Training Camp Blog: Braving the elements
PITTSFORD, NY - By the end of Bills practice on Sunday, the stands were almost completely empty. A few brave fans were grouped together beneath a handful of scattered umbrellas. About two dozen teenage fans found their way to the top of the stands at Growney Stadium, taking whatever protection they could get from the stadium's pressbox. Beyond the entrance to the field, under a small shelter that covers the door to the fieldhouse, a couple dozen media members took cover. The rains were so hard, they forced everyone away. Everyone except for the players of course. Practice ran the usual two and a half hours.
Before the rains rolled in, it was clear that the Bills were focusing on the execution of the run game. Of their first 11 full-team snaps, eight were running plays. That's something we're likely to see more of Friday night in Minnesota.
Some observations from practice:
Stephon Gilmore and Stevie Johnson had a bit of a battle. During seven on seven drills, the rookie cornerback outworked Johnson to break up the pass. A few plays later, Johnson caught a pass near the goal line and received a quick, light pop from Gilmore for a minimal gain.
Vince Young continues to show off the running ability. During 11 on 11s with the second team, he took off for a 30 yard scramble. It's interesting to wonder how that play would have unfolded during a game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Donald Jones had a nice connection. Fitzpatrick laid a perfect pass over the head of Jairus Byrd and right to Jones in the back corner of the end zone. NFL replacement officials have been taking part in practice over the past few days, and the linesman ruled the play a touchdown; despite the urging of George Wilson.
Training camp continues Monday with an afternoon practice, followed by one final night practice Tuesday. The team's second preseason game is Friday in Minnesota.