Bills hold a short practice

The Bills held a short practice today as the team prepared for a trip to Cleveland. As the Bills and Browns will have two joint practices tomorrow and a scrimmage on Saturday.

Thursday's Practice

The Bills had a 45 minute practice today focusing primarly on goal line formations and some 11 on 11 drills.

Today's practice while short with light contact, made a lot of information was attainable. In the first of the few position battles it still looks like Ryan Denney has a leg up on the starting LDE position. Meanwhile, Grant Irons continues to play with a lot of intensity as does the rookie Chris Kelsay. Marcus Jones had another light day while they are still nursing him along, even though both he and Coach Krumrie believe he is back to 100%.

As the Safety position battle unfolds, the newcomer, Ainsley Battles, is trying to get his piece of the pie. He did himself no favors today by missing a tackle and dropping an easy pick. The safety position seems to look as follows: Starting: Wire at strong safety, Pierson Prioleau at free safety with Tony Driver and Izell Reese in the backup roles for each position. However, at times both Driver and Reese are still taking snaps with the first team defense. That fact, coupled with the observation that Wire and Prioleau are sitting out on a lot of first team drills, leads me to believe that both safety positions are open, however, it will take a lot to unseat Wire than Prioleau. Those 4 seem to be the coaching staff's favorites and all others have slim chances of making the final roster.

In the Race for the third TE spot it seems to me that Ryan Neufeld is far ahead of McDonnell. The onlything in Brady's favor is he is the larger of the two and is more of a blocking threat.

At wide receiver the top three are Moulds, Reed, and Shaw. After that it is still very unsettled. Rookie Sam Aiken is sure to get a roster spot, so that leaves the final WR Position to Charles Johnson, Clarence Coleman, James Jett, Rodney Wright, Andre Rone, Paris Jackson, Antonio Brown and Jarel Myers. Right now it looks like Brown could win the kick returner job, so that means the final roster spot would go to one of the others, Coleman and Jett offer a better deep threat but Johnson has better hands and overall skills. The others seem to be longshots to make the final roster perhaps one of the younger guys will latch onto the practice squad

At this point the coaching staff is trying to decide on whether they want 6 WR's and no kick retuner spot or 5 WR's and 1 KR spot. Or they may choose to have 6 WR's plus a KR spot and eliminate the third TE as you may recall the Bills only had two TEs on the active roster at times last year.

At QB, the battle flipped again, Van Pelt did nothing short of stinking up the joint while Brown started to look like an adequate backup for the first time this camp while Jason Johnson flashed potential as well. My view is that if Brown gets the nod at number 2, then Van Pelt's contract would be unmanageable as the number 3, and he would be released. I don't like it, but it may happen if what AVP did today happens repeatedly. Johnson or possibly some waiver pickup would then be the number 3 guy.

Sam Gash was in a backup role at fullback today with Phillip Crosby taking the first team snaps and looking very good at it. In Gash's limited action he looked old, he dropped a few easy balls, and missed a usual gash block. It was unfortunate to see, but I think he will be more of a mentor than a factor at this point, but I hate to count him out so soon.

Some defensive packages are starting to shape up as well. The nickel package today was run with LB Posey in at LDE, Sam Adams and Pat Williams at DT, and Schoebel at his usual the RDE spot. The backers were just Spikes and Fletcher both aligned over the tackles. The secondary was Winfield, Thomas, Clements, Wire, Reese (Prioleau sat out today, but he is still the starter.) Winfield covered the slot receiver like he did for most of last season, but he at times he was lined up almost as an OLB. It looked to be a very fast defense, but it still maintained a lot of run stopping ability up the middle and I would expect to see it a lot this year.

In more individual notes, RB Henry looked terrific again, he still looks very shifty and he isn't fumbling (knock on wood) but is not taking any hits yet either. It looks like he is focusing more on making people miss right now than he is on making them afraid to hit him. Moulds made the catch of the day again, on a deep ball that he went up and snagged. Reed made some nice catches as well.

Plays of the day in the secondary include, safety Battles knocking a ball which looked to be a sure TD away from WR Wright and rookie DB Terrence McGee had a nice knock down as well.

Bledsoe's arm didn't look great today, he was very accurate on short balls but left a few deep one's short.

In injury news, OT Williams (hamstring) and DT Sape (calf) sat out again but neither is hurt too seriously. As mentioned earlier, S Prioleau was given a day to rest as he sat out as well.

Joe Herne contributed to the majority of this report

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