Monday, August 18, 2014
Bills Camp Report: Day 30
By Mike Rodak
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Buffalo Bills training camp:
- Day 30? Wow. The NFL's longest training camp rolled on with a night practice Monday. The biggest news was the absence of wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who rode an exercise bike at one point during practice and watched from the sidelines later. Before practice, Bills coach Doug Marrone did not reveal the results of X-rays on Watkins' ribs and declined to give a timetable on his return. While the team officially said Watkins had a "rib contusion" after Saturday's game, they are now simply calling it a "rib injury."
- There was plenty of shifting on the offensive line as left tackle Cordy Glenn returned to team drills for the first time. That had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the line, with Seantrel Henderson moving to first-team right tackle and Erik Pears moving to right guard. In our view, that puts the Bills' best five offensive linemen on the field. Kraig Urbik, who started at right guard last season, was the second-team center, flanked by Doug Legursky and Cyril Richardson at guard. That could lead to a battle between Urbik and Legursky to crack the 53-man roster.
- More shifting came in the secondary. Leodis McKelvin participated in team drills, lining up across from Stephon Gilmore in what will be the Bills' opening-day look. Nickell Robey remained the slot cornerback, with Corey Graham moving to safety. The Bills tried different combinations at safety, mixing Aaron Williams with Graham, Duke Williams, and Da'Norris Searcy. The Bills said in the spring that Graham could see time at safety and it may finally be coming to fruition.
- Marcell Dareus did not take part in team drills Monday. In his place, the Bills used a combination of Landon Cohen, Corbin Bryant, and Stefan Charles. They're likely looking for the best options to back up Dareus and Kyle Williams. It's possible that the Bills keep all three of those reserve options on the roster, although they could choose two of the three and move on from the third. As for Dareus, Marrone briefly came over to the sideline later in practice to talk to Dareus, prodding at his left elbow as if it were injured. Something to monitor.
- On the heels of his 77 percent completion rate in Thursday's practice, EJ Manuel topped it with an 81 percent night Monday. He went 17-for-21 in team drills, completing four passes to Fred Jackson, four to Robert Woods, three to C.J. Spiller, and one to Mike Williams. Nothing was too deep -- it was a heavy dose of short hooks and flare passes to the running backs -- but his accuracy was on point and he didn't throw any interceptions. It was a good night of practice for Manuel, without Watkins.
- The Bills will be back on the practice field Tuesday afternoon. They'll practice again Wednesday and Thursday before breaking camp.