kelvin Sheppard’s prognosis is unchanged. He was to be re-evaluated at the end of the week and Gailey said Shep is still in the 7-10 day range before returning from the injury, which would put him somewhere around Tuesday or Wednesday next week.


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Aaron Williams injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 9:16 pm

Bills second-round pick Aaron Williams headed to the locker room early Saturday night. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on the rookie cornerback’s injury.

“Aaron hurt his hand and they were going to take him in and tell me tonight or tomorrow morning exactly where he was,” said Gailey.

Williams left the practice session about midway through the two hour session, and later tweeted that he doesn’t think it’s serious.

ajwilliams23 Don’t know bout the injury yet doesn’t seem serious but we’ll find out tomorrow
 
Williams comment indicates that his hand could be in line for testing, but as he said we’ll know more Sunday.

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WR Nelson to be okay in time

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 9:00 pm

WR David Nelson said himself he was not 100 percent in his return to the practice field Saturday night, not that you would’ve known it as the second-year wideout turned in a number of noteworthy plays on the evening. What’s most encouraging is after a battery of tests back in Buffalo Friday, Nelson has an answer as to what’s affected his breathing and performance.

“I spent yesterday doing a lot of tests,” said Nelson. “We went back to Buffalo and did pretty much every test imaginable and we figured out what it was. I definitely didn’t feel 100 percent out there today. We had to slow down a little bit, but at the same time I’m back out there and it’s going to gradually get back to 100 percent. Today was a step in the right direction.”

Nelson chose not to reveal the condition from which he suffers, which is absolutely his right. He did say that his condition will eventually subside with medication and time. More on this in tonight’s Practice Notes on the home page later this evening.


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