The Buffalo Bills held their eighth training camp session in humid, muggy weather. Some of the cameramen on the sidelines were dying out there holding their heavy equipment, complaining that today was the hottest day — by far — to be on the sidelines or on the field at St. John Fisher College.
And unfortunately, that didn’t help any one wearing shoulder pads.
I started my day following the defensive line again, like I did on Wednesday, simply because I had seen enough 2-on-1’s the last few practices and I think I can speak for everyone when the D-line is the most exciting part of this team moving forward. My main point coming away from those drills is just how quick everyone is off the snap, particularly Mark Anderson and Mario Williams. Anderson took individual drills early on in practice and I have to say, there is just no logical way I can imagine him not being a starting defensive end come the first day of the season. I’ll admit, the play of Chris Kelsay has grown on me over the last two years, because I appreciate what he is and what he does for the Bills. He’s definitely gotten less clumsy over the years and does provide excellent leadership. Having said that, he just isn’t in the same league as the other guys in the first team. Anderson is simply better at getting to the quarterback. Think Maybin if Maybin could actually move forward.
While Anderson sat out team drills today, I was very impressed with what I saw from early on and from what I’ve seen from him from camp. Color me a huge fan.
Another guy on the D-line who isn’t named Mario Williams that had a huge day today was Marcell Dareus. Again, in individual drills he was just unstoppable, blowing by the o-line with ease. However, there was a moment during goal line stuff during 11-on-11 where the Bills ran a HB drive up the middle with CJ Spiller. Darues shifted a little to the left and just stuffed Spiller at the goal line. #28 literally had nowhere to go. That’s one thing Dareus is great at; using his body to take up space and straight up stop people. He was on full display this afternoon.
Have I talked about Mario Williams yet in these reports? I feel like everyone knows what they are getting with this guy, but I gotta tell you, seeing him in person is so intimidating. I didn’t know his exact vitals before I went to the first day of camp and when I heard someone behind me mention that Mario Williams was 6-6, I thought he was exaggerating. But every time he takes the field, I am just blown away by how enormous he is. It’s not just that he is huge, it’s that he’s huge and fast. Several, and I mean several, occasions, Mario Williams gets to Fitzpatrick and has to stop and stand up in a rest position because for him, the play would have been over seconds ago. If he can stay healthy, I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been to camp fully understands what kind of player the Bills got. I’ll be honest, I certainly didn’t.
As far as 11-on-11 drills went today, the Bills ran a lot of goal line sets today, some that went well, some that went not-so-well. Fitzpatrick was pretty consistent today, hitting guys like Donald Jones and Derek Hagan for TD’s. I sort of ripped on Hagan last report saying I didn’t get why he running with the first-team offense. I read he had a huge day yesterday, and he looked pretty good today, too. I still don’t know why they are using him so much when I think other guys like Graham or Easley have brighter futures, but if Hagan can play, let him play. He’s a case of me wanting to see how he develops.
Spiller, despite getting stuffed by Dareus like I mentioned earlier, had a nice TD run towards the end of practice, too.
Vince Young, who’s had a rough last few practices, looked good today. He had a few TD’s in goal line stuff, including a great pass to David Clowney. Clowney is another interesting case because he has been involved in some pretty remarkable plays the last few practices, first from Brad Smith and now, Vince Young. This probably doesn’t really mean much, but don’t be surprised if he shows up with a few more big plays again throughout the rest of camp.
Offensive line update: Cordy Glenn took reps at left tackle today, both in first and second teams. Hairston also took reps at right tackle with the first team and at left tackle in second and third teams. According to Gailey, this was more of a case of Erik Pears being out than anything else. But, still, it is probably a good idea to see how versatile the o-line is.
One last thing, Michael Jasper and Robert Eddins got into a fight during 11-on-11’s and Jasper knocked Eddins helmet off as the two threw what looked like punches, but could have just been swipes at each others jerseys. It could just be me, but I always love it when players fight at camp. It shows a little fire in those guys, especially guys who are fighting to stay on the roster. Nothing will top Eric Wood’s hit on Aaron Maybin though.
That’s all for today. Go Bills!