Editor's Note: This is another great practice recap from the FanPost section. Nice work, Macktruck! Keep it up, Rumblers! - BG
The big story of the Wednesday night Buffalo Bills training camp practice was the terrific performance of Prince Miller, who was playing the dime corner role in place of Justin Rogers. Miller had two solid picks off of Ryan Fitzpatrick, showing great quickness and an ability to anticipate exactly where the ball would be. At 5' 9", Miller makes one think of Antoine Winfield, who had a similar ability to be just where he had to be.
Miller also had some nice break-ups, and whenever he was in functioned as the quarterback of the defense with Kelvin Sheppard out and George Wilson taking most of the night off in order to give Da'Norris Searcy some practice time. It's not hard to see this guy as the sixth corner in place of McKelvin, but unlike McKelvin, he could probably be stashed on the practice squad, opening up a roster spot at another position.
Jairus Byrd also had a good night, with a pretty interception and a pop on Derek Hagan in 7-on-7 that sent Hagan sprawling and the spectators wondering if the stretcher was about to come out. Hagan was able to get right up, however, and kept on making good plays all night.
As for the other DBs, no one screwed up, but no one stood out except McKelvin, who as the nickel back could not maintain coverage on the various receivers coming over the middle against him. Donald Jones, Scott Chandler and Naaman Roosevelt (who lined up with the ones tonight) all had lots of completions as a result.
The other big story was the return of Shawne Merriman to full team work. He did fine going against Chris Hairston, who didn't seem able to handle his moves, but had less success against Cordy Glenn. Merriman was playing right and left end almost interchangeably.
Having read several pieces about how Chan Gailey is disappointed with Glenn, and having praised Glenn a lot in my Sunday report, I figured I should train my binocs on him a lot again tonight to see if I need to walk back my former assessment. Glenn did get screamed at by his coach at one point, although I couldn't figure out what he had done wrong. All I know is that when I was watching him no one got by him. Chris Kelsay, Mark Anderson and Merrman kept alternating with each other the whole evening, and Glenn held all of them off. Anderson seemed to give him the most trouble, causing him to back up and shuffle his feet quickly to stay in control, but Anderson never came close to Fitzpatrick while Glenn was on him. If that's a mediocre performance, I would love to see a good one.
Glenn was also a beast in the running game. On one play he took out two defenders, holding off Merriman and then whirling to knock Kyle Williams off the field. Another run-block caused me and the guy sitting next to me to gasp in unison as Glenn pancaked Stephon Gilmore out of bounds to spring Spiller for a big gain.
There was a request after my Sunday report to check out Mark Asper and Michael Jasper. Both are playing with the threes - Jasper at right guard and Asper at center. Both essentially look lost . The practice squad seems likely for both.
I was also asked to focus a little on our two rookie fourth-round linebackers. Tank Carder did not do anything tonight (which is unusual for him), but Nigel Bradham was very active, with a nice pass break-up and some good coverage in general.
Kamar Aiken was inactive and Marcus Easley was running with the threes as part of the rotation, so there's not much to say about either of them. Hagan did make some very nifty receptions, though, and Jones and Roosevelt both had good nights. Stevie Johnson had his usual share of excellent routes and grabs.
Finally, there's the back-up quarterback story. I have saved it for last because it is so disconcerting. On Sunday, I reported that Vince Young looked great, and he did. David Lee was quoted as saying that Sunday's practice was Vince's "best as a Buffalo Bill." But tonight, Young could not do anything right. He was having so much trouble being accurate and consistent that he kept delaying his throws, and the slow releases made it easy for the DBs to pick him off or bat the ball away. He tossed several lame ducks into the air. On other plays, he simply held onto the ball and looked confused. Talk about being inconsistent.
Tyler Thigpen looked better than Young, completing a number of easy short passes and one 40-yard strike down the sideline to Roosevelt. Still, the gulf between Fitzpatrick and his two back-ups runs wide and deep, and could be Gailey's biggest headache at the moment.
Speaking of quarterbacks, the bucket drill was back, with the passers trying to throw a fade pass into a set of trash cans in the corner of the endzone (under Lee, they are piled three high). Ironically, the only guy to put the ball in the can was Young. Fitzpatrick seemed as inaccurate as ever at this drill. However, Lee has amended the drill by setting up plastic screens with bulls-eyes painted on them next to the buckets. For this part of the drill, the quarterbacks are supposed to throw level laser passes at the bulls-eye. Here Fitzpatrick excelled, with one strike after the next, while Young and Thigpen struggled. The moral of the tale seems to be that Fitzpatrick should not throw fade passes, but everything else is okay.
I am going out of town and will not be at training camp again until August 11 at the earliest, but I hope other Rumblers will pick up the torch and provide all of us with reports.