PITTSFORD — The Buffalo Bills did their first live tackling at practice Saturday, and the offense won the battle with the defense in goal-line drills.
The offense scored touchdowns on 6 of 8 plays from the 3-yard line or closer during the session, before a good crowd of roughly 1,500 at St. John Fisher College.
Running back Fred Jackson set the tone with a power run off left tackle, driving into the end zone. Then second-year back Zach Brown, out of the University of Pittsburgh, ran hard up the middle for a score.
The offense tricked the defense on the third play with a play-action pass from EJ Manuel to backup tackle Thomas Welch, who made a fine catch in the back of the end zone. Linebacker Manny Lawson stuffed the next play at the line, and then the offense was offside. Then tackle Sam Young got wide open in the end zone and caught a pass from Jeff Tuel. Like Welch, Young made an emphatic spike of the ball to celebrate. Fullback Kendall Gaskins scored on the seventh play, and Brown stiff-armed linebacker Nigel Bradham on a run around end to score on the eighth.
“The offense had the better of the day on the goal line; the defense pretty much stopped them in the four-minute drill,” said coach Doug Marrone.
In the four-minute drill, the offense tries to run out the clock while protecting a lead.
The Bills huddled during both sessions and a short-yardage period – the first huddles of camp for the offense.
Jackson said he is feeling stronger than ever after working hard in the offseason to be ready for camp.
Jackson said he weighs 225 pounds, his highest as a pro.
“I feel great,” Jackson said. “I stayed up here all offseason, worked out with our training staff up here. I put on some good weight, gotten stronger. I’m up about 7 or 8 pounds right now. That’s just staying up here and working out during the offseason. I’ll probably lose 2 or 3 of that in training camp. But that was the plan to come in at that.”
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams got a handful of snaps with the starting defense for a second straight day and said his heel, which underwent surgery in February, is feeling good.
“It’s progressing,” he said. “Getting out there and moving around, kind of getting in the fray a little bit, is good. It’s always nice to be back, especially after a long layoff when you couldn’t do much.”
In his first play of 11-on-11 work Friday, Williams tackled the runner at the line of scrimmage for no gain. On his second play, he burst into the backfield for a “sack” of Kevin Kolb.
“I said, ‘Guys, I’m good. I’ll see y’all in September,’ ” Williams cracked. “There’s a progression we’re going through. It was a good start and I have to keep going.”
With receiver Stevie Johnson injured, the team signed undrafted rookie Terrell Sinkfield to the roster. Sinkfield, 6-foot and 200 pounds, caught 43 passes for 499 yards and four TDs as a senior last season for Northern Iowa. Sinkfield is speedy. The receiver ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.3s before the draft. … Marrone said tight end Mike Caussin will have his hip reevaluated in five or six days.