Bills prepare for Colts

On the Buffalo Bills' first day back in Orchard Park after completing their training camp in Pittsford, heavy rain forced them inside the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse.

The thrust of Thursday afternoon's practice was third-down plays, along with preparing for Saturday's exhibition game at Indianapolis against the Colts.

Number three quarterback Travis Brown did his best to mirror Peyton Manning's physical mannerisms. Brown also ran around the left end for a touchdown on a bootleg, as Manning had done against Buffalo in 2001.

Brown's passing, however, was not as sharp as Manning's, which is why the Northern Arizona product is just number three on the depth chart. Nate Clements and Antoine Winfield each had an interception. Part of the day's emphasis was on making defensive players aware of and comfortable with the ball, and that included having the entire defense race ahead of the interceptors to block would-be tacklers.

On successive plays with the scout team, rookie wide receiver Maurice Jackson had difficulty. One pass when off his hands, and the next whizzed by him toward the inside of the field while Jackson turned to the outside. Even though wide receivers coach Fred Graves had words of encouragement for Jackson, he can't afford to make mistakes on the scout team because that would be his major function if he was on the Bills' practice squad.

Another player having a bad spell was first-year linebacker Jimmy Robinson. When kicker Mike Hollis booted an onside kick, Robinson started downfield to block rather than holding his position. Dan O'Leary recovered the ball for the kicking team. Robinson's chance to make the team as a backup middle linebacker could depend on playing special teams better than he showed on the onside kick.

Missing the practice because of injuries were tight end Dave More, left offensive tackle Jonas Jennings, guard Corey Hulsey and under tackle Leif Larsen. Alex Van Pelt rested his throwing arm.


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