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By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills hit the road for joint practices with Steelers

For the first time since 2005, the Buffalo Bills will participate in a set of joint practices with another franchise in the National Football League. Even though the coaches might be looking forward to comparing their team with another squad on the practice field, not everyone is excited.

Running back Fred Jackson is one of those players that haven't adored the idea of going up against another team for three out of four days.

“No not at all, it’s just going to be two days of games," Jackson said after Sunday's practice. "It’s going to be a game on Wednesday and a game on Thursday then on Friday we get a day off and then a game on Saturday. But it is what it is, we’ve got to do that and get through it and take every possible advantage of it and get better.”

The schedule Jackson alluded to is all in the Bills' upcoming joint practice session with the Pittsburgh Steelers, on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The team is scheduled to travel on Tuesday, practice with the Steelers on both Wednesday and Thursday, take a day off on Friday and play the same opponents in their third preseason game on Saturday night.

"It’s going to be physical I feel like, going against another team. Don’t know each other, trying to prove a point. We’ve just got to be prepared for everything," said Bills wide receiver Robert Woods. "Just going out there and compete and work hard. New look, new defense."

The exact schedule of events for the joint practices have not been released, but it would be fair to expect both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills to be a big part of the upcoming pair of days. While they may know the schedule, it appears the players are in the same boat as both the media and fans for expectations of the days to come.

"Yeah, I’m not exactly sure how that will work out, I’ve never done this before," remarked center Eric Wood. "We generally practice against a look team, and obviously our look team is not as good as a starting lineup is going to be. In this case we’re going to be going up against a starting defense and then playing in a game against them. I have no idea, I’d say you’d probably be a little more comfortable and prepared before game time."

The practices lead up to the two teams squaring off in a preseason tilt at Heinz Stadium on Saturday night. he Bills last participated in joint practices back in 2005, when they traveled to work with the Green Bay Packers.

Head coach Doug Marrone canceled the team's final on-field session in Rochester Tuesday due to the weather. The next time the team will return to St. John Fisher College is on Monday, August 18 for another night practice.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : LatrobePennsylvania
People : Eric WoodFred JacksonRobert Woods

08/12/2014 1:14PM
Bills hit the road for joint practices with Steelers
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08/12/2014 2:00PM
lets pray for no injuries.
The one thing is for sure is the players will learn a lot. from this format they will really see what they got to work on. And who will or will not make this team. Like i said before my only concern is the injuries that might happen. But one thing is forsure we will also see who in shape and who is not. To the players just smart football because the steelers are going to play all this like game conditions. Lets go ruff buff.
08/12/2014 3:03PM
I agree Fred, it's is terrible having to earn your enormous salary, show up[ for work.
Welcome to the real world, or remotely close to the real world. Do these guys really think that working people who scrape to meet their bills, have any sympathy for players who make multi millions a year, having 2 game like practices? Makes it difficult to root for these guys. The thing is, every team is alike in this regard.
08/12/2014 3:11PM
Man up Jackson
Seems like one of our so called team leaders has been crying an awful lot, put your big boy pants on Fred.
08/12/2014 3:44PM
let the injuries commence!!! I don't think it's a good idea.
08/12/2014 6:14PM
Wow, cry babies. Bills in Fredonia did that all the time and had allot of 2 a days without earning 1 mil on low end. Football today has allot of panzies. Growup and earn the paycheck, if you get hurt your covered if your a proven player with a contract.
08/13/2014 12:45PM
Does anyone not realize the true meaning behind the quote?
Fred was speaking more on behalf of his teammates than himself. Believe it or not, million dollar NFL players can be overworked...if you are looking for optimal performance in athletics you need sufficient rest days. Hence the canceled practice yesterday.
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