Some signs beginning to unfold

On a sunny morning, the Bills worked on the outdoor practice field. They began with special-teams work on punt returns, with an emphasis on the return team's holding up gunners. Players returning, or at least catching, punts included Nate Clements, Bobby Shaw, Josh Reed, Andre Rone, Clarence Coleman, Rodney Wright and Antonio Brown ...

The Bills worked on seven-on-seven drills in the red zone. Again, Kevin Thomas came up with a big play early on, batting a pass away from Reed. Clements was upset for himself for missing an interception in front of the west goalpost.

On fade patterns, first-year cornerback Ronald Hardge worked to pull the ball loose from wideout Brown. On the next play, Dainon Sidney was able to knock an underthrown pass away from Reed. Kevin Gilbride conferred with Reed, with body language indicating that Reed should have seen where the ball was and worked to put his body between Sidney and the ball. That's the kind of little thing, technique thing, mini-camps are for.

Mark Campbell, like other tight ends last season, beat strong safety Coy Wire to a pass in the end zone. Later, Travis Brown threaded the needle through coverage for a touchdown pass to Reed. Wire did make breakup a pass intended for Brady McDonnell later on …

Meanwhile, linemen worked on one-on-one pass-protection drills. Second-round draft pick Chris Kelsay stood up undrafted-free-agent offensive tackle Justin Sands, and looked quicker than right guard Marques Sullivan. For his part, Sullivan seems to have put on upper-body weight – not in his gut, but in his chest …

In 11-on-11 drills, extra wide receivers and nickel defenses were introduced …

The first scuffle of the mini-camp came, with defensive end Aaron Schobel trying to pull Ray Thomas' jersey over his helmet before teammates broke them up …

Left end Marcus Jones was watching mini-camp in sweats again, apparently not ready for NFL action yet after knee surgery at the end of last year. Defensive tackle Sam Adams was holding his helmet, but did not participate. Cornerback Jason Bostic missed his third straight day …

Sixth-round pick Lauvale Sape got off to a slow start in his first mini-camp, but he did earn the praises of defensive line coach Tim Krumrie for swiveling his hips correctly in hand-slapping a three-dummy obstacle course to run through. In the 11-on-11, Sape also recovered a fumbled snap …

During the 7-on-7, left cornerback Ahmad Brooks went for an interception by jumping an out pattern to Bobby Shaw, but the ball went through his hands and Shaw caught it, showing great concentration and tremendous balance to stay in bounds and take it down the sideline for a touchdown. Brooks is going to be in a fight for a cornerback spot, particularly with Kevin Thomas and Dainon Sidney also vying for roles …

Strongside linebacker Jeff Posey was practicing part of the day with the defensive linemen, a very good sign that the Bills intend to use him on the line this year as part of their rush package. Posey did some of that while playing the 3-4 at Houston …

Nose tackle Ron Edwards, on two occasions during the 11-on-11, slipped by his blockers and created some pressure up the middle. Of course, starting center Trey Teague wasn't in mini-camp, but even at that, Edwards' game is showing signs of undergoing a major transformation.


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