The Buffalo Bills had a two-hour practice without pads Tuesday and were focused on resting their bodies in preparation for Thursday’s home game against the Miami Dolphins.
“You try to be smart about what you do to get these guys ready for the game mentally and you hope they rest enough,” Bills coach Chan Gailey said. “Rest is the key to me. You have to be as fresh as you can be going into this ball game.”
Players said they were focused on staying off their feet when they go home.
“I spend a little more time in the cold tub before practice, after practice,” said guard Kraig Urbik, who said he’d sit in a ice bath twice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. “And when you’re out of here you really need to go home and sit on the couch all day. You can’t be going running errands or doing things you normally do during a normal work week. You have to get off your feet.”
“We usually get pizza after the game, but I packed a healthier meal last week,” said center Eric Wood. “Usually you get a couple cheap meals in after the game and have a good time but this week you accelerate everything.”
Starters did not see quite as many snaps during the practice session.
“Guys that are gonna see a lot of snaps on offense, they’re trying to kind of limit the snaps out here in practice,” said receiver Donald Jones. “They’re trying to get guys fresh and you want to get as much rest as you can. ... I normally get a massage every Friday. I’m probably going to see if I can get one Wednesday.”
The Bills had a walk-through practice scheduled for today, similar to the kind of practice they hold on Saturdays.
The following Bills were limited in practice: Kyle Williams (ankle), Spencer Johnson (ankle), Marcell Dareus (shoulder, hamstring), Andy Levitre (knee), Eric Wood (knee), Justin Rogers (knee), Leodis McKelvin (groin) and Brad Smith (hamstring). All are expected to play Thursday. Miami is in good health. Dolphins starting linebacker Koa Misi has a sore calf but is expected to be ready for the game.
Gailey, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie receiver T.J. Graham have tried to out-regret each other over the interception that snuffed what would’ve been a magnificent comeback victory Sunday in Gillette Stadium. Receiver Stevie Johnson divulged some information that would seem to point the needle at Gailey. Johnson said Graham never had practiced that fateful play.
“We know T.J. can make that play,” Johnson said. “We know he can. I don’t think that it was the wrong play, but just the whole thing leading up to it, which is he didn’t run that play in practice at all. It was not his fault at all.
“I’ve ran that play, or Scott [Chandler] ran it or Donald [Jones] runs it. But in that situation, I guess things was hurried up, and we had people in positions where maybe you shouldn’t have been. Who knows what would’ve happened if it was Donald or me or Scott there? So there’s no blame on T.J. at all because he’s never ran that route in practice or a game.”
Graham acknowledged he hadn’t practiced the play since training camp but still accepted blame for not running the proper post route.
“I’m more experienced with that route,” Johnson said. “Donald is and Scott is more experienced with that route. In that situation, we should’ve had more experience there.”
Dolphins running back Reggie Bush grew up in Southern California and plays in Miami. So where does his NBA allegiance lie?
“I didn’t grow up really a Laker fan,” Bush said. “I didn’t really have a team because I was so in love with football. I’ve always been a fan of the sport. Obviously living in L.A., I am a fan of the Lakers and living here I’m a fan of the Miami Heat but when I go to the games, I go to see a good game and I’m not particularly cheering for any team. But obviously being in the Miami games, I’m going to cheer for the Heat.”
Pressed on which team he prefers when they face each other, Bush waffled: “I’m probably just not going to go to the game. I’m going to stay home and take the safe route.”