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Day 4: Gilmore playing physical; EJ looks good running

By Mark Gaughan

PITTSFORD -- Cornerback Stephon Gilmore is making his presence known in the first week of training camp by being around the ball and playing physical.

Gilmore delivered some solid "thuds" on the second day of full-pads practice. He got in a couple licks on breakups of passes for T.J. Graham and was aggressive with Stevie Johnson after a completion over the middle. Gilmore also had an interception during 7-on-7 drills by jumping a short pass over the middle from Kevin Kolb, intended for Marquise Goodwin.

Kolb had a decent day throwing the ball, about even with rookie EJ Manuel. But Manuel looked pretty impressive running the ball. On the sixth play of 11-on-11 drills, Manuel saw all of his receivers covered and took off around left end for what would have been a gain of at least 10 yards. It was a play that a quarterback with average physical tools would not make. Manuel will be a threat if pass rushers don't stay in their rush lanes.

Manuel looked good bursting off right end on a read-option running play at the end of the second 11-on-11 session. Kolb had a good run, as well, on a read-option, in which he faked to the running back and took off around end.

The snap count breakdown:

Kolb took 36 snaps, Manuel 28 and Jeff Tuel eight. Manuel took the first six snaps with the starting unit but most of the rest of the day worked with the second-teamers. Completion numbers, which are not especially significant, were 11 of 22 for Kolb and 7 of 14 for Manuel (also unofficial). It looked like they threw a few more blitzes at Manuel today.

Passing highlights included a sharp Manuel throw to Goodwin on a slant vs. the blitz. Kolb lofted a pretty throw down the left sideline that was caught by Kevin Elliott over Gilmore. But Elliott came down hard on his shoulder on the play and had to be carted off the field. On the next play, Kolb was hurried and threw off his back foot down the sideline. Da'Norris Searcy easily picked it off.

Lineup notes: Leodis McKelvin moved up and got snaps with the starting defense, opposite Gilmore, for the first time this camp. Sitting out were Mario WIlliams, Scott Chandler and Justin Rogers. Kyle Williams didn't work in team drills but he's moving well during defensive line position work. He's coming back from offseason heel surgery.

The offense has yet to huddle.

Shawn Powell and Brian Stahovich punted about equally well. Both did a good job booting Aussie-style punts deep inside the 20-yard line.

A crowd of about 500 watched at St. John Fisher College.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |