It’s almost difficult to write a recap of today’s Bills practice because nothing really happened. Part of this may have been due to the team taking the pads off as sort of a preparation before their preseason game on Thursday, or perhaps they just had a light practice. But, the bottom line is, I went into practice today hoping to get some notes on the offensive line, but when the guys aren’t wearing pads, it’s difficult to tell much of anything from the guys in the trenches.
Like yesterday, the secondary really came out big this afternoon. The guy I was most impressed by was Aaron Williams, who grabbed an excellent interception during 7-on-7. The reason I was so happy to see Williams contribute is because he hasn’t exactly been the guy we’ve hoped for at this point, and seeing him make a big grab must have done huge things for his confidence. There was a lot less of him getting burned and more of what we saw out of him in training camp last year — just solid coverage.
Ron Brooks also recorded a pick during 7-on-7. This is a guy I think could sneak into the secondary rotation. I’m not keeping track, but he’s had a whole bunch of interceptions this camp, at least two or three a week. If he isn’t straight up catching a ball, he’s involved in most plays that he gets and that has to make Gailey happy. He may be a Day 3 rookie, but I really think he will make an impact at some point during the season.
I’ve gotten some requests for some information on Zebrie Sanders and Michael Jasper, and to be honest, today simply wasn’t the day for updates on them. I will say, in the limited range of work they could do without pads, that neither got run over or missed a block. They looked perfectly fine. But, I will be sure to give you all a more detailed update on them next practice.
Cordy Glenn took the majority of reps at left tackle today, while Chris Hairston handled the right tackle duties. The Hairston/Glenn duel has taken somewhat of a halt because Erik Pears has been out and Hairston has had to take over right side. Again, with no pads, it was difficult to analyze what was going on, but Glenn has looked a lot better at the left than in the start of camp. Glenn played mostly guard in college, so this switch is all about learning the position and getting comfortable with being a NFL caliber OT. He definitely looks more comfortable and I will update you all on this battle as it goes on.
Thursday, of course, the Bills will be taking on the Redskins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Here are three things I will be looking at come game day:
1. Play of the secondary. No one has any idea what the Skins have on their hands with Robert Griffin III and I sure hope the Bills are ready to make his first day a nightmare. The secondary has come up with back-to-back-to-back big days and I expect to see that trend continue.
2. Tyler Thigpen/Vince Young. Thigpen told me after practice on Monday that the Skins game coming up was all about seeing the differences in the Bills/Skins defense. We talked a little bit about the battle between him and Vince and he displayed an aura of confidence directly co-aligned with his play over the last few days. I expect him to look very good in his preseason debut. As far as Young goes, he’s looked better, too. We will just have to see. I predict that Thigpen takes second team reps and Young takes third, but that’s just me.
3. Linebackers. Arthur Moats took first team reps over Kirk Morrison today and Wanny said today that Moats has taken the edge over Morrison. Washington has a decent running back in Roy Helu and I think it will be interesting to see how the linebackers do against the run, and specifically, how Moats fits in with the one’s.
On a side note, today I got the chance to talk to my childhood hero, Jim Kelly. I’ll be doing a story on it for my newspaper, and I will certainly be linking it in my next report. Kelly was an incredibly nice dude and it was a lifelong dream to be able to have a conversation with him. We talked about the Bills offense, the back up quarterbacks, how he recruited Mario Williams and the game on Thursday, so please be on the look out for that. It was quite an awesome experience.
Enjoy the next few days off of training camp everyone and make sure you root hard for the Bills Thursday night!
I’ll be watching the game from the stands, too, so feel free to send me Tweets @chrishooker9 if you have any questions!