Buffalo Bills Training Camp Report 7/31/2006

The Buffalo Bills finally came out wearing pads and had some hitting for a change. They didn't do a lot of hard hits, but this was the first time that full contact was made. By having Craig Nall out with an injury, this split the reps evenly with the quarterbacks. Both JP Losman and Kelly Holcomb shared the practice time and again neither one stood out.

Just like before, the team did the usual individual drills. The quarterbacks worked with the receivers and both of them made some nice throws. JP Losman did a nice job with some downfield throws to the receivers. On the other side of the field, the lines worked against eachother. I specifically watched John McCargo and Kyle Williams. McCargo showed his speed when he got by Justin Geisinger on one drill by pulling him down and then getting around him. Kyle Williams made some nice moves on Melvin Fowler and on one play spun around to get at the quarterback dummy. Ryan Denney also did a nice job at getting around the tackle.

Special Teams was up next. Bobby April had the players work on running downfield to block the opponent. Some of the players made plays to spin around the guy that was blocking them. Others just knocked the guy over. Matt Bowen stood out to me. He did a nice job getting around his guy. Later in the day, Bobby April was explaining the different rules on kickoffs to the players. One of the things he said that I didn't know was that you could take a knee if you field a squib kick. He also was explaining all the different rules about fielding a kickoff that goes near the end zone. Very interesting.

The team then went onto some 7-on-7 drills. JP Losman was clearly the winner here. He started the drill out with a quick pass to Lee Evans, then he threw a beautiful 30-yarder to Willis McGahee. Losman then made two quick passes to Josh Reed and Daimon Shelton. (Yeah Daimon Shelton is still getting balls thrown to him.) Both passes were about 5-yards.

Kelly Holcomb got his chance in 4 plays and did a nice job too. He first threw a screen to Willis McGahee for about 7-yards. Then he found Sam Aiken for 10-yards. Next was a quick pass to Andre Davis for 6-yards. Finally, he threw an 8-yard pass to Shaud Williams. Losman came back and wowed right away with a 50-yard bomb to Lee Evans. It was a beautiful looking play that could have gone all the way. JP then threw a quick bullet to Peerless Price for 7-yards. He finished this series off with a sideline pass to Andre Davis for 11-yards at the sideline and then a quick pass to Peerless Price for 6-yards.

Kelly Holcomb came back and lost this round. He first threw a pass that was almost intercepted, but Eric Bassey dropped it. Then Holcomb threw right to Courtney Watson who also couldn't hold on. Losman came back for 2 plays and the first one was incomplete due to excellent coverage by the defense and then to Josh Reed for 9-yards. Holcomb finished the drill off with a dumpoff to Joe Burns for 6-yards and then an 11-yard pass to Martin Nance. Next up was the 11-on-11 drills. The offensive line struggled a bit with the blitz, but did open up some holes for the running back. Kelly Holcomb probably won this round but not by a lot. He started out with an 8-yard pass to Lee Evans. He then would have been "sacked" by London Fletcher who got right thru the line with in a blitz. He then threw a short pass to Lee Evans for about 5-yards. Willis McGahee took the ball next and pounded up the middle for 4-yards. Then the defense made a great play when Ryan Denney sniffed the reverse with Josh Reed and stuffed him for a loss of 5-yards. Willis McGahee then had a nice 6-yard run around the Left tackle thanks to a nice block by Mike Gandy.

JP Losman finally got a chance to pass, but he was pressured heavily. He stepped up in the pocket, instead of scrambling and threw a beauty to Peerless Price for 12-yards. Losman then threw a short pass to Lionel Gates for 5-yards. Kelly Holcomb came back in and felt the pressure that Losman felt, this time Josh Stamer got by in a blitz. Holcomb ended up throwing an incomplete pass. He then threw a pass that was a little high but, Jonathan Smith came down with it for 11-yards. Anthony Thomas came in at RB and pounded thru the middle of the defense for 5-yards. Next Kelly Holcomb threw a screen to Shaud Williams, who caught it at the line, then was leveled by London Fletcher.

JP Losman came back in and struggled with the snaps from Justin Geisinger. He bobbled two of them in a row. He recovered with a screen to Roscoe Parrish who made the catch and then juked Eric King and ran for about 12-yards. JP then threw a nice pass to Peerless Price for 16-yards. Joe Burns then came in at running back and was stuffed by Josh Stamer. Next Losman threw a touch pass to George Wilson for 13-yards. He finished this drill with a coverage sack. Kelly Holcomb had one more chance and threw a short pass to Fred Jackson, who was hit very hard by Keith Ellison. Jackson then had a 5-yard running play to finish off the drill.

After the second special teams drill where Bobby April explains the do's and dont's of kickoff returns, the Bills did one more 11-on-11 drill. This was where JP Losman lost the day. He started off by throwing to the feet of Robert Royal and then threw another low pass to Josh Reed's feet. Kelly Holcomb threw a 12-yard pass near the sideline to Sam Aiken, who made a great catch with his hands and kept the ball away from the defender before he went out of bounds. Holcomb then hooked up with Sam Aiken downfield for over 30-yards with a beautiful touch pass. Losman came in and overthrew Daimon Shelton. He recovered with a nice screen to Lionel Gates and avoided the pressure. To finish the day off, Kelly Holcomb came in. First, he took a "sack" from the big pressure by the defense. He then threw a screen to Anthony Thomas for about 6-yards. Holcomb finished it out with by overthrowing Chris Denney.

Today's tidbits:

1. JP Losman has the better arm and throws a nice long bomb, but he has to work on his short passes. He still struggled with those. One other thing about Losman is that he seems to have learned to quit running around when he's pressured. When he felt major pressure, he just stepped up in the pocket and threw a nice pass. Let's hope he keeps this up. However, I don't want to see him stop running. That's always a nice extra!

2. The competition for wide receiver is getting fierce. Everyone is doing a great job out there. Roscoe Parrish is getting more action as a wide-out as Peerless Price sees time in the slot. Josh Reed is getting the most reps at #2 receiver, but anyone is fair game. Sam Aiken is also doing a solid job and has impressed me with some nice catches and he showed his speed a few times too.

3. Chris Kelsay was back in the starting line, but I wonder if maybe he shouldn't be. He didn't do a bad job, but I have been very impressed with Ryan Denney. He's getting very good penetration.

4. This defense has the ability to force so many turnovers. The only problem is that they aren't capitalizing right now. I have counted about 5 INT's a day, that are dropped. Courtney Watson had a great chance to make a good play, but he dropped the ball.

5. Takeo Spikes isn't practicing full force yet, but he got his first hits in today. He faced tight end Brad Cieslak in a blocking drill and hit him a few times.

6. Donte Whitner needs to convince his agent to get a deal done soon. He is seeing his chance at starting float out the window more each day. Matt Bowen has done a good job at SS and has made a couple nice plays in camp so far.

Overall, it was another good day at St John Fisher. It was nice to see the players in pads and actually hitting. Hopefully we start to see that more often.

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