As the end of Buffalo Bills training camp nears, head coach Chan Gailey is seeing improvements in his team’s offense as well as in newly acquired quarterback Vince Young. The Bills took on the Washington Redskins on Thursday August 9th, in their first preseason game at Ralph Wilson Stadium and while the defense seemed to be in sync, the offense did not. This has been a major concern throughout training camp, especially with the competition heating up between Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen for the 2nd string quarterback position. Coming out of the game, the players and the coaches expressed their disappointment in the poor performance by the Bills offense and stressed this would be something to focus on as training camp wraps up.
Gailey has stated Young and Thigpen have been lacking in some areas , however at the last afternoon training camp practice held on Monday August 13th, the head coach saw Young make moves that may have put him ahead of Thigpen. Gailey was asked about what he thought about Young throwing the ball through most of the practice and stated, “He threw all day. That is the best he has done since he has been here. I think today was the best day since he has been here. We are not holding anything back with him. He has a better grasp of it than he did at any time in OTA’s and mini-camp and I think he is feeling a lot more comfortable.”
The speed, agility, and athleticism Young showed both in the first preseason game against the Redskins and at training camp are also encouraging signs for Gailey. Young can run the ball and make smart decisions about when to do so. Overall, it is clear that although the Bills have only practiced three times since their 2012 debut, they have made progress.
Justin Rogers, Shawne Merriman, and Terrence McGee did not participate in the last afternoon practice and the Bills also announced that they released offensive guard Michael Jasper. Chan Gailey, the team trainers, and the Bills front office are all working together to construct a team that will hopefully make them be successful in the regular season. The main goal for the Bills is to make the playoffs and if this means keeping players out of practice to help them maintain their health or making tough decisions on cutting players, they have to do what they feel is right.
The Buffalo Bills last practice at St. John Fisher College is Tuesday August 14th from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM. Then, they will head back to Buffalo and prepare for their next preseason game, which is against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday August 17th at the Mall of America Field.
By Carly Szydlowski