The Bills held their first primetime practice on Sunday night at St. John Fisher. Below is a transcript of comments afterward, beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
On WR David Nelson's knee injury sustained during yesterday's practice:
It was not bad, bad. But he is going to be out four or five days. It is a good thing we have a day off tomorrow to give him an extra day. We will see when he gets back. I am hoping maybe Wednesday or so.
On why CB Justin Rogers left practice tonight:
He tweaked a hamstring. Let me get an evaluation of that and I will have some more information later. But it is going to be probably a four or five-day deal.
On if Nelson's injury is just a bruised knee:
I think it is. They have some word for it that I do not understand. They told me it was not bad and he will be back.
On DT Torell Troup leaving halfway through tonight's practice:
Yea he has just been trying to push. We try to push him a little bit further each day. And he goes until he gives out. Then we just try to build his stamina back up.
On DE Shawne Merriman not taking an extra day to rest the ankle that kept him out of yesterday's practice:
He wanted to be back out here. He would not stay out. And that is great. That is the attitude you hope they all have. But he wanted to be out here.
On position battles at outside positions like CB and WR:
Well we have some good players. Nobody has distanced themselves from the other group greatly. It is close a lot of places. But we have some guys that are playing well. CB Stephon (Gilmore) is playing well outside. We have some receivers. Every time I look up somebody else is making a play, which is good. It makes the decision tougher. But at the same time, it is good to have people making plays. It is better to make a decision from people making plays than having to decide who to keep and nobody has made a play.
On if the length of tonight's practice prompted the way players were rotated:
We are trying to give the ones enough reps to get their job done and then look at those other guys as much as possible. That is how reps are going.
On WR Stevie Johnson and CB Stephon Gilmore facing off every day in practice:
It is good for both of those guys to fight each other every day like that. It is good for Stevie and it is good for Stephon. If he can cover Stevie he will be a great player for us. So it is a good battle. It is good for both of them, like I said.
On the veteran depth DT Dwan Edwards provides:
He has played really well for us in years past. And I do not see any reason that he will not be right in the mix this year. The unfortunate part is we have a bunch of good guys in there. We are going to try to keep as many of them as we can because you know how it goes for the season. It will work itself out. But he is a good player.
On how the FB position has evolved and the different things FB Corey McIntyre will be asked to do this year:
We have asked him to catch more passes in this camp than I think he has in the last two camps combined. He has done a good job going outside and doing some different things. Yes, it is going to evolve a little bit more. But he has done a good job of accepting the challenge of doing some different things that he has not had to do in years past.
On the camp WR Marcus Easley is having so far:
It is great to see a young man fight back like that. It is never easy to go through what he has been through in two years. Marcus had a good night tonight. He seems to be getting better. I hope he can stay out here on a consistent basis. I think we will see him continually get better if he can.
On the speed of WR T.J. Graham:
Yea, that speed. If he gets open it is hard to catch. He got open and he is catching the ball very well right now. He has still got a lot to learn, but he is doing some good things out there.
On Graham's improved route-running:
He has worked at being a better receiver. He has given it some thought. Not only working on the field, but he is giving it some thought. And the thing we do is we give him some freedom. So if he will use his imagination and get out there and do the thing he does best as far as using his speed, the sky is the limit for the guy.
On if C Eric Wood will be full-go next practice:
No. I think he will come back to practice. Get more practice in. Keep doing a little bit more as time goes on.
On the atmosphere at the first night practice:
It was great. I know it was good for the fans. And I know it was good for our team. Our guys love coming into a night practice and the atmosphere that is here. You get people here that are all Bills fans. It is a lot of fun.
WR DAVID NELSON PM Practice - Sunday, July 29, 2012
On injury: I am blessed to have the diagnosis that I've got and I should be good to go in a few days.
On the bruise Coach Gailey mentioned in press conference: It was more of a strained tendon but it is nothing serious. There is no long-term damage. Like I said, the way it looked on film, the way it felt in the field, I am very lucky with the diagnosis that I have. On having an injury during his rookie year training camp: Absolutely. It is one of those things where it keeps happening and it looks freakish and it looks disgusting but somehow, someway I end up bouncing back faster than usual. I definitely have a guardian angel somewhere. On when he may return to practice: We do not know a certain day. We are going to keep taking it day by day. I definitely do not want to rush back into it and cause any long-term damage but at the same time I am eager to get back. I am ready to go right now. WR MARCUS EASLEY PM Practice - Sunday, July 29, 2012 On the competition between the receivers and cornerbacks/defensive backs: They bring a physical play to the cornerback position which really is not too common. The only way to challenge and be physical is to be physical right back at them. It is definitely tough on the perimeter going against those guys day in and day out. On using different quarterbacks in practice: You want to build some type of chemistry no matter who you are going with. Being with the way things have gone for me within the last two years, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle. Whether I am in there with the twos, threes, or in there running with the ones, I am just trying to take full advantage and just trying to make plays with the ball in my hands and when it is not in my hands. On a good practice tonight: I am just trying to get better day in and day out. I made a couple plays today but that is just the nature of the position. You learn from the bad plays and if you make good plays then you move forward to the next day.
WR T.J. GRAHAM
PM Session - Sunday, July 29, 2012
On the importance of learning the playbook:
The more I learn the plays the more I can just be myself and just make plays. So it is just me learning the offense and getting on the same page as the quarterbacks.
On his role on the team and if he knows what is expected of him this year:
Yea, run fast and catch the ball. So I have been trying to do that the best I can. I am trying to learn the playbook so I can run as fast as I can and make the plays for the team.
On the fluorescent cleats many players wore tonight:
Well I was late to the party. A couple guys had ordered some fluorescent green custom cleats back in OTAs and mini-camp. They came out today for the first night practice and some guys did not have them, so we kind of just made our own thing. It is just receivers and I guess it made us play better today. So we might put them on for the next night practice.
On the hardest thing about being a rookie:
It is everything. I am new to everything. I am new to buffalo. It is a new playbook. It is even new people, new personnel, everybody. So I am just learning that and trying to be comfortable. The more I understand overall it is helping me out. I mean, if I know how to get home without the GPS that is helping me out on the field, too.
On if he feels more comfortable on the field now than OTAs:
As a 23-year-old with a lot of free time, I spend most of it just studying what I have to do because I know in order for me to play well and contribute this season I had to learn the plays in order for me to run as fast as I could. Even going back to rookie mini-camp and OTAs, just not knowing the plays forced me into not running as fast as I could. I knew I had to learn the plays so I could be comfortable and run a lot smoother.
On how much time he spent on that studying:
A lot more than probably the average person. I always wanted to come in and contribute really early so I kind of had to pull my weight. There are a lot of temptations that make you want to go out at night or just go have fun during the summer. But I would just stay in and study.
CB STEPHON GILMORE PM Practice - Sunday, July 29, 2012 On tonight's practice: I feel pretty good today. I learned a lot today and I made a couple plays. On what he learned: I think I am getting better on my technique and mirroring receivers and trying to get my hands under it a little bit more but I think I am getting better as a player. On settling into the team after half a dozen practices: I still have a lot to learn and if I just come out here and work hard every day I will be alright. On being physical tonight: Yea I made a couple plays but I gave up some that I thought I should have made but that is the game. As long as I keep learning, I will be alright.
On lining up against WR Stevie Johnson: He is a hard person to guard. I try to stay with him as much as I can. Some plays you have to give him the short plays and try to take away the deep balls so I think I did that today and I will just keep learning from him.