Bills’ Sammy Watkins’ Limited Participation at Tuesday’s Practice

1. Sammy Watkins’ limited participation Watkins participated early in individual drills with his rib injury, but later sat out the rest of practice, not playing in 7 on 7, scrimmages, or running routes. Head coach Doug Marrone said after practice that Watkins wasn’t fully cleared, and that he will “watch the tape” and see what progresses from there. There is a lot of time between now and Saturday, so Watkins could in some scenario play against Tampa Bay this weekend, but as Marrone said on Monday, ribs “are a funny thing”. rsz_1o-line_pic 2. Offensive Line explanation Marrone also stated after practice that left tackle Cordy Glenn could play “if he progresses the way he is”. Marrone also went into the current five man alignment of Glenn, Chris Williams, Justin Wood, Erik Pears, and Seantrel Henderson. We’re just trying to find the best five players,” said Marrone. “I think Erik’s [Pears] a guy that has played multiple positions. He came into the league as a guard, so he can play that. Seantrel [Henderson] had been a right tackle. We moved him to left when he came here. He did a hell of a job, but now he’s back in his spot. He’s played really well. If he doesn’t play well then we don’t make as many moves as we do.” “What I don’t want to do is have my fifth best lineman be a backup because one guy doesn’t play a position. Do you know what I’m saying? I want to make sure we can get the best five players out there. These moves probably would’ve happened sooner had Cordy wasn’t injured.” Marrone wants to have the offensive line figured out before the regular season opener at Chicago, and doesn’t think the lack of “continuity” due to the amount of individual drills and line combinations that are used. “My philosophy has always been the best five,” said Marrone. rsz_ej_manuel_presser 3. E.J. Manuel perfect in 7 on 7 Manuel was playing in what he described as an “in-season Wednesday practice”, and completed every pass in 7 on 7 drills. “It went great going against a “scout team”,” said Manuel. “We did a great job.  I don’t think we had the ball on the ground at all throughout the team period and the 7-on-7’s. We had all completions so I’m very excited about that and obviously want to keep that going.” The offense played at a quick tempo, something Manuel believes will help the unit play both fast and slow. I think that’s something we can turn off and on when we want to and when it’s shaped to do it,” said Manuel. “I think we had one of the more grueling training camps as far as the tempo that we practiced at and the reps that we get, especially the first group since we get a lot of reps so we’re definitely in shape. I’m happy Coach [Nathaniel] Hackett kind of let us loose today and go out here and do some of the little stuff we have to work on.” 4. Marrone’s emotions about cutdown day The current Bills head coach, played two seasons as on offensive lineman in the NFL, and was never able to stick on a roster for more than a season. When it comes to players who take the game seriously, he very much empathizes and understands their issues when it comes to roster cutdown days. “I get emotional, believe it or not,” said Marrone. “If someone comes and they don’t respect the game and they don’t really care then I have no problem. ‘Hey, appreciate it. Take care.’ That’s not the case with the guys on this team right now. Everyone here has been busting his butt. They’re beat up, they’re banged up. It’s been a long camp. I have a great deal of respect for these guys and I always get hurt when we say, “Oh, that guy wasn’t good. That guy wasn’t this, that guy wasn’t that.’ Anyone who is able to make it through an NFL training camp is something Marrone sees as a great accomplishment, and he knows the moments before a player is told whether he has a future with a franchise is very tense. “The hardest thing, and I’ll speak from experience, is here you go into this locker room on this day of the final cut and you don’t know whether you’re going to make the team or not,” said Marrone. “You walk in that locker room and your life’s going to go one of two different ways.” Either you’re going to be an NFL football player. Everyone in your family, everyone that’s followed you your whole career is going to be congratulating you, thanking you and it’s just going to be a great experience for everyone. Or you find yourself saying, ‘What’s next? What do I do? Do I continue to play? Do I move on with my life? “There are some unbelievable decisions, unbelievable stories. Within a matter of waking up and going into a locker room, it’s a life changing experience right there. I have a great deal of respect because I’ve been cut so many times and I’ve been through it myself.” The first roster cutdowns to 75 are on August 26, and the final cuts t0 53 are on August 30. 5. Ice Bucket Challenge and Marrone answers phone The Bills performed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (via rsz_1marrone_phone_pic Marrone also answered the phone of a Clear Channel broadcaster Harry Gibbs during the post-practice press conference.

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