by: Dan Moriarty (@moriartysports)
Just like the first practice, most of the first team reps went to veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb although EJ Manuel got his opportunities sprinkled in with the first team offense as well. The Bills ran three different 11 on 11 sessions during their Monday practice. Manuel was with the first team during one of those and Kevin Kolb the other two.
With Kolb mainly running the first team offense he's also seen his fair share of blitzes from the first team defense. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine hasn't been shy about throwing the kitchen sink at Kolb. This is probably part of the reason Manuel has been seeing limited first team reps. It allows the Bills to expose him to more and more everyday without overwhelming the rookie.
Bills Coach Doug Marrone:
"I think Kevin (Kolb) is seeing more of the exotic stuff from our defense. We’ll bring in EJ (Manuel) and gave him a little more reps today but we’re careful with what we’re showing him. EJ is in a pretty decent position. We throw Kevin out there and Kevin’s going in there and seeing everything for the first time. And EJ is able to sit back there and look at it. Now we’ve got to start stepping him up in those situations too."
Kolb has no problem with what he's seen defensively because it's helps him prepare for the season knowing he's seen everything a defense could possibly throw at him...
"They got us a few times today in that third-down period; got me a few times I should say. They mix it up well, so it’s a lot of stuff to look at. But it helps you down the road and I’m glad I get to see it now rather than being surprised by it in the season."
This has allowed EJ Manuel to get more comfortable as he continues to get acclimated to the professional game...
"I feel a lot more comfortable. I understand my protections, been going over that a lot during the offseason and also now with Coach Hackett. Just going over all the playbook, I feel that I have a better grasp on than I did in the OTA’s."
Kolb struggled much of the day in practice due to all the blitzes. He didn't have much time to get rid of the football and when he did have a clean pocket he seemed anxious. It wasn't a banner day for Kolb who struggled during 11 on 11.
Manuel made a couple of nice plays in 11 on 11. The best being a beautiful sideline throw to fellow rookie TE Chris Gragg.
Manuel says despite the competition with Kolb he's been constantly picking his brain, trying to learn as much as possible...
"I ask him questions and just to be exact on certain things. Even, he’s had, I think he’s been in the league for six, more than five years I know, so he has a lot of experience, so I ask him questions. Just how do you prepare for a practice and things like that."
MARIO WILLIAMS INJURY:
The mysterious Mario Williams injury saga has now stretched it's way into day 2. We know little more now than we did when we first learned of the injury on Sunday night. Williams has an injured foot and was not in attendance for practice Monday. Marrone said he was off campus being evaluated by the doctor.
The Bills did not give many details about the injury and Marrone wasn't willing to speculate either. They still haven't disclosed what foot is injured. Marrone said when he learns what's wrong with Williams he will let the media and fans know...
"When the doctor tells us exactly what’s going on, believe me, I’m sure, you will be the fourth or fifth person to know. Mario (Williams), the doctor, our trainers, Russ (Brandon), Doug (Whaley), me, Scott (Berchtold), you. There you go. Eight. You guys are eight on the list."
STAR OF THE DAY:
You don't have to know much about football to go to training camp, watch a few minutes and be impressed by Robert Woods. The rookie wide receiver is wise beyond his years. He's a very savvy player for being just a rookie and often times looks like a veteran out there. Woods is a versatile WR and runs fantastic routes. He put on a show at practice and this isn't the first time. Kevin Kolb loves what he has seen from the rookie wideout and couldn't help but gush about him after practice...
"Stud. Legitimately a stud. I relied on him a lot the last two days and really through camp. What I’ve seen from him, I’ve been with some really good rookie receivers, some really good ones. DeSean (Jackson) came on the scene fast when I was in Philly and I remember some other guys and I’m really impressed with the way he approaches."
Kolb says the physical talent is obvious but there is much more to like about Woods' game...
"Not just his talent, and the kid can run better than I think anyone gives him credit for, and his approach to the game for a rookie and a high draft pick and being a receiver and all of those things that go in to it. He really has an open mind and wants to learn. And he’s a "my bad" type of guy which is the kind you want out there playing for you."
Bills fans are going to love watching Woods this summer. There's a good chance if you attend camp you'll see him make at least one wow play. For him being a rookie, he doesn't look overwhelmed at all. He looks like he belongs.