Bills rookie defensive end Marcell Dareus was a huge force on the field during the Bills' final night practice Wednesday at St. John Fisher College. Dareus was almost unblockable in line drills and caved the pocket repeatedly in 11-on-11 work. For much of the night, the defense bottled up the offense, which had its second straight rough practice.
"He did a great job," said coach Chan Gailey. "He was everywhere. He’s a big strong physical guy. He had a good night tonight. When he gets healthy I think he can really be something.”
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a slew of incompletions, some of them prompted by pressure from the defensive front, some just off target with the receivers.
“I thought our defense was very strong," coach Chan Gailey said. “We’re putting in some different stuff this week, and we’ve got to work on it. It doesn’t look clean. We’ve got a lot of work to do."
The Bills used a lot of four-man lines with the offense playing from multiple-receiver sets. With Shawne Merriman sitting out, Chris Kelsay, Kyle Williams, Dareus and Alex Carrington played on the first-team defensive line. Danny Batten did a good job bottling up two straight runs to his side. Second QB Tyler Thigpen fumbled a snap from center and did some pushups as punishment. Dareus broke through for a tag-out sack on a pass that went to Scott Chandler. Dareus broke through for another sack six plays later. Reggie Corner had a would-be sack on a blitz. Drayton Florence read a throw for Chandler and almost had a pickoff. Terrence McGee had good coverage on a deep incompletion for Stevie Johnson. McGee and Florence were the two corners on the few plays the regular defense lined up against the starters.
Donald Jones, who is starting opposite Johnson in the wake of the Lee Evans deal, made the two best catches of the night. One was deep vs. McGee. One was a deep-post touchdown from Thigpen. The ball was underthrown but Jones made a good play on it.
Brad Smith had a couple good Wildcat runs. But on another, a run off left guard, he was slammed to the ground by linebacker Nick Barnett. "The other day he came and ran that counter at me and I was just fitting up," Barnett said. "And he stuck his helmet right in my face. So now I know when he’s running the ball I’ve got to come at him. He's a tough guy."
Smith also completed a nice pass to Chandler on a fake running play.