Bills LB Kawika Mitchell (Photo Source)
The Buffalo Bills will hold their first night practice of 2008 training camp tonight at 7PM Eastern at St. John Fisher College. Buffalo Rumblings will be represented by yours truly at the festivities; we're already scheduled to meet up with killascript and the Dukes of Awesome, and if anyone else wants to meet up to chat for a few minutes, I'm game. Look for the lame-o wearing the Posluszny jersey, holding a digital camera and obsessively writing notes. Hope to see some of you out there!
Here's what's been making headlines recently in Bills country...
Bills' Defensive Tweaks
Why are the Bills tweaking their defensive system, abandoning specific defensive line techniques and focusing on becoming more physical? Not just because it makes sense. They're doing it to take full advantage of the talents of DT Marcus Stroud.
The Bills will be milking this guy's talent for all its worth. They'll be using the alignments that Stroud is most comfortable with - also known as the alignments that the Jacksonville Jaguars have employed during Stroud's time there - in an effort to get as much statistical production out of their new defensive star as possible. Not a bad strategy at all.
“Obviously we’re hoping he’s going to end up being a big player for us, whether it’s versus the run or the pass,” Kollar said. “He’s obviously a little better in the run than in the pass. He played mainly on the left side in Jacksonville. So for us to say, ‘No, you’re not going to do that; we’re going to play you on the shade (the nose) all the time and you’re going to play a different side than you played on,’ that didn’t make sense to us.”
April Employing New Techniques
Bills Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April has long been known as an innovative, creative and energetic coach. He's continued that tradition this season, reports The Buffalo News:
This summer, on occasion, he has punt returners working on a way to be more sure-handed at catching punts. The returners hold a football in their hands, a punt is boomed into the air. Before the ball comes to them, they must toss the ball they’re holding up, catch the ball that’s been punted, then catch the ball they originally held.
Players Liking Pads
Buffalo's first pads practice was yesterday, and as was mentioned throughout post-practice reports, the level of physicality was good. Running back Marshawn Lynch made one of the better hits on the day, and the fans in attendance loved it.
Fred Jackson, the Bills’ other promising young runner, said players are eager for the first opportunity to practice in pads — even though it hurts later.
“That’s the process we need to take to get ready,” he said. “It’s good to get back to it. We’ll be taking those hits during the season.”
Chris Brown reports that backup QB J.P. Losman injured the thumb and index finger on his throwing hand yesterday after hitting his hand on the helmet of one of his linemen. It's never good news to hear that your backup QB is dinged this early in camp, especially when your starter hasn't proven to be overly durable either. We'll monitor Losman tonight at camp, but all indications are that he'll be fine (he continued to practice yesterday, after all).