Tom Clements On The Field: Coach Mularkey spoke to the media today after the two-a-day sessions. He said that offensive coordinator Tom Clements will be on the field this year instead of in the press box. The reason being is that he feels more comfortable there and they think things will run smoother with good play calling flow. He feels Willis McGahee got through both workouts fine and ran well, he expects it to happen again tomorrow. He will let J.P. Losman get his first start at home jitters out of the way. The last three days have been good hard, physical practices with lots of reps but the coach plans to cut back tomorrow and Friday as they get ready for Saturday night's game. The players have a "bring it on" mentality in practice and it is carrying over into the games, he doesn't expect that to stop.
Clements Wants Top Dollar: Nate Clements would not talk about his contract negotiations when he spoke to the media today. He said he can only control what he does on the field. He said he loves Buffalo and wants to stay here. He feels he's the best cornerback in the game and wants to be compensated like that because he won't settle for less in anything. He said his agent's main reason for being in Buffalo is to visit with his clients. His agent said negotiations are in their preliminary stages but their mentality is to make him the highest paid corner in the game.
McGahee Practices: Willis McGahee returned to practice this morning and told WGR radio that he's 100 percent. He was held out of practice the past two days but took part in all the workouts today and seemed to go full speed with no problems. Injury Page.
Preseason Opener Sold out: Thanks to Turkey Hill Dairy Saturday's kids day is a sellout and the preseason game against the Packers will now be televised in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. The ice cream maker bought the remaining tickets for the Kids day festivities that includes the 6pm preseason home opener. Turkey Hill is re-launching their Bills Stampede Sunday flavor ice cream today at St. John Fisher.
Clements Contract Talk: The agent for Nate Clements arrived at training camp last night and will meet with Tom Donahoe today to begin what is expected to be lengthy negotiation on a new long term deal for the all-pro defensive back. We reported a few weeks back that his agent was expected at some point in camp. Donahoe said they will talk throughout the preseason to try and get something done but they don't know if that is possible until they begin discussions. Clements has stated publicly that he wants to remain a Bill. His initial five year contract ends after this season and a big pay day awaits in free agency if a deal doesn't get done.
Losman Wants Fast Start: J.P. Losman said after yesterday's practice that he is ready to tear it up on Saturday night and get off to a fast start. He said the team is still installing the offense and will continue to install when they are game planning for an opponent. He feels the other defenses he's faced so far are slow compared to their own defense. He thinks the more looks he gets in practice will help him out when the season starts. He feels it will be awesome to start at home, he will feed off of the crowd and their energy, but he will try to calm himself down. He thinks the jitters he has will be gone after one play.
Parrish On Sidelines: Roscoe Parrish returned to the sidelines during last night's practice. He was wearing a cast on his wrist and his arm was in a sling. He did not talk to reporters about his injury.
McGahee Says He's Ok: Willis McGahee did talk to reporters but wouldn't elaborate on his injured leg. He said nothing at all is wrong and said he would not go against the coach's decision to hold him out of practice. It appears he felt he could workout yesterday afternoon. He did some light running on the sidelines but did not participate in drills last night. Injury Page.
Tuesday August 16, 2005
Offense Bounces Back: Coach Mularkey said today's session was very good and they got a lot of work done and were very competitive. He feels the offense responded in 11 on 11 drills with a very good tempo. They got a lot of good physical work in and it was nice to see the offense bounce back from a bad practice last night. The coach feels real good about the backups at the running back spot, he feels all of them have been productive and have shined in some form when they had their opportunities. On Chris Kelsay, he said he's confident and goes 100mph on every play. The coach thinks he will be a force to be reckoned with. He would be shocked if Kelsay doesn't have a good year. Drew Haddad has seen his reps increased because of his performance on Friday and he may get in earlier on Saturday night, as the coach tries to rotate the slot receiver more often to get a good look at all of them. The coach remains very happy with what they have accomplished in this camp. They didn't start from scratch this year, so they have been able to not go full tilt all the time. He did add that the practices have been very up tempo.
McGahee Expected To Play: Willis McGahee sat out today's practice once again but Coach Mularkey expects him to play on Saturday night. Shaud Williams was given a blow today because he's worked very hard and the coach wanted to give him a breather. McGahee was in pads but didn't do any work. They will make a judgment tomorrow and whether or not he'll take part in either of the two practices. Rod Trafford was working a bit today and they will see how he makes it through after getting swelling on his knee. Injury Page.
Position Battles Shaping Up: As camp hits the midway point there are many position battles shaping up causing us to shuffle our depth chart a bit. There is a strong battle between two undrafted free agents fighting for the fourth defensive end spot if there is one. Last year's undrafted signee Constantin Ritzmann and this year's version George Gause are fighting it out. The other battles are well chronicled by us including the backup running back job, which Shaud Williams seems to have the early upper hand. The third wide receiver role is now up for grabs and we reported on that earlier today. The nickel back job seems to be in the bag for Jabari Greer as Kevin Thomas recovers from off season surgery. What is nice is that no starting jobs appear to be on the line except for the battle for the starting defensive tackle spot next to Sam Adams. The battle between Ron Edwards and Tim Anderson is now a three-way race as Justin Bannan has performed very well in camp. Depth Chart.
Losman Vents Frustration: During a poor performance in last night's practice, J.P. Losman vented some frustration and cursed within earshot of some youngsters. He later would go over to them and apologize for using foul language. Coach Mularkey had nothing to do with that, he wasn't even aware that Losman apologized. Losman said the coaches are working on his problem of letting his emotions out. He called it the toughest practice so far as the offensive performance goes. There were many penalties but they did finish off strong. He said he has no favorites in the battle for the third receiver spot but praised Drew Haddad for always being in the right place. The QB also talked about his performance against the Colts after seeing the films. He didn't think nerves played a part in his first start. He said he could have made better throws and it took a while to get warmed up. He didn't blame it on mechanics, saying he's not a mechanical type guy when it comes to playing, he is a natural type of player. He knows players struggle at sometimes but the good ones bounce back. He is happy he found his groove in the 2nd quarter, sometimes you don't find it until the 4th quarter.
Offense Lacks Crispness Under The Lights: Coach Mularkey told the media that they had an up and down offensive practice last night. In certain periods they weren't efficient in other periods they weren't. On Greg Jerman the coach feels he's done a real nice job for being signed later in the offseason. He has shown flexibility and will get some work at left tackle. On Constantin Ritzmann, he feels he may get some more reps with the first team since he had good production on Friday night. His problem is he isn't great at the point of attack against the run. The team is questioning some of the 19 penalties called on Friday night. They need not to put any doubts in the refs minds, that would make them call penalties.
Third Receiver Open: The coach told the media that the third receiver slot is wide open now that Roscoe Parrish is out at least into the season. The coach said the team needs to get better at that position to help third down conversions improve. Drew Haddad will be seeing his reps going up after a strong performance against the Colts. He has shown some worth as an inside slot receiver according to the coach. Josh Reed is also in the mix and will get his opportunity but it doesn't appear to be his job to lose.
McGahee Held Out: Coach Mularkey held Willis McGahee out of last night's practice. McGahee came up limping during Friday night's scrimmage. He came back for one more series and the coach said he wasn't injured, just near the end of his scheduled rotation. McGahee did not come out of the locker room for the second half. He was in pads and his right leg was heavily taped last night. The coach said he was being cautious with him and he was being smart about it as McGahee doesn't need the work. He refused to say he was hurt but said he may have a tweak in the leg. He hasn't decided yet if he will practice this afternoon. In other injury news, Rod Trafford was held out with some swelling on the knee that showed up on Sunday. Kevin Thomas will start working a little bit more after a flare up a couple of weeks ago with his surgically repaired knee.
Parrish Out Until Season: Roscoe Parrish will not begin practicing until sometime during the season, the coach said. He would not elaborate on the nature of the wrist injury but ruled him out for the rest of the preseason. This is the first time the coach gave even a hint of a timetable for this return. If the wrist is broken, it normally takes between 6 and 8 weeks to heal. Injury Page.
Monday August 15, 2005
Kelly Working With Losman: Jim Kelly was in Watkins Glen to be the grand marshal of an auto race. He took time out to speak to reporters about football. He said J.P. Losman has all the skills needed to be successful. He even quipped that he wishes he had his talent. Kelly has started mentoring Losman saying he has shared his experiences with him and has watched some film with the young quarterback.
Bills Vague On Injuries: There seems to be a new unwritten rule at One Bills Drive this year. The team has become more vague when talking about injuries. Coach Mularkey has forbidden players from discussing their injuries with the media and Mularkey has not given any specifics on player injuries. He wouldn't tell reporters the exact injury suffered by either Lawrence Smith or Roscoe Parrish. The team has always been vague on timetables for player returns but they are really vague this year as they won't even give a preliminary time for Parrish to return.
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