Bills top wide out Stevie Johnson had a performance to forget on...
Buffalo Bills Begin Organized Team Activities
So I went downstairs to get me a cold pop, and found out all we had are OTAs. Organized team activities, for those of you who don’t read headlines. Anyway, this will be the closest look we get at the team until camp starts in a few months, so let’s get up to speed.
First off, a quick rundown. It’s not the minicamp (which will happen in about a month), so attendance is not mandatory, much like showing up on time to an interview is not mandatory. No pads allowed, no more than 3 practices a week for the first few weeks, and practices will be on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
There’s pretty much two things I’m looking for when following these things: Who’s participating (or more accurately, who’s not participating) and what the different “teams” look like, for example first team defense, second team offense, subpackages, etc. It’s a little bit interesting to note if there are any stand out performers, but it’s generally a lot harder to take anything substantial away from that. So let’s take a look at what went on:
-We’ll start with non/limited participants: Terrence McGee, Shawne Merriman, Eric Wood, Torell Troup, Chris White, Kyle Williams, Erik Pears, Josh Nesbitt, Cris Hill and the sort-of surprise, Steve Johnson.
-Steve Johnson is recovering from a groin surgery he had in April, and basically didn’t participate in team drills, rather ran the ladder with pep on the sideline. The interesting thing is it’s his hamstring, not groin, that “hurts a little” Chan’s assessment projected a return during training camp, while Steve seemed to take a play it by ear approach. This is all precautionary, just keep an eye on it.
-On the other hand, there was Kyle Williams, where limited practice seemed to be good news. By multiple accounts he looked energetic during the drills he participated, and would have done more work had the coaches let him. Considering this is the first anyone’s seen of him since his Achilles tendon surgery, this is great news.
-This was also the first look a lot of people got at Mario Williams. The only reason I bring this up was Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s hilarious description of seeing him practice for the first time. He said it’s like when you create a player in Madden and make him 6′ 6″, jacked, enormous, and he’s also the fastest guy on the field. I found it funny because it’s probably a way of putting it where people who have played Madden in the past 10 years know exactly what he’s talking about, yet no one in the press room besides Buscaglia probably had any clue. I would have loved to seen Paul Hamilton try to figure it out.
-Speaking of Fitz, there’s been quite the rabbling about how he’s working on his mechanics with new QB Coach David Lee. No word on how much they’re working on splits and spirit fingers, but apparently this is the first time Fitz has ever made a conscious effort to improve his throwing motion, i.e. “I used to just go out there and chuck it”, or something to that effect. The idea of our Arizona Gunslinger not having to heave his entire body into a 15 yard out, is definitely appealing, as is not almost leading the league in interceptions. Maybe they’ll have a big throwing motion debut, complete with a sappy Sandra Bullocks movie about some lineman we should have drafted.
-A big theme was “competition.” I see this as positive and negative. Positive, because it means we’re probably the deepest we’ve been in years, and competition would hopefully bring out the best in everyone. Negative because I have a really weird feeling about any coaching philosophy made famous by Pete Carroll.
Since there’s no practice tomorrow, we’ll use that as an opportunity to talk a little bit about the pecking order. Worried you might miss out on this awesome post? Like us on facebook, or follow us on twitter, and you’ll never miss out on all the wacky Buddy Nixon hijinks.