A shortened practice wrapped up in the gymnasium at St. John Fisher College, as lightning forced the Buffalo Bills indoors to end Tuesday's practice.
Without a full set of team drills to chew on, there weren't a bevy of plays to substantiate the notebook on. However, there were some highlights and lowlights for a few of the players. Here are just some brief notes from Tuesday:
- Practice MVP: Jairus Byrd. The man who really stepped up his game last season to the next level was on top of things Tuesday. Byrd's anticipation was right there, blanketing receivers during 1-on-1 and team drills. His only misstep was reacting a quarter of a second too late on a comeback route thrown to the sidelines. The ball hung a bit, and if Byrd were a shade faster, he's still running with the football in his hands.
- Practice LVP: Tyler Thigpen. It didn't start off very well for Thigpen, sailing a couple of routine throws over the heads of receivers on a simple 12-to-15 yard out route. Then during team drills there just didn't seem to be any zip on the ball. A cornerback was beat clean on a fly route and Thigpen threw it at least six yards behind the receiver's projection. To his credit, he did connect on a couple of longer passes. But in such a short practice where not a lot of team drills were utilized, Thigpen stood out in a bad way.
- Wide receiver David Clowney had the catch of the day, as he used his speed to motor past corner back Isaiah Green on a fly route. Clowney had a solid two steps on Green and the ball was delivered right in his breadbasket.
- I wonder just how much of a role backup safety Da'Norris Searcy will have this season. It's been a bit eye opening to see him getting as many reps as he is with the first team. I think he could have a bigger role in the defense this season than what is presently being talked about. It's unlikely that he'll start at the beginning of the season, but I would expect to see number-25 on the field more than most backup safeties to start 2012.
- It wasn't much but a pair of rookie linebackers did some things to warrant a mention. Fourth-round pick Nigel Bradham, in one of his first team reps, fired through the hole to stop a designed run play before it ever got started. What stood out most was his quickness and recognition to get there. The linebacker can certainly run, there's no doubt there. Fifth-round pick Tank Carder has been known to excel in the coverage aspect. But his teammates razzed him a little bit during the gym session. During this "practice" time, quarterbacks primarily lob the ball to their targets. On a screen play designed for Tashard Choice, rather than allowing the runner to catch the ball, Carder stuck his hands out for an interception. The action immediately drew some comments from the offense -- most notable the offensive line. It was a funny, light-hearted moment during the practice.
- During 1-on-1 drills, reserve offensive lineman Keith Williams did a nice job blocking against Spencer Johnson. Williams was lined up at right guard going up against the defensive tackle, and thwarted a spin move attempt while keeping good balance and leverage. He may not make the team, but a solid effort nonetheless.
- Nothing like showing up your veteran counterpart, if only for one fleeting moment. Rookie kicker John Potter watched Rian Lindell boot a 59-yard field goal just a tad right and just a tad short early on in practice. Potter came in on the next rep and put it through the uprights from the same distance. No kicking controversy here, it's Lindell's job. But a good job by Potter with the heat of blockers surrounding the kick.
- Erik Pears practiced, but did not do any 1-on-1 drills or team activities. Eric Wood took two snaps in team drills, his first two at training camp this year. Johnny White, Justin Rogers, Josh Nesbitt, Kellen Heard and David Nelson did not practice. Running back Chris Douglas injured his leg after being tackled by safety Delano Howell.
The Bills next practice Wednesday evening for the team's second night session of training camp at St. John Fisher College. It is open to the public, but fans need a ticket for entry.