PITTSFORD – Rex Ryan cautioned that he’s “not going to say that anybody’s won anything yet” when it comes to the race to be the Buffalo Bills’ No. 3 wide receiver.
But things are starting to come into clearer focus, and it’s looking more and more like Marquise Goodwin will have a great chance to earn meaningful playing time when the real games begin.
“I’ve been very impressed with him,” Ryan said. “Hopefully he just keeps coming, because he has been impressive.”
Another receiver who has made a positive impression is Walt Powell.
“I think he’s got some juice,” Ryan said. “He can separate from people, he’s got some return skills. … A guy that has that kind of athleticism and he’s a tough kid. I’ve been patient with him and hopefully this is the year that he breaks through.”
Reinforcements arrive: Newly signed defenders Kroy Biermann, Brandon Deaderick and Alameda Ta’amu practiced for the first time. Biermann lined up with the third team because, as Ryan said, “he doesn’t even know the defense yet. But on defense we will probably try to catch him up to speed as fast as possible.”
Biermann said he got some experience in a similar defense to the one Ryan runs when he spent time with Mike Nolan in Atlanta.
“Football is football when you get down to the basics of it, terminology is different,” he said. “I definitely feel like I’m going to be comfortable.”
Seymour steps up: Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman had his left foot in a walking boot after suffering an ankle injury Monday. That meant rookie sixth-round draft pick Kevon Seymour took the nickel corner.
“We all know this young man can play,” Ryan said. “I love the way he competes. He’s a smart guy. We did throw him in there with the ones. We’re trying to get him some work at nickel and so this an opportunity, you know with Robey being out we just put him in there at nickel.”
Seymour gave himself a passing grade after the practice.
“I felt like I did good,” he said. “The main thing was to go out there and have fun and play confident, so I was just playing confident and just on my level.”
Just missed: Fans who made the drive from Buffalo to suburban Rochester probably questioned what they were doing on the way. Heavy rains fell just before the start of the 10 a.m. practice, but by the time the team took the field, most of the precipitation was gone. The Bills practiced on the artificial turf inside Growney Stadium instead of using the usual grass field for the morning sessions.
Tough stretch: On just the fourth play of 11-on-11 work, defensive linemen Adolphus Washington and Jerel Worthy were sent for a penalty lap after jumping offside. On the next play, defensive tackle Corbin Bryant joined them after he also went offside.
Highlight play: During 11-on-11 work between the starting offense and scout-team defense, receiver Robert Woods pulled in a nice, back-shoulder pass on a throw from Tyrod Taylor.
Defense stands tall: The Bills finished practice by running a goal-to-go situation with the starters on both sides of the ball. In five plays, the offense was unable to reach the end zone. Cornerback Ronald Darby broke up a pass for Woods on the first try, linebacker Zach Brown deflected Taylor’s pass on the next play, Marcell Dareus and Preston Brown recorded sacks on the next two plays, then Jerry Hughes stopped a running play on the last snap of practice.
Still out: Running back Reggie Bush missed practice for a second straight day. Ryan said he expects Bush will be back soon. On his Instagram page, Bush posted a photograph and caption saying goodbye to Andy Rodriguez, one of his football coaches at Helix High School in California. The team has said only that Bush is out for an excused personal matter.
Taking it in: Safety Aaron Williams (concussion) watched practice from the sidelines, the first time he’s been seen since being hurt at practice last week. Receivers Dez Lewis (shoulder) and Greg Salas (hamstring), left tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle) and left guard Richie Incognito (ribs) remained out of practice. Glenn was no longer wearing a walking boot on his left foot.