Bills top wide out Stevie Johnson had a performance to forget on...
Depth Chart Clues From Day 1 of OTAs
As promised, some talk on the pecking order from yesterday’s first practice:
-At QB, Tyler Thigpen got 2nd team reps ahead of Vince Young. This may have been out of respect for Thigpen, which if so, come on, really? Or maybe Buddy wasn’t kidding when he said they brought in Vinsanity to compete for the backup QB spot. Also of note, Brad Smith ran exclusively with the redshirts, which is bad news for the loser of that battle.
-On the line, Erik Pears was out recovering from hernia surgery, so Chris Hairston moved over to RT, while Cordy Glenn started at LT. This to me means they want Glenn to be the starting LT if they think he’s ready to play. Colin Brown took the snaps at C for sidelined Eric Wood, which means he might be a slight favorite to make the team as a backup center over Mark Asper. We’ll see.
-Across from those guys, Chris Kelsay started opposite Mario Williams, but Mark Anderson got plenty of work with the 1s as well. I wouldn’t really view Kelsay and Anderson’s situation as battle, per say. Kelsay will get more run downs, Anderson more pass downs, with both rotating heavily. The more people you can get playing time, the easier it is on everyone. That’s why Shawne Merriman’s health is no small factor, either.
-Dwan Edwards got the start at DT for Kyle Williams. I originally thought it might be between Dwan and Spencer Johnson in a battle to make the team as a relatively expensive veteran, but this appears not to be the case as Johnson got work at DE on the 2′s. Both probably need to look sharp in order to avoid becoming salary dump casualties though. Alex Carrington, another guy I thought might be in the mix for a back up DT role, ran with the 3s. For a guy that’s played as much as he has, this is a strong message that Carrington needs to step his game up in order to make the roster at loaded DT position, especially considering Buddy has been relatively quick to react and adjust to his own mistakes.
-The biggest surprise might have been at corner, where Leodis McKelvin was the only entrenched starter, while Aaron Williams and Stephon Gilmore traded reps between the 1s and 2s. To me, this is the biggest sign yet that the Bills might not be optimistic about Terrence McGee being ready to go for the season; they may feel in that event it would be best to have some veteran presence with McKelvin, as opposed to starting two “underclassmen.” This is probably the best way to approach this situation, because while Williams flashed potential last year and Gilmore is an elite talent, neither have proved consistency yet. Neither has McKelvin, but he at least has logged the time, and is still also an elite talent in a contract year. Williams and Gilmore are the future, but just like QB, no need to rush.