PITTSFORD - Vince Young gets the chance to be the No. 2 quarterback in this week’s preseason game in Minnesota, and he opened the week with a sharp practice Monday at St. John Fisher College.
“I think today was his best day since he’s been here,” said Bills coach Chan Gailey. “We’re trying to do everything with him, we’re not holding anything back. ... He’s got a better grasp of it than he did at any time during OTAs or minicamp, and I think he’s feeling a lot more comfortable.”
Young was good in red-zone work, which took up much of the 11-on-11 sessions of practice. He hit David Clowney with a quick pass for a TD on a second-and-goal play from the 7. Ron Brooks was in coverage. He threw an on-rhythm strike over the middle to Ruvell Martin for a 10-yard TD. Earlier he had hit a deep cross to Martin for a 30-yard gain, then connected with T.J. Graham on a sharp slant pattern for 15 yards.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good day, too, in the red zone. He hit Stevie Johnson on a slant for a first down, then hit Johnson over the middle for a TD on a third-and-goal play from the 5. On Fitzpatrick’s next series, he hit Donald Jones for a diving catch in the end zone. On the final possession, Fitzpatrick took the offense 60 yards in a minute, starting with a 25-yard catch-and-run by C.J. Spiller. With 14 seconds left and the offense inside the 5, there was a bad snap that went wide of the QB, and Fitzpatrick had to fall on it for a 12-yard loss. The offense got lined up in time to snap the ball with 1 second left, and Fitzpatrick hit tight end Scott Chandler over the middle for a TD.
On the two-minute offense, Gailey said: “I thought both the first and second offenses did a good job running it today.”
Tashard Choice got blown up in the backfield on back-to-back plays, the first by safety Da’Norris Searcy, the second by linebacker Kirk Morrison. Morrison came in on a blitz and knocked the ball out of Choice’s hands. It was recovered by Nigel Bradham.
“There were some good licks passed out there today,” Gailey said. “It was good on both sides. There was some good things from both sides of the ball. We had too many offsides penalties defensively. We were crowding the ball a little bit too much. But other than that it was a good sharp day in a lot of ways.”
Defensive end Mario Williams said there was a lot of banter on the field. “It is a lot of trash talk, especially from Choice,” Williams said. Just to get a chance to go out there and hit them a little bit is good.”
The Bills released guard Michael Jasper, the 375-pound guard they took in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. Jasper was a raw prospect out of Bethel University in Tennessee who played at about 430 pounds as a senior in 2010. He started his college career on the defensive line and played his last two years on the offensive line. His did not develop enough with the Bills to make it to the first roster cut down, which is Aug. 27.
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Gailey said cornerback Justin Rogers (hamstring) is probably out for this week’s game in Minnesota but the team aims to have him back for the third exhibition game. Defensive tackle Torell Troup was limited Monday and is not expected to play Friday. Defensive end Shawne Merriman sat out with a sore hamstring but likely will be back tonight. Also sitting out were Josh Nesbitt and Kevin Brock.
Tonight’s practice from 6:30-9 p.m. will be the last of training camp at St. John Fisher. A ticket is required.