By Jay Skurski
PITTSFORD -- Saturday was one of those days some of us will look back on wistfully in December and long for.
It was hot, hot, hot as the Buffalo Bills practiced on the grass field at St. John Fisher College. The high temperature of 93 degrees was recorded about 30 minutes before the Bills started practice at 3 p.m.
"It is not hot by a lot of people’s standards, but by these standards it is hot," coach Chan Gailey said. "So I thought our guys sucked it up, went out and practiced hard. I thought they gave good effort. And hopefully it will pay dividends for us in the long run."
Gailey altered his practice routine slightly as a result of the heat.
"Well we took two breaks in practice, which I never take a break in practice. First ones we have taken," Gailey said. "So we took two breaks in practice and made sure we kept them hydrated. And we try to do a lot of preliminary stuff with getting them hydrated during the course of the day before they even come out here to practice."
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams said conditions like Saturday's can serve a purpose.
"We have hot games and you got to get out here and push through it," he said. "I think the end of practice [when the team ran eight goal-line plays with live tackling] was a good thing for us. To get out there and have a live period and get some real competition when it is in the mid-90s and get some legs under us."
Williams joked with the media that being from Louisiana, he was used to that type of weather by 8 a.m., which is what Gailey was referring to when he said it's not warm by a lot of people's standards. That got me wondering what the breakdown of the team's roster is by home state. Here it is:
North Carolina 5
South Carolina 3
New Jersey 2
Washington D.C. 1
New York 1
That's 38 players alone at the top of the list who come from warm weather climates, and several more who grew up in conditions like Saturday's.
I'm of the belief, though, that the body quickly adapts to the climate it's in, so if you're practicing in 70- or 80-degree weather for a couple weeks, when that thermometer is cranked up past 90, that's hot.
So it's worth noting that the Bills are taking the proper precautions.
"I think guys here take care of their bodies pretty well, drinking, getting their fluids in and eating the right way. So I do not think, with the amount of reps that we are going, we should not see anything," Williams said.