PITTSFORD — Jeff Tuel ended his college career at Washington State as the most accurate passer in school history.
He completed 61.3 percent of his passes in a career that spanned 26 starts.
That was nothing compared to the accuracy he showed in his first NFL preseason game. Tuel hit 19-of-23 passes, an 82.6 percent accuracy rate, in the Bills’ 44-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Tuel threw for 212 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 134.1.
There was not tentativeness from Tuel. He fired the ball down the sidelines on several occasions and let receivers make plays on the ball. It happened on a 29-yard sideline throw to Marcus Easley, another 18-yarder to Easley and a 29-yarder to Brandon Kauffman.
“It’s pretty easy with the crop of receivers we have,” Tuel said, referring to his confidence. “It’s unbelievable. All the coaches have said the amount of talent we have on this roster. I think you’d be stupid not to give them a shot out there because I think we’re going to win those battles. It’s the trust I have in the receivers. You have to take those shots when they’re given to you.”
Tuel’s touchdown throws came on a 6-yard slant to Da’Rick Rogers and a 5-yarder to Kauffman.
“There were a little nerves,” Tuel said. “I think everybody has nerves going into their first NFL game. It was not too bad. I settled down quick.”
The Bills practiced for about two hours Monday before a crowd of about 800 at St. John Fisher College. The Bills never held a practice the day after a game under their previous two coaches. It might not have happened since before Marv Levy was coach. However, the Bills have a short week of practice, with just four days between the exhibition opener and Friday’s preseason game against Minnesota.
There was extensive rotation of players during the practice.
Said Marrone on the schedule: “We’re in a critical point. Maybe critical is not the right word. But we’re in a window, really in the evaluation process, to get the players ready. I think that it’s a short week. … You might’ve looked at it as a practice, but we tagged off every drill, wanted to get them running around. And normally after a game, you come back, they do a heavy lifting, heavy running to flush their body out. And the players did a good job of that. Again, we may be practicing and it might be called a practice, but we’re being smart about it with the players.”
The Bills came out of the Indianapolis game in good health. Tight end Dorin Dickerson did not practice Monday due to a sore ankle. Receiver T.J. Graham and linebacker Kourtnei Brown both developed sore groins during Monday’s practice. Marrone said cornerback Justin Rogers, out since camp started with a sore hamstring, was getting closer to returning. Receiver Kevin Elliott and linebacker Keith Pough were back. Still out were guard Keith Williams, defensive tackle Aaron Tipoti and tight end Mike Caussin.
New York Army National Guard Major General Patrick Murphy, the adjutant general of New York State, watched practice with some other national guardsmen. Murphy, a two-star general, oversees the 20,000 men and women of the state’s military forces.