PITTSFORD – Defensive tackle Landon Cohen has earned some serious frequent-flyer miles during his time in the NFL.
Cohen, who was signed by the Buffalo Bills on July 21, is on his ninth NFL team.
Although he’s been with the team for just over two weeks, Cohen has done well for himself, including Wednesday, when he took a handful of snaps with the first-team defense after Marcell Dareus left practice with a hamstring injury.
“I’m one of those guys – I never get too high or too low,” Cohen said. “I just do it again the next play.”
During Wednesday’s practice on the grass field at St. John Fisher College, Cohen made a pair of strong plays on back-to-back snaps. He busted through the offensive line for a would-be sack of quarterback Jeff Tuel, then on the next play beat center Macky MacPherson off the ball for a stop of fullback Evan Rodriguez behind the line of scrimmage. Later in practice, Cohen was part of a goal-line stop against Rodriguez again.
Bills coach Doug Marrone was pleased with what he saw from Cohen in Sunday’s preseason opener against the New York Giants.
“We had nine tackles for loss in that game and he had a couple of them. He did a nice job,” Marrone said. “The starters going in, they’re going to play their ‘x’ amount of plays or whatever the plan is. Then there’s other guys going in there, but those other guys have an opportunity. First of all, they’re going in there and they’re wearing the same uniform we are. They are representing the Buffalo Bills.”
Cohen might not be as far behind as another player signed so recently because he played under Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz with the Detroit Lions.
“It’s just playing football, man. I’ve been playing since I was 7, so that’s 21 years,” he said. “I’m having fun with my new teammates. I just appreciate the journey. I treat it like a new adventure every single day when I wake up.”
Cohen said watching Dareus and Kyle Williams operate during practice has been a joy.
“Those are some awesome guys – awesome athletes,” he said. “I’m just proud to be able to play with them right now.”
Dareus’ injury did not appear serious, but his status for Friday’s second preseason game in Carolina is now unclear.
Safety Jonathan Meeks suffered a neck injury during practice. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hip), safety Da’Norris Searcy (personal) offensive tackle Edawn Coughman (abdomen) and center Doug Legursky (back) did not practice Wednesday. Tight end Tony Moeaki and receiver Marquise Goodwin did not appear to take any team reps as the Bills ease them both back into action after hamstring injuries.
With Searcy out, Duke Williams got an opportunity to line up with the starters.
During a goal-line drill near the end of practice that featured live tackling, Williams blew up a run by Anthony Dixon for a loss of yardage.
“Duke’s had a good camp,” Marrone said. “The play on the goal line was really Mario Williams. Mario really set that play up. He went inside, opened up the hole, freed Duke up and Duke went in there and made a nice tackle.”
Other highlight plays from the practice that went more than two-and-a-half hours:
• Robert Woods made a number of strong catches, including a one-handed grab from Jeff Tuel for a touchdown. Woods also beat top cornerback Stephon Gilmore twice during practice, once with a one-handed grab during one-on-ones, then again on a pass from EJ Manuel during 11 on 11s.
• Safety Deon Broomfield stepped in front of tight end Scott Chandler for an interception of Manuel during one-on-ones.
• Jerry Hughes continued to be a force off the edge, with at least two sacks.
• Kicker Dan Carpenter continued his strong training camp, going 8 for 8 Wednesday, ranging from 29 to 45 yards out on a slightly breezy day.