BillsZone Training Camp Report 8/7/2006

The players again came out wearing full pads and had some full contact drills. The Buffalo Bills practiced on the grass fields today. It was a nice day outside, a bit hot. But not as bad as it was last week. As usual, the team worked on the individual drills, 7-on-7, 11-on-11, special teams and a 2-minute drill.

After some individual and special teams drills, the Buffalo Bills went to work on some 7-on-7. Kelly Holcomb did what he is expected to do, throw a bunch of short passes and hope his receivers can run fast. He had 8 passes thrown in this drill and none of them were over 10-yards. On the other hand, JP Losman threw 6 passes in the drill and 2 of them were over 10-yards. However, Losman did struggle a bit on his accuracy. First he overthrew Sam Aiken, then he took a "sack" and finally, he threw a poor pass that was intercepted by James Bethea. Although, JP Losman did have the best play of this drill when he threw a sweet looking 40-yard bomb to Roscoe Parrish.

For the 11-on-11 drills, JP Losman started off. He began with a nice looking 13-yard pass to Robert Royal. He then overthrew Josh Reed. But he made up for it with a bullet to Lee Evans for 15-yards. Next, Shaud Williams came in and ran up the middle for a short gain. Kelly Holcomb came in and threw a screen to Roscoe Parrish, who again made a sweet looking play to juke Eric King and make it a 12-yard gain. Holcomb then hit George Wilson for 3-yards.

Anthony Thomas got a couple running plays and was stuffed for a short gain by John McCargo on the first play and then had a nice 7-yard run around the left tackle on the second play. JP Losman came in and threw a low pass to Andre Davis that didn't have enough zip on it. Kelly Holcomb came back in and threw a pass that was almost intercepted by Wendell Hunter, but dropped. Lionel Gates then got a chance to run it to the outside and had about a 4-yard gain. JP Losman came in and hit Lee Evans with a quick pass for 9-yards. Then he threw a 10-yard pass to Robert Royal, who made a great catch! To end it, Losman threw a screen to Willis McGahee that was dropped and then had a miscommunication with his wide receiver.

Kelly Holcomb ended this round about the same way. First he threw a 13-yarder to Sam Aiken. Then, he had Courtney Watson knock down his pass. Holcomb next dumped off to Daimon Shelton for 3-yards and then to Martin Nance (who made a nice catch with his hands). Finally, Holcomb finished his drill by throwing a sloppy ball that was dropped by Robert Royal.

Next up was some more special teams practice. This time the team worked on onside kicks. Rian Lindell did the better out of the two kickers. He had quite a few kicks that hit the ground and got a nice high bounce so the coverage players had a chance to recover the ball. I also noticed that the players weren't bunched up on one side of the field like they usually are. This seemed interesting to me.

To finish the day, the Buffalo Bills players did some more 11-on-11 drills. This drill focused on a lot more running plays, but there were still some passes mixed in here and there. For some reason, there was hardly any holes opened in this drill. The offensive linemen got shoved around a bit. Willis McGahee started it off with a couple runs up the middle for about 4-yards a piece and a nice 5-yard run around the left tackle.

Holcomb had three short passes in a row, the first was a quick pass to Josh Reed for about 7-yard. Then he dumped off to Willis McGahee for 5-yards and finally threw a screen to Lee Evans for 3-yards. Anthony Thomas then tried to run and got stuffed by John McCargo. JP Losman then had a chance to make a throw and found Peerless Price for 13-yards. It was another great catch by Peerless. Lionel Gates then tried his luck at running up the middle and pounded thru for about 5-yards. JP Losman then struggled a bit from the pressure and overthrew Andre Davis. Losman then felt major pressure from Kyle Williams and took the "sack". He finished this series with the backups by overthrowing George Wilson.

Next, JP Losman got to work with the starters and handed it off to Willis McGahee for 2 plays in a row. McGahee got about 5-yards up the middle on the first play and then made a nice cut to get outside for about 4-yards. JP Losman then made the play of the day when he found Lee Evans covered one-on-one with Nate Clements. Losman gave him enough time to get separation and then threw a beautiful looking long ball to Evans for about 50-yards that would have gone for a touchdown. Clements got burned badly.

Anthony Thomas then came in and impressed the crowd with a nice looking 12-yard run around the left tackle. Kelly Holcomb then came in with one last shot and threw a quick pass to Jonathan Smith for 7-yards and then connected with Sam Aiken for about 20-yards. Aiken made a nice leap to haul it in. JP Losman finished the day with a bullet to Martin Nance for 9-yards.

Extra Points:

1. JP Losman better win this job, because Kelly Holcomb just bores me. Other fans around me felt the same way. With Kelly Holcomb, you got a guy who dumps it off almost every single play and hopes that the receiver can get more yardage out of it. With JP Losman, you got a player who tries to make something happen every time by giving his receiver time to get open and then has a beautiful looking long ball.

2. Lee Evans was back and looked great. I didn't notice a difference in the way he was catching passes and he still tried to get downfield with every ball he caught.

3. I'm loving the battle for the backup RB job. Right now it's down to two guys, Lionel Gates and Anthony Thomas. Whoever does the best job in preseason will most likely have the job. I'm hoping it's Gates, but Thomas would be good too.

4. I don't know if I've said it before or not, but my sleeper of training camp so far has been Wendell Hunter. He seems to be near the ball on every play and has knocked down a bunch of passes, and came close to intercepting a few too. His only problem is he needs to learn how to hang onto the ball when it is in his hand.

5. Props to Donte Whitner and Takeo Spikes. Both players came to the fence to sign autographs after practice and both were chatting with the fans. Both also stayed for a good half hour and signed for as many fans as they could. Donte Whitner appears to be a really cool guy. I asked him about his jersey number and he said that he didn't want to wear number 36, because he didn't want to keep getting compared to Lawyer Milloy. He said that he has always liked number 20 and was able to get it from Shaud. One last thing is that he has already jumped above Coy Wire on the depth chart. It appears that he may have more of a chance at starting week 1, than I first thought.

Overall, it was another good day at camp. The offense was off a bit at times, but other times they looked good. They do need to work on the loud counts some more because the offensive line still has problems jumping offsides. Hopefully they can get that worked out soon.

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