Bills' Nelson enlisting help from retired WR Tim Brown
by Joe Buscaglia,posted Jun 15 2012 5:00PM
Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson went from unknown undrafted free agent to the target of double-teams by opposing teams in two short years.
Seeing all of that attention from defenses, Nelson made it a point to prepare himself both mentally and physically with his additional responsibilities as the main receiver in the slot for the Bills. This off-season, he aimed at getting stronger and was also able to sharpen up by working with long-time Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown.
"I was definitely awe-struck, I've been a big fan of his since I was a kid," Nelson said of being able to sit down with the Hall of Fame finalist. "Of course whenever you hear the name Tim Brown you automatically think of just Heisman and an all-around amazing football player. He played the slot, he played outside, he could return kicks, return punts. Just his knowledge of the game is unrivaled. He's a really good guy and I was just trying to spend as much time as I could just absorbing whatever information he could give me."
One of the biggest things Nelson tried to take away from the sessions was to try and combat something he had never seen before last season.
"Last year towards the middle of the year, for the first time in my career I started getting double teamed a little bit, started getting jammed at the line. It was something new for me," said the wideout. "I was just trying to pick from his brain what he would do before the play, what he would do when you see certain coverages, when he was getting double-teamed, preparation week-in and week-out, how to get through the seasons."
Nelson is very thorough and meticulous in his preparations, something that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has noted about one of his favorite targets.
"Watched a lot of film, constantly trying to make myself mentally ready so that whenever I get on the field, I'm ready for anything." The Bills wideout said of his off-season work. "Mentally just trying to learn more about the game, understand and just try to perfect my craft and learning from them, work on different releases on and off the ball."
Nelson got the opportunity to work with Brown through his girlfriend, Kelsi, who went to school with Brown's son. He watched every game of last season during his time away from One Bills Drive. He ranked second on the Bills with 61 receptions, five of which being touchdowns.
The team's three weeks of voluntary Organized Team Activities have now come and gone. The next step for the Bills is the mandatory mini-camp going from Tuesday, June 19 through Thursday June 21. That is the last bit of practice time at team facilities that is allowed until the start of training camp in late July.