--One player that has stood out to me over the first two days is WR Derek Hagan. Not because of great catches he’s making necessarily (he’s done a very good job), but because of how much he is on the field. And targeted. Hagan continues to get a lot of reps, whether it’s with the first or second-unit offense. And he gets the ball thrown his way quite often and doesn’t do anything that looks out-of-place or wrong. He either catches the ball or if it’s incomplete it wasn’t for any fault of his. For a guy on his fourth team in his seventh year in the league, maybe Buffalo is finally the place that fits him well and he can stick and make a valuable contribution. His time here at the end of last season has certainly helped his stock, as well.
--Sticking with receivers, Marcus Easley made some nice plays today and showed some of the flash so many fans expected – and many still do – from him. But for me, even more than actually making the plays, I was interested and impressed with how comfortable Easley looked in the offense and running routes.
--I wrote yesterday how the wide receivers got the better of the defensive backs in Day One, but how the DBs rebounded nicely towards the end of practice. Day Two was role reversal time. The DBs made some excellent plays on the ball and had some break-ups early on in practice. It looked like they were going to be all over the WRs all day. But the wideouts came back strong and really took over the matchup as the day went on. Rookie corner back Ron Brooks was beaten a couple times down the field. It was the first time I saw 1st-round CB Stephon Gilmore beaten deep, as well. But in all fairness to Gilmore, offensive pass interference most likely would have been called on the play in game action. The intended receiver (my apologies for not getting the number) had a step but then clearly pushed off him.
--Early in the practice session, in 7-on-7’s, I thought Aaron Williams was the best player on the field (although that didn’t carry over into 11-on-11 for him). He was in on a few pass break-ups, including when he jumped a late thrown ball to the sidelines from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for what was almost a pick-6. (read Joe Buscaglia on Aaron Williams)
--Gilmore is tremendous at getting his hands on the receiver and into him. I noticed it more in Day One but wanted to see it again today before writing about it. He is very good at getting his hands on the WR when he’s in press-coverage and either bumping him off his route or using that leverage to stay with the wideout several steps into his route. Compared to playing against other CBs, I’m guessing he will make it very frustrating on opposing wide receivers when he’s playing this technique.
--The offensive line, particularly the tackles, continue to have a very tough go of it against the starting defensive line, especially the ends. Of course, there are several young guys at tackle going against the likes of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, among other vets, so that’s not too unexpected at this point. But they are certainly getting thrown into the fire pretty quickly so far, and it shows.
--One thing I noticed that may be something, may be nothing. The defense has diagnosed the offense a few times correctly before the snap. More often and emphatically than I’d expect. In 11-on-11s, a few times, the offense would line up, then send a player in motion. Once that happened, the defense would start yelling “going right, going right.” And sure enough, it was a run to the defense’s right. This could mean the offense is a bit too predictable in this early stage, or most likely, this is just a bi-product of many of the same defensive players having seen pretty much this same offense for three years now and they can simply sniff things out a lot quicker due to such familiarity.
--Through two days, Vince Young has been better than Tyler Thigpen as they battle for the backup QB spot, both in throwing the ball and decision-making. Especially while under pressure. And there’s been a lot of pressure they’ve faced. Today, for example, on a play when Thigpen was being pressured, he not only hurried a throw to the middle of the field, but also into double-coverage there. It was not intercepted. But a couple defensive blue jerseys were much closer to the ball than an offensive target wearing a white jersey.