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Bills practice recap, 8/5: defenders get rest

On a near-perfect day in Western New York (sunny, virtually cloudless and mid-to-high 70s), the Buffalo Bills went padless under the sun and allowed several of their key defenders some rest.

Ending practice early, two Bills players who had not had a rest day to date - linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny - did not take part in team work, according to  Further, the coaches allowed their second- and third-team defensive units to take the majority of the team's reps, as many other defenders took it easy on the day.

There wasn't a lot that happened today that's new or terribly interesting, but we'll recap everything we heard (and in MattRichWarren's case, saw) for you anyways.

Keeping track of the O-Line
With Brad Butler missing his second straight practice due to a back injury, second-year pro Demetrius Bell once again saw the lion's share of first-team reps at right tackle.  The rest of the starting line remained the same.  Kirk Chambers saw a few reps at right tackle as well, but spent most of his time as the second-team left guard.

There was a little feistiness out there on the field today.  Langston Walker got into a mini-skirmish with LB Alvin Bowen; Walker continued to block Bowen after the whistle blew.  Walker and Bell also drove defensive ends Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay yards off the line of scrimmage in pass protection on one play.  It's nice to see a little attitude from the starting offfensive line, particularly on a pretty laid-back day at camp.

Technique work dominates the action
You probably won't hear a lot in the way of highlights today, because the Bills spent a lot of time in position work ironing out technical details.  Bob Sanders had his defensive linemen working on getting under blocks and gaining the leverage advantage.  The entire defense later was put through the same paces.  Sean Kugler was once again working with his offensive linemen on hand techniques, and even spent some quality one-on-one time with rookie guard Eric Wood.  The offense spent some time working on break and recover.

Schematically, the Bills continue to make an effort to work on screen passes and the play-action game on a daily basis.  To this point, we've seen a lot more work done in the way of play-action, but the screen pass clearly isn't being ignored, either.  We're curious to see if either is used in pre-season action.

Miscellaneous items
Trent Edwards hit Terrell Owens in stride on one play, but Buffalo's biggest star dropped the pass.  Who's ready to panic? (We kid, of course.)

John McCargo has put in a couple solid days' worth of work after returning from an early camp injury.  He was seen making a stop in the backfield today.

Chris Ellis had yet another play in which he beat a blocker badly while pass rushing; today, it was rookie TE Shawn Nelson.

Speaking of Nelson, he continues to see a lot of work in Buffalo's offensive red zone package.  He looks great in that area.

Donte Whitner had an interception in the opening practice of camp, and we haven't seen or heard boo about him since.  He was seen lined up deep in center field coverage today; on essentially every snap, his first movement is backwards, and then toward the ball.  He's in the role he should have been in all along; we'll see if it leads to more big plays when the games start to count.

Injury Update
Butler was on the field for part of the session in a hat and shorts; he was moving well, but we don't expect him to practice any time soon.  WR Steve Johnson returned to practice, but on a limited basis.  CB Leodis McKelvin remains limited as well.  DE Copeland Bryan and DT Marcus Smith did not practice.

The Bills have another night practice tomorrow night at St. John Fisher; Matt and I will both be in attendance.  As Matt so eloquently put it, "double team supreme." I'm a little weirded out by that, too.