As practice ended Tuesday, Aaron Maybin walked off the field with Darryl Talley. The Bills great gave him instructions on footwork while Maybin listened intently.
Talley, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who never missed a game when he played for the Bills from 1983 to '94, is contemplating a career in coaching and will attend camp for the rest of the week.
His first project appears to be Maybin, the third-year linebacker from Penn State who hasn't seen much playing time because of his lack of production and inconsistency.
"When someone has accomplished as much in this game as Darryl, you just want to soak everything you can," Maybin said. "I've pretty much been getting up under him, talking to him as much as possible and asking him pretty much every question I can think of."
Maybin said he appreciated Talley providing him with insight on the intricacies of playing linebacker.
"It's pretty rare that you have a [College Football] Hall of Famer to give you that kind of insight," Maybin said. "He was here the first time Buffalo turned everything around and he helped turn Buffalo into a winning dynasty. Anything you can get from a player like that is definitely good for a player like myself, especially someone who's as young as I am."
During the offseason, Talley spoke with Chan Gailey about getting into coaching. The Bills' coach invited him to camp.
"I told him to come up and take a look, hang around the coaches, go to meetings and get a feel for it," Gailey said. "It's great to have him around because of who he was but also what he wants to pursue possibly."
University at Buffalo assistant coaches Ernest Jones and William Inge are in camp as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. Jones, UB's associate head coach, is with the Bills cornerbacks, and Inge, the Bulls' defensive coordinator, is working with the linebackers. Tennessee-Chattanooga running backs coach Jamaal Fobbs is also a participant.
"It's a great experience for us just to be part of a professional organization," said Jones, who also serves as UB's recruiting coordinator. "The thing that you learn is that they're all professionals so that's the attitude that they have, that's how they treat the players, it's like a business. You see things a different way, particularly working with the secondary."
Inge said he appreciates the experience because Gailey and defensive coordinator George Edwards have allowed him to be vocal in practice and in meetings.
"They've allowed us to go right at it," Inge said. "They said, 'We don't want you sitting on the side.' It's very good and it's a great honor. We have a great group of men to work with in the inside and outside linebacker corp."
The Bills free agent signees, who missed the first four days of camp, will be available for practice Thursday, with the most prominent of the newcomers being veteran linebacker Nick Barnett.
"Obviously I'm looking forward to that and I think our team is looking forward to getting everyone on the field and allowing us to have a full complement of players," Gailey said. "There's quite a few from that group that we expect on the field next year."
Former St. Joe's and UB cornerback Domonic Cook could miss the next month with a knee injury that appears to be a torn meniscus, according to a source.
Cook, who was invited to training camp as an undrafted rookie free agent, suffered the injury Monday afternoon during practice. Midway through the workout, Cook walked off the field limping and was attended to by a trainer. Cook later walked into the locker room and didn't return. On Tuesday, he was seen walking on crutches.
"It's not good for him and it's going to be quite a while for him actually, at least a month," Gailey said.
While it's unclear whether the injury ends Cook's chances of making the team, the coaching staff likes his competitiveness and considered him a candidate for the practice squad.
"Dom Cook is a pleasure to be around and I saw the same things that I saw when he played for the University at Buffalo," said secondary coach George Catavolos. "He's a very productive player, he's a hard worker, he challenges guys. He wasn't intimidated by anybody, he competed and you could tell he came from a good program and was well coached. It was unfortunate that he got injured and we have to wait and see how things are played out."
Tight end Shawn Nelson left practice near the end but Gailey didn't think Nelson was injured seriously and should be available when the team returns to camp Thursday.
"With almost 50 hours before we practice again, it gives him a chance to get ready," Gailey said.
Others who didn't practice Tuesday include wideout Marcus Easley (knee) and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (hamstring).