By Mark Gaughan
PITTSFORD -- The second-team defense once again did not give the offense much room to move during Wednesday night's practice before a full crowd of about 2,500 fans at St. John Fisher College.
Tyler Thigpen took snaps as the No. 2 quarterback, and Vince Young was No. 3. Neither hit a lot of throws in 11-on-11 work.
Asked about Thigpen’s accuracy, coach Chan Gailey said: "It's a little early, but it's a concern, and it's not just Tyler. He and Vince both are having some trouble there. The twos in general are not performing very well offensively. I think our ones are doing some good things, but our twos are struggling offensively.”
Safety Nick Saenz had a pickoff of an underthrown Young pass, and receiver David Clowney broke up what would have been a sideline interception of Young. Prince Miller ripped the ball away from Ruvell Martin for an interception on an over-the-middle throw from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Miller also had a pickoff of an errant Thigpen throw over the middle for Martin.
Defensive end Mario Williams had a would-be sack and a bat-down at the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Nick Barnett snuffed out a screen pass. Safety Jairus Byrd read a draw play and snuffed it out at the line of scrimmage. Shawne Merriman, getting a snap with the first-team offense, beat Cordy Glenn on a third-down play. Fitzpatrick had some good throws late. He hit Fred Jackson in perfect stride, converted a third-down on a sharp throw to Scott Chandler, then hit Chandler again over the middle. But on the final play of the night, the ball slipped out of Fitzpatrick's hands as he fired, and defensive tackle Spencer Johnson grabbed it off the back of a guard and ran downfield for a defensive score.
For the second straight day, the Bills worked more on the running game, which was good to see.
Punter Brian Moorman had an excellent night and continued his strong training camp. He had seven punts. Six of them had a hang time of 4.5 seconds or better, and one was 5.0 seconds. That was better than rookie punter Shawn Powell, who punted well, with five punts at 4.5 or better.
Center Eric Wood took 12 snaps in 11-on-11 work. Defensive tackle Torell Troup (back) saw early drills but didn’t do team work. Cornerback Terrence McGee (knee) was limited. Sitting out were Justin Rogers, Chris Douglas, Josh Nesbitt, Kelvin Sheppard, Kellen Heard, Mike Caussin and David Nelson.
The big hit of the night came when Stephon Gilmore collided with Derek Hagan to break up a pass over the middle in 7-on-7 work. Naaman Roosevelt caught the ball well (as usual) in 7 on 7. Byrd had an interception on the sideline of a Fitzpatrick overthrow.
In pass rushing drills, Williams and Marcell Dareus were a terror in 2-on-2 work. Tackle Chris Hairston held his own vs. Merriman. Mark Anderson whipped Glenn once, then was held off the second time. Johnson and guard Kraig Urbik remain pretty solid in those one-on-one drills. Jackson was good in running-back pass-blocking drills.