After writing a similar warning in my last observation column, I figure it's prudent to once again point out that this is only one day of a voluntary workout that features players not in pads and having little to no contact.
With that said, here are some quick hits from Friday:
1) Undrafted Nickell Robey gets first-team reps
- Perhaps capitalizing on a very successful 9 days of practices, undrafted free agent rookie cornerback Nickell Robey got first team reps at nickel corner and didn't disappoint. He broke on a ball and nearly picked it off which would have been a sure touchdown had he completed the catch. Robey's size (5-foot-8, 165-pounds) has always been an issue, but he's made plays and the coaching staff has taken notice. Keep in mind, Justin Rogers was not participating in Friday's session, but Robey's effectiveness has been taken into account.
2) Glenn struggles
- The Bills second-year starting left tackle had a couple of reps on Friday that were particularly unflattering. First he got beat by Jerry Hughes, who has made a habit of getting to the quarterback at least once every practice the media has been allowed to see. Then linebacker Marcus Dowtin gave Glenn an outside-in move, got the left tackle off-balance, and crept in for a sack. The important thing to remember, however, is that there are no pads and very little contact. However, Glenn's footwork has to be better.
3) Dickerson switching things up again
- When the Bills signed Dorin Dickerson last off-season, they figured him in to the fullback and tight end group. With the new coaching staff, they elected to move Dickerson out to wide receiver to try and utilize the player's speed more. However, Dickerson asked the coaching staff to once again work with the tight ends, which will likely be a smart move from a preservation standpoint. The Bills already have four players guaranteed to make the roster at wide receiver (Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham) and then you factor in bubble players Da'Rick Rogers, Chris Hogan, Brad Smith and Marcus Easley, Dickerson would likely have a tough time making the team at that position.
4) Pair of WRs have solid days
- I've continued to be impressed with wide receiver Chris Hogan and how he runs his routes. He's got a deceptive breakdown, not tipping off the cornerback as to where his next move might be by angling his back foot in that direction. He's an intriguing player that could make the back-end of the roster, but at the very least is a practice squad type player. The most-talked about rookie wide receiver by fans has been Da'Rick Rogers, and he had a solid stretch near the end of practice. EJ Manuel targeted him on three straight passes, and they all were completed. The best of the three was the last reception, where Rogers rose up on a bit of a high pass and caught the contested ball over cornerback Ron Brooks. The bad? Rogers proceeded to stand over Ron Brooks after making the highlighted catch in a bragging way. Head coach Doug Marrone didn't sound pleased with it afterwards:
"The thing that concerned me, and I addressed right afterwards, was he made a very good catch and then he kind of stood there over a player and that's a 15-yard penalty. That's not what being a pro is and that's not playing like a Buffalo Bill. I told him, 'Is this gonna be something that we have to be concerned with handling any type of success from you?' That's what I told him, and I think when I looked at him I looked at him in his eye and he understood that."
Rogers will have to prove not only his skills on the field, but that he's matured since his numerous discretions throughout his college days.
5) See-saw practice for Brooks
- Speaking of Ron Brooks, he had a chance to take first-team reps at right cornerback and had mixed results. For every solid breakup he had, he was either flagged for a penalty or got beat on a play down the field. The worst display was the biggest gain for the offense on Friday, when Tarvaris Jackson hit T.J. Graham on a 50-yard completion down the left sideline. Brooks trailed Graham, swiped at the ball and whiffed on it which allowed such a big pass play. He's one of four players battling it out for that starting cornerback job, and he'll need to put his grabby (and penalty-bearing) tendencies away if he wants to win the role.