“My focus is on the players that are on the field.”

Those were Doug Marrone’s words to the media earlier this week at St. John Fisher College where two-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd remains absent from Bills training camp.

With Byrd absent and George Wilson released this offseason both the free and strong safety positions need filling. Third-year defensive backs Aaron Williams and Da’Norris Searcy have been lined up with the starters so far this training camp. Both were drafted in 2011 by the Bills.

“We knew Byrd wasn’t going to be back in time so whatever opportunity we get we just look to make the best of it” Searcy said.

The two took the majority of the reps on Sunday night. They each had a pick on rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. On Monday afternoon they warmed up and drilled with the starters and at Tuesday morning’s 8 a.m. practice the first one in full equipment both were on first-team defense once again.

The competition doesn’t end with those two however. Two college safeties Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams were both drafted by the Bills this past year. Meeks and Williams have both seen a healthy amount of reps with the second unit. Unrestricted free agent Jordan Dangerfield and free agent Dominique Ellis were also acquired this offseason.

Safeties must be versatile under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine according to Duke Williams. He believes the safeties here possess the skills necessary to succeed in Pettine’s defense.