By Mark Gaughan
Bills receivers Donald Jones and Marcus Easley displayed good hands throughout Friday’s final organized team activity workout.
Jones opened the practice by getting a step on Leodis McKelvin and catching a long-bomb from Ryan Fitzpatrick on the first play of 11-on-11 work. Fitzpatrick went deep again on the second play, but rookie T.J. Graham couldn’t hang onto a pretty well-thrown ball. In goal-line work, Jones had a nice catch along the side of the end zone and then showed strong hands with a TD catch over the middle. Jones had another strong catch over the middle in the second 11-on-11 session. Then he made a fine catch at the right side of the end zone on a good Fitzpatrick throw but was pushed out of bounds by cornerback Prince Miller. Strength coach Eric Ciano, standing nearby along the sideline, made the correct call that Jones was out of bounds, much to the chagrin of the offensive players. Running back Fred Jackson promptly ran over and kicked grass up on Ciano’s feet, like an enraged baseball manager.
Easley showed consistent hands all practice. His best catch was downfield along the right sideline on a throw from Vince Young, who had to release the ball a bit early. Easley won a jump ball against safety Da’Norris Searcy for a 25-yard gain. Later on, Tyler Thigpen made a pretty throw deep down the right sideline and Easley made a good catch while staying in bounds for a score.
The Bills’ starting offensive line had Kraig Urbik at center, with Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart at guards and Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston at tackles. Glenn did a good job using his size to push a fast on-rushing Mark Anderson wide on an early pass play. (Fitzpatrick was forced to pressure due to pressure from the other side.) Chris Kelsay and Shawne Merriman were in the QB’s face in the backfield a couple of times. Later on in goal-line work, Anderson burst into the backfield and knocked the ball out of Fitzpatrick’s hands before he even finished his wind up. Mario Williams recovered the fumble, but the coaches ruled it an incompletion for practice purposes. Young got more of the repetitions at No. 2 QB but Thigpen got some. Receiver David Clowney made a nice catch at the side of the end zone on a sharp throw from Thigpen on a third-and-goal play. ... Meanwhile, Brian Moorman had an exceptionally good day punting the ball during the special-teams segment.
The only player absent from the voluntary workout was Marcell Dareus, who had a personal commitment, according to coach Chan Gailey.