Bills hit the road for joint practices with Steelers
by Joe Buscaglia,posted Aug 12 2014 12:41PM
For the first time since 2005, the Buffalo Bills will participate in a set of joint practices with another franchise in the National Football League. Even though the coaches might be looking forward to comparing their team with another squad on the practice field, not everyone is excited.
Running back Fred Jackson is one of those players that haven't adored the idea of going up against another team for three out of four days.
“No not at all, it’s just going to be two days of games," Jackson said after Sunday's practice. "It’s going to be a game on Wednesday and a game on Thursday then on Friday we get a day off and then a game on Saturday. But it is what it is, we’ve got to do that and get through it and take every possible advantage of it and get better.”
The schedule Jackson alluded to is all in the Bills' upcoming joint practice session with the Pittsburgh Steelers, on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The team is scheduled to travel on Tuesday, practice with the Steelers on both Wednesday and Thursday, take a day off on Friday and play the same opponents in their third preseason game on Saturday night.
"It’s going to be physical I feel like, going against another team. Don’t know each other, trying to prove a point. We’ve just got to be prepared for everything," said Bills wide receiver Robert Woods. "Just going out there and compete and work hard. New look, new defense."
The exact schedule of events for the joint practices have not been released, but it would be fair to expect both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills to be a big part of the upcoming pair of days. While they may know the schedule, it appears the players are in the same boat as both the media and fans for expectations of the days to come.
"Yeah, I’m not exactly sure how that will work out, I’ve never done this before," remarked center Eric Wood. "We generally practice against a look team, and obviously our look team is not as good as a starting lineup is going to be. In this case we’re going to be going up against a starting defense and then playing in a game against them. I have no idea, I’d say you’d probably be a little more comfortable and prepared before game time."
The practices lead up to the two teams squaring off in a preseason tilt at Heinz Stadium on Saturday night. he Bills last participated in joint practices back in 2005, when they traveled to work with the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach Doug Marrone canceled the team's final on-field session in Rochester Tuesday due to the weather. The next time the team will return to St. John Fisher College is on Monday, August 18 for another night practice.