Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey reiterated Wednesday that he will have a pecking order at quarterback heading into training camp, and he expressed optimism about the health of two key offensive linemen.
Gailey acknowledged that he will have a tentative No. 1 and No. 2 at QB determined by July 29, when the Bills hold their first training camp practice at St. John Fisher College.
"We will probably, by the time we get to training camp, have somebody that is going to work with the first group; somebody that's going to work with the second group going in," Gailey said after the Bills' 14th full-team spring practice. "Just because if it happens that way [meaning the No. 1 wins the job], then you've got a leg up. If you try to get everybody equal shots from the first day of camp, then you probably get nobody ready, rather than getting three ready.
"So we'll probably decide, for lack of a better term, a pecking order for camp and then go from there," Gailey said. "But it still will be open when we get to camp."
The Bills have continued to rotate Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm with the first unit. Rookie seventh-round draft pick Levi Brown has remained fourth in the rotation. There are six practices to go this month.
Meanwhile, Gailey said Eric Wood and Demetrius Bell are ahead of schedule in their rehabilitation from injury.
"Our training staff, I've got to give Bud Carpenter and his staff kudos because they've done a great job of getting those two guys to where they are today," Gailey said. "I mean, Eric, we've been talking about maybe letting him get on the field and do some things before we get out of the last minicamp. That's an amazing recuperation. Demetrius is way ahead of schedule as well."
Wood is coming back from a compound fracture of the left leg, suffered in November. Bell is coming back from a torn knee ligament, also suffered in November. Wood and Bell have been working out and doing agility drills on the side while the team has practiced this month.
The Bills are counting on Wood to return and form a strong "middle three" on the offensive line with center Geoff Hangartner and fellow guard Andy Levitre.
Bell currently is the prospective starter at left tackle. Gailey said he's high on the two-year veteran and former seventh-round pick, who started eight games last year.
"He's an amazing athlete, first of all," Gailey said. "Run, jump, change direction, all of that was very good. He went in and played as a rookie. He started as a rookie. You don't know how hard that is, especially on the offensive line. Quarterback and offensive line may be the hardest place to start in this league as a rookie. He went and did that and held his own. Now he made some mistakes. You hope the second year he doesn't make those mistakes. But he is really a very good athlete."
Gailey did not have much to say about defensive end Aaron Schobel's statement last week that he does not expect to play in 2010.
"It's up to him," Gailey said. "He's a good football player and has been a good football player in this league and in Buffalo for many years. I'd like for him to be on the football team, but I understand his situation, too. I really do. That's part of life."
If the Bills are hit by defensive injuries in preseason, would Gailey consider calling Schobel and urging him to reconsider?
"There's way too many ifs in that one," Gailey said.
Running back Marshawn Lynch took part in his second practice Wednesday. Asked if Lynch has a lot of catching up to do, Gailey said: "Yeah, sure he does. Both on the field and off the field he has some catching up to do. But it seems like he's a quick study. That's what it looks like in my initial looks at him. I think he'll be all right in that respect."
Fourth-round draft pick Marcus Easley, a wide receiver out of Connecticut, signed with the team. Easley led UConn in 2009 with 48 catches for 893 yards and eight touchdowns, earning All-Big East Conference second-team honors.
The Bills waived linebacker Mike Wright.