Minicamp began for the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday and the only player missing in action was Jairus Byrd. As reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Byrd will not be in attendance until he receives a new contract. Buffalo certainly has the cap space, but now it’s going to come down to how much money the Bills are comfortable paying Byrd.
Panda Quarterback Watch!
The quarterback competition was down to two after the Bills released Tarvaris Jackson on Monday.
Coach Doug Marrone had the following to say on Jackson:
“It’s a very tough profession and we really appreciate the job that Tarvaris did and how hard he worked,” said Marrone. ”He was improving, and now he has an opportunity to catch on with another team and I think that’s important. He deserves that.”
As for the two quarterbacks that remained, E.J. Manuel and Kevin Kolb both saw plenty of snaps on Tuesday. Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News saw the as 49 for Kolb, 39 for Manuel and 11 for Jeff Tuel.
Both quarterbacks struggled on Tuesday when trying to pass the ball down the field. E.J. Manuel was successful finding Da’Rick Rogers deep on one play, while Kolb did not complete any deep passes.
Doug Legursky, Manny Lawson and Alan Branch all made their first appearances with the Bills on Tuesday. Legursky, signed on June 5th, played left guard for the entire practice. BuffaloBills.com reported that Legursky spent most of the day with the second unit, but he did rotate in with the first unit as well. Legursky had the following to say on his first practice:
“It was exciting,” Legursky told Buffalobills.com. “I got some good quality reps with the twos and the ones and I felt comfortable. I know the offense pretty well. Coming in last week and finally signing and they pretty much threw the playbook at me and sent me home, but I pride myself on being a cerebral player to where I can kind of ingest that and take it all in and not have to be coached a lot on what to do as opposed to how to do it. So things went good today.”
Manny Lawson and Alan Branch also took the field with the Bills after missing the team’s OTAs. Lawson rotated in with the first unit while Branch spent most of his day with the second unit.
Following practice, Branch spoke about the tempo of practice:
“This tempo is something. I don’t think no matter how hard I trained at home, there was no way I was going to be ready for what we just did and only thing you can do is go out there and practice and get yourself into the shape and get used to the tempo that they have on offense.”
Tim Graham of the Buffalo News that both Lawson and Branch missed OTAs due to their significant other having a child.
Defense Wins the Day
The defense was the better unit of the day by all accounts. Coach Marrone praised the defense specifically:
“I was really pleased with the defensive backs especially. I thought this was the best that they’ve communicated since we’ve been together, which is a great feeling for myself because it’s a feeling of comfort that they’re getting comfortable with our scheme. But I think now that the quarterbacks are getting a chance to work with the receivers the timing will come into play and that will help us offensively.”
Mario Williams and Keith Pough both were credited with sacks on Tuesday. Alex Carrington continued his strong play with a tackle for loss on a C.J. Spiller run and Stephon Gilmore was also credited with a tackle for loss after reading a screen pass. The only interception of the day went to Aaron Williams.