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By Joe Buscaglia
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Intensity increases as Bills do two-minute drill

Throughout the Buffalo Bills offseason workouts every practice has had the same sort of feel to it. The players stretch, go through positional drills, do some 11-on-11 activities and sprinkle in special teams work over the course of the practice.

It wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon that the session kicked up a few notches in intensity with the start of the two-minute drill. This wasn’t the first time the team ran the two-minute drill, but that was more of an introduction to that activity that had a lot of players still learning specific roles.

The music was shut off, one minute and 59 seconds were put on the clock, the players went to their respective huddles and the session shifted from lighthearted hard work to a very serious tone.

“It was funny, because I wasn't even in the huddle at all for that one. I was back calling the plays, and you could just see the whole thing switch,” offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said when the practice settled into that portion. “The last time we did the two-minute it wasn't very pretty and they realized that.”

Hackett’s assessment of the initial two-minute drill during Organized Team Activities was dead on. In fact for the offense, it ended very quickly without many yards gained by the first team.

On Wednesday, the added intensity and a better understanding of some of the play calls helped the offense to a much better performance than their previous attempt. Players were shouting from the sidelines, yards were gained and it all led to one final play with two seconds on the clock and the offense in need of a touchdown.

Around twenty yards out from the end zone, quarterback EJ Manuel dropped back and spotted a receiver in the back left corner with a one-on-one matchup against the diminutive Nickell Robey. Manuel cocked his arm and delivered a touch pass to the end zone, only to see the undersized Robey use his above average leaping ability to rise up and intercept the pass.

The play ended with the cornerback hitting the ground square on his back with a thud, but was also a fitting conclusion to the first-team session of the two-minute drill.

“I think the more that they hold themselves accountable, it's going to be special. And I think that was something we saw then,” Hackett said. “They really pushed it, they got after it, they were fighting for it and I think that's what we need all the time. And that's something good to build on.”

The Bills have one final practice during mandatory minicamp on Thursday afternoon before they break for a month ahead of the start of training camp.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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06/18/2014 3:23PM
Intensity increases as Bills do two-minute drill
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06/18/2014 3:38PM
Good on Nickell!
He's a playmaker.
06/18/2014 3:51PM
Yeah...go EJ...
Yes, this is exactly what we need: another year of sub-par QB play from EJ. He struggles against Nickell Robey. He shouldn't struggle at all against the Patriots and Revis Island, right?!
06/19/2014 9:04AM
Lets end this playoff drought work your butts off this and make the fans proud again
06/19/2014 2:31PM
Great for Robey...
But which receiver was it that couldn't win this battle?
06/19/2014 11:28PM
I've said it before...
...and I'll say it again, Robey is the best defensive player on this roster. I was crazy for him after OTAs last year, and since then, he's demonstrated his never-quit, lay-it-all-out-on-the-field style of play each and every time he's called upon. So what if he's smaller than the 'prototypical' corner? He's smart, he's quick, and his vertical is insane, but it's his deceptive way of feigning being out of position until the QB commits, before abruptly breaking on the ball at the exact right moment that makes him a monster down-field. Go Nickell!
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