Putting on the pads

Updated: 07/22/2014 6:12 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 5:14 PM WHEC.com
By: Stephen Bond

The Bills played in the heat Tuesday morning. It is not the greatest timing for the team to be wearing full pads for the first time at camp, but they made it through.

Now it is time to see what these Buffalo Bills are made of. Pads mean a better sense of playing conditions and that made players feel like it was game time.

It felt like football Tuesday. Temperatures reached the 80’s. A few guys were treated for cramps. For the first time since last year, veterans like Fred Jackson put the pads on again.

Fred Jackson, Bills running back, said, “As a running back, we love to be in the pads. You are going to feel slower just because you have been running around in shorts. But it's always fun. The offense line gets to make some contact with the defensive line. It is not just up there hand fighting, it is actual pads and contact.”

EJ Manuel, Bills quarterback, said, “You get a more realistic look as far as run blocking and pass blocking. Obviously, the pads are what you play with in a real game. So it felt like a lot of action today.

And live action is just what guys like Mike Williams relish.

Mike Williams said, “Without having the pads, you are basically playing flag football at all times. This is football, this is what I love and this is a big part of my game. At 225, I got to get pads on, I'm tired of the corners running up on me and I’m telling them that wouldn't have been a tackle.”

The combination of practices running at least two and a half hours every day in sweltering heat and the quick turnaround might be too much for rookies, but veteran tight end Scott Chandler has a simple solution.

Scott Chandler said, “You do what the schedule says, you can't sit here and complain. We've got 41 days of camp out here. This is day three or four. You can't count the days, you have to make the days count, so whatever the schedule says, that is what you get up and do.

Fred Jackson noted the way to get through these hot training camp days is to drink even when you're not thirsty. Luckily, the Bills have 24 hours to hydrate before their next practice. 

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