Another day, another dominating performance by the defense. Wednesday was day two of Buffalo’s three day minicamp and the defense by all accounts looked outstanding.
Chris Brown, lead journalist of BuffaloBills.com, noted that this is the time of year when the defense outperforms the offense due to the complexity of the offense.
Wednesday saw the Bills defense creating turnovers and sacking the quarterback.
Aaron Williams pulled in an interception for the second consecutive day. Yesterday’s interception came in the safety position, but on Wednesday he did it as a cornerback. Lined up against Marquise Goodwin, Williams ran stride for stride with the speed receiver and pulled down an interception on an E.J. Manuel throw.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine praised Williams’ play in minicamp:
“Being a safety is such a different world from being a corner,” said defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. “Now there are a lot of plays where he ends up locked up on a guy and his corner instincts can take over. But it is a lot of learning and a lot of communication and I think he’s ahead of schedule of where we thought he would be. He’s flashed just the things that we saw in him as far as being a safety. Real nice play yesterday undercut a throw, interception and obviously his range his ability to get sideline to sideline is obviously something we’re going to take advantage of.”
Stephon Gilmore added an interception on a deep pass play and undrafted free agent Nickell Robey joined the party by outfighting Chris Hogan on a pass.
Buffalo’s two-minute drill started off well with a 20-yard check-down from Kevin Kolb to Fred Jackson, but then the defense took over. On four straight plays, the defense registered sacks of Kolb. Two of the sacks were registered by Jerry Hughes. Nickell Robey added a sack to his impressive stat-line and fourth round pick Duke Williams added the fourth.
Pettine was happy with the defense’s ability to pick up the team’s plays quickly:
“It is a lot and that was on purpose and we’ve been pleased. Our inventory, we’ve put in a lot. We’ve added. We’ve tweaked some things and changed some things that kind of existed in the system before to take advantage of what we do. I think as a coaching staff we’re very optimistic with how well this group learns.”
There wasn’t much to talk about offensively on Wednesday, but one player who played well was second-round pick Robert Woods. The former USC Trojan brought in a few catches on the day. His play has been strong since joining the Bills and he’s a near-lock to be starting the season as Buffalo’s Z-receiver.
The Bills’ website also praised Chris Hogan and Brad Smith for their performances on Wednesday. Hogan’s odds of making the roster aren’t great, but he’s doing all he can to make an impression. Smith’s odds of remaining with the Bills is about 50/50 in my opinion. His salary doesn’t match his production, but his special teams play, ability to play wide receiver and run gadget plays as a Wildcat quarterback makes him difficult to cut.
- Ron Brooks and Crezdon Butler were both banged up at practice. Both were pulled from practice and did not return.
- Duke Williams took some snaps with the first unit at safety.
- Mike Pettine spoke highly of Manny Lawson as by WGRZ’s Jonah Javad. Pettine called Lawson one of the smartest players in the NFL.
- The account noted that Kolb, Manuel and Jeff Tuel rotated in at quarterback during 7-on-7 drills. The trio completed their first three passes.
- Buffalo’s final minicamp practice is Thursday at 9:45.