“We for months and months go against our defense, which is a two-gap team, hold-their-space,” Haley continued. “Sometimes when you then see a 4-3 team later in the season it’s a little bit of a shock because you’re not getting a good enough simulated look.
“To go against a 4-3 team is really what excited most of us the most.”
The Bills found the enterprise worthwhile, as well.
Second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel found value schematically and intangibly in the opportunity to practice against the Steelers’ defense on consecutive days.
“Obviously, Coach (Dick) LeBeau is one of the best defensive coordinators in NFL history,” Manuel said. “They gave us a bunch of different looks. We were chomping down on the film (Tuesday) night preparing for them.”
And as it turned out LeBeau wasn’t the only Steelers representative Manuel was studying.
“For me personally, to see Big Ben (Roethlisberger) in action, to watch him and see how he prepares for every practice is a huge opportunity for me,” Manuel said. “I just tried to take advantage of it.”