Matt wasn't able to make it to practice tonight so I thought I would post my observations for whatever they are worth (not as much as his).
The Bills were getting ready for their preseason game on Friday, so they did nothing but walk-throughs this morning and had a much less intense and shorter practice than usual tonight. The star was surely Brian Moorman, who boomed one from his own 30 that sailed sixty-five yards in the air and just missed beaning a startled Ryan Fitzpatrick standing with the other QB's for a drill on the 5 yard line. The crowd went wild. Moorman followed that up with a perfect coffin corner kick that went out on the three. That drew even more applause.
Otherwise, the theme of the night seemed to be quick, short passes, primarily to the RB's and TE's. Not surprisingly, Trent Edwards excelled at this. Both during the 11-on-11 work and in a pass-catching exercise at the outset when the QB's took turns firing laser strikes to the entire receiving corps Fred Jackson looked a step above the rest. His ability to snatch the ball rapidly and firmly while running at top speed is impressive. Joique Bell, Shawn Nelson and David Nelson and Roscoe Parrish were almost as good. Marshawn, by contrast, missed a couple of balls due to poor timing and TE Michael Matthews just plain dropped a couple. Then again, Matthews is there to run-block and pass-protect, not catch passes.
In 11-on-11 Trent completed two great passes to Roscoe, one over the middle for about 25 yards and another in the endzone. The TD pass was thrown behind Roscoe, who made a terrific effort reaching back to get it. Trent to Roscoe looks like it is going to be a combination we will be seeing a lot this year.
Some other things I noted:
-It was hard to tell much about the o-line since they did not have full pads on (and were not even wearing their knee braces), but Kyle Calloway made a nice block to spring Spiller on a running play. He really looks like an OG to me, not an OT. Demetrius Bell did not get beat once at LT and had a strong block on a running play as well. He did lose containment on Aaron Maybin on one play, then recovered almost instantly to regain his block on Maybin. Maybin is quick, but Bell is quicker.
-Maybin was on the field a lot and would invariably run into the OT or TE assigned to block him and then simply stay there in a kind of embrace. I began to wonder if that was what Maybin had been instructed to do, but when Antonio Coleman was in he made a number of moves to get to where the QB was standing. Maybin did manage to push Jamon Meredith back some, but not enough to threaten the QB.
-Among the WR's, David Nelson seems like a standout to me. He runs fast and precise routes -- in many ways looking like an experienced vet rather than a rookie UFA. He also blocks well downfield (something I saw him do several times). I'll be very surprised if he does not make the final roster, along with Chad Jackson and of course the ever-dependable Stevie Johnson, who was quite dependable tonight. That said, Naaman Roosevelt is going to force the coaches to make a hard decision. He didn't miss anything thrown his way, including a very tough ball that he caught in the endzone in heavy coverage. The kid has great hands and concentration. Incidentally, he was lined up with Spiller receiving kickoffs during Special Teams work.
-On defense, I was struck by how fast Marcus Stroud is moving. It would appear that he is penetrating and getting through to the QB more easily from the DE position than he did previously as a DT. No wonder he is said to be very happy with the position change.
-Finally, I was surprised to see Chan Gailey typically standing off at a distance, much as Dick Jauron used to do. I had read that Gailey is usually engaged directly with players throughout the practice, but that wasn't the case tonight. However, Trent Edwards was by his side whenever Trent was not on the field.