My apologies for the late post today - been busy with higher-priority work; coupled with the fact that all is quiet on the NFL front, I'm sure most of you are enjoying the weather rather than the Internet today. At any rate, we've got OTA practices to catch up on; so, without further ado, here's the highlights from Day 7 and Day 8 of OTAs...
Cornerback Jason Webster is seeing increased reps with the first unit defense:
"I think it's good any time you can get out there, whether it's with the ones or the twos just getting a feel of the defense and a feel for the guys playing next to you," said Webster who has been with his new teammates for a little over a week. "It really does help. I'm just trying to correct the mistakes of the day before and contribute to the team's success."
First thing's first - I still believe Thomas will be our starter on opening day. His year of experience in this defense makes him the obvious choice to start obvious Terrence McGee. But from the sounds of it, Webster is emerging as a huge threat to Ashton Youboty and Jabari Greer for the nickel job. Count me amongst those displeased with this development - I have nothing against Webster, but I really feel that Youboty needs ample playing time this season to further develop what is still a very young secondary. Let's hope Ashton shows us something and moves back up into the top three in the rotation sooner rather than later.
Did we really draft Marshawn Lynch to be our kick returner?
This isn't unprecedented. Just last year, New England's Laurence Maroney was a big-time playmaker as a kick returner for the Patriots. Of course, he did get banged up as a rookie and still has health issues; perhaps that's why I'm a little concerned about Lynch doing the same. I doubt that this was more than an experiment at this stage, but it would be interesting to see Lynch get a return or two during the pre-season. If he can do it, I don't see why we wouldn't get him more touches wherever we can. All we as Bills fans can ask is that we preserve the health of our most talented runner.
Offensively, the no-huddle package continues to receive attention:
I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again - I think using a no-huddle offense is something that the Bills need to do often this season. It doesn't have to be every possession, or even every game; it just needs to be used intelligently. It's a good way to keep defenses off balance and makes it far more difficult for teams to key on either the run or the pass. Not only do I believe the no-huddle will be more prominent in Buffalo this season; I also believe it will be used more league-wide. Many teams use varieties of it already (most of the best offenses including Indy, NE and Cincy as examples), and I think we'll see it more from other teams as well.
The third and final week of OTAs begin next Tuesday. Stay tuned to Buffalo Rumblings for some of the highlights from next week's practices.