By Jay Skurski
PITTSFORD -- For purely selfish reasons, I'm not a big fan of night practices at Bills camp. The reason is simple: They force newspaper reporters like myself to scramble to meet our first edition deadline, and if truly big news were to happen at one of them (like an injury to a starter), we'd have to scramble to put the paper together.
But that's a Jay problem, not a you problem. And I can certainly understand the appeal for both the team and fans. Tonight's first such practice had an estimated crowd of 4,500 at St. John Fisher College. All the tickets, which are free, were distributed, as I expect they will be for the other three remaining night practices (the next one is Wednesday) of camp.
“I know it was good for the fans and I know it was good for our team,” coach Chan Gailey said. “Our guys love coming into the night practice and the atmosphere. It’s a lot of fun.”
It helps, too, that the temperature is much more comfortable, both for fans and reporters like myself who, as seen above, find plenty of things to complain about.
Anyway, here are some highlights and observations from the Bills' fourth training camp practice:
- Marcus Easley stood out to me in 7-on-7 drills. He made five catches, including one on a pretty over-the-shoulder throw from Tyler Thigpen. Easley also grabbed a ball that was batted up in the air by cornerback Williams.
- Speaking of Williams, he got beat badly on a double move by Derek Hagan on the first play of 11-on-11s.
- Vince Young took his first snap during 11-on-11s off the left side for a huge gain. Young's an amazing athlete to watch in person. So very big and strong, yet maddeningly inconsistent as a quarterback.
- Rookie cornerback Ron Brooks had a tough night. He dropped two should-have-been interceptions, on throws from Thigpen and Young. Brooks also got beat cleanly off the line by rookie T.J. Graham, who caught a perfect pass from Young down the left sideline and was off to the races.
- Rookie left tackle Cordy Glenn had a tough night going up against veteran Chris Kelsay. With Shawne Merriman not participating in team drills, Spencer Johnson saw some time as a reserve defensive end.