By Mark Gaughan
PITTSFORD -- What would a Buffalo Bills practice be this summer without a mention of rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin? The speedster from the University of Texas again supplied the play of the day by catching a 70-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb. It was an impressive throw by Kolb, who heaved the ball, unofficially, 57 yards in the air. Goodwin caught the ball at the 13 in stride and sprinted into the end zone.
Defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson reacted by saying, to no one in particular, "If I was lined up on 88, I'd just run to the goal line."
Said coach Doug Marrone after practice: "He has speed, and like I always said, Coach McPherson, my college coach, would always tell us that luck follows speed. I agree with that statement. I think that what people tend to do is focus on Marquise’s speed, but Robert Woods has speed, T.J. Graham has speed, obviously CJ Spiller has speed. I’ve made this point before where we have much more team speed than we’ve had before. Sometimes, a lot of things are one-on-one and people defend everyone, the whole field, you’re talking about a missed tackle with someone that can hopefully that can go to the end zone. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish."
Quarterback EJ Manuel took the first session of 11-on-11 snaps with the starting unit. He and Kevin Kolb rotated with the starters afterward. By unofficial count, Manuel took 22 snaps, Kolb 18 and Jeff Tuel 12 during full-team sessions.
Manuel and the offense didn't start off too sharp. Manuel threw an interception to Stephon Gilmore along the right sideline on his sixth play. He was off target low early in the 7-on-7 portion and there were drops by Tashard Choice and Chris Gragg.
Things picked up in the second 11-on-11 session. Kolb hit Goodwin long. Manuel made in-stride strikes to Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan on a timing throw down the left sideline. It was a nice throw and catch but Hogan stepped just out of bounds. Manuel then hit DeMarco Sampson on an 18-yard crossing pattern.
Manuel then hit Hogan again down the sideline, this time down the right side, in stride for a 30-yard gain with Kip Edwards in coverage. Then Kolb hit Da'Rick Rogers in stride for 40 yards vs. Dan Unamba. Easley had a good grab down the sideline, outfighting Crezdon Butler, who had good coverage, along the sideline on a fade pass from Tuel. The regular-session team drills closed with a blitz and sack by Arthur Moats. Mario Williams demolished the pocket to aid the sack.
In short-yardage work, Alex Carrington busted up the right side of the line to stop Choice. In goal-line work, C.J. Spiller scored on a speed run around end and another run was stuffed up the middle.
Shawn Powell had 10 punts, not counting Aussie kicks, and eight of them were quality, of 4.2 seconds hang time or better. Four were better than 4.5 hang time.
Not practicing were T.J. Graham, Brad Smith, Leodis McKelvin, Jumal Rolle, T.J. Heath, Kourtnei Brown, Aaron Tipoti, Keith Williams, Mike Caussin and Chris Hairston.
Marrone on Graham, who appeared to tweak a hamstring Monday: "I don’t foresee him this week. I think tomorrow he’ll start running a bit. When you get those types of things – little pulls, little strains – once you get them out there running, it becomes how they’re running full speed and how it feels. That’s why it’s tough to gauge when he’s coming back. Right now, in my mind, I’m thinking it’ll be after this game."
The crowd was small, about 250 people, at St. John Fisher College.