McKelvin signs, will practice in pads Monday (Photo Source)
After their opening day of practices in which the offense shined and several players were signed, the Buffalo Bills received more good news on Saturday. Left tackle Jason Peters, who continued his holdout on Saturday, remains the lone off-field distraction for the Bills.
Rookie cornerback Leodis McKelvin won't be missing any more practice time, as the first-round pick inked a 5-year, $19.4 million deal with $12.6 million guaranteed to officially end his short holdout yesterday. As the Bills have a closed practice session today, the first time Bills fans will get to glimpse McKelvin will be during Monday's practice in pads.
Here's what took place of note on the field during Saturday's two practice sessions (courtesy of BuffaloBills.com):
Running Backs Catching Passes
As promised, new offensive coordinator Turk Schonert is making a concerted effort to get Buffalo's running backs more involved in the passing game this season. Both Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson - and even Dwayne Wright to an extent - made some plays in the passing game, as Trent Edwards had another efficient day throwing in the short and intermediate areas. We're very interested to see how this practice field development manifests itself during pre-season action.
Play of Note: "Jackson slipped down the sideline and Edwards tried to drop in ball over Paul Posluszny in coverage. Poz had solid coverage 20 yards downfield, but Jackson leaped up and over Posluszny to pull the ball in for what looked to be a reception and a 30-yard gain along the near sideline."
Schouman moving up depth chart?
As was the case during spring practices, second-year tight end Derek Schouman has been taking the bulk of first-team reps at the position - even with veteran Robert Royal fully cleared to practice. An interesting note from Chris Brown:
In Royal's defense he's still getting his legs up under him after doing no football related work in the spring since he was still rehabbing. But Schouman has looked good in the passing game making plays every practice. And as I said earlier in the offseason when the pads go on he won't disappoint. He likes the physical nature of the game.
Royal is currently second in the tight end rotation, followed by Courtney Anderson, Tim Massaquoi and Derek Fine. Definitely an interesting situation brewing at this position.
James Impressing at Corner
In Buffalo's defensive backfield, veteran free agent acquisition Will James continues to impress. He's repeatedly making plays on the ball, tipping passes and making things happen in the turnover department. He's not alone, however; Terrence McGee, Ashton Youboty and even rookie Reggie Corner have made some similar play themselves. With McKelvin already two days behind in terms of on-field work, James seems to be a virtual lock for the nickel role - unless, of course, he challenges for a starting role.
Play of Note: "Later on in practice however, James successfully tipped a pass in the air and it was caught by John DiGiorgio for an interception. James began running up the field pumping his fist."
Good Pass Rush, or Bad Protection?
Buffalo's defensive front seven successfully got some heat on the team's quarterbacks during Saturday morning's session. This is either a good sign for a defense that sorely needs to create pressure, or a bad sign for an offensive line playing without its best player.
Play of Note: "A short time later Kawika Mitchell appeared to come on a delayed blitz and would have taken Edwards down from the blind side had it been live football."
The Bills have a closed, walk-through practice session on Sunday. They'll put the pads on for the first time in a lone Monday practice session, and Tuesday marks the team's first night practice.