Pittsford, NY -- On the hottest day throughout training camp at St. John Fisher College, the Buffalo Bills elected to do a first in 2012 on Saturday. The team went to a goal line scenario, and let the pads pop as the players went to a live hitting drill.
The team went live for eight plays -- four for the first-team, and four for the second-team -- as the players were able to tackle without repercussions.
The exercise was the final thing the team did during the session, and head coach Chan Gailey evaluated it after the fact.
"Defense won 5 to 3 and that's the assessment because you either win or lose down there. There's no in between. There's no first downs, there's no nothing. You either score or you don't," he explained. "I thought it was a good session, I thought our guys wanted to hit. They've been wanting to go live for a long time but this was the first time they were able to do it and it was good. It was good for everybody."
One of the notable stars of the session was Kyle Williams, who fired through on two of the four goal line snaps to help prevent a touchdown. Turning that switch on was a necessary step to the defensive tackle.
"I think it's good to get out here and hit," Williams opined. "I think it was a good gut check here at the end of practice with the heat and pushing through all day and then getting out here and going live. It was good for us. Good to get some weariness on your legs and then push through."
As for the rest of practice, a couple of key offensive players didn't participate all that much on Saturday. Fred Jackson didn't take a single rep in the 7-on-7 drills or in any of the team work, while Stevie Johnson didn't practice in any capacity.
Gailey told reporters after practice that both were for precautionary reasons, and with a day off on Sunday, he expected both to be back to work on Monday afternoon.
Jackson was stepped on and tweaked his ankle a bit according to Gailey, while Johnson had tightness in his groin.
Other players to sit out of the practice were Justin Rogers, Josh Nesbitt, Mike Caussin, David Nelson, Chris Kelsay and Torell Troup. Troup was held out from the practice field entirely.
Both Bryan Scott and Kellen Heard returned to practice after missing on Friday.
The Bills have nothing scheduled until Monday morning when they go through their walk-thru. That session is closed to the public, but practice at 3 pm is open to fans.