Week 1: Training camp review

Welcome to training camp fans! - Photo via www.buffalobills.com

Welcome to training camp fans! – Photo via http://www.buffalobills.com

The Bills were the first NFL team to open Training camp this week as they get ready to take on the NY Giants, Sunday August 3rd in Canton, for the Annual Hall of Fame game. The game caps off an amazing weekend for Bills fans as we finally get to see the long overdue induction of Andre Reed into the NFL’s hall of fame, Joining fellow teammates Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, James Lofton, Coach Marv Levy and Owner Ralph Wilson. The Nice thing about being first to camp is all the positive national attention the team received. Doug Marone was on the Jim Rome show Monday and if you haven’t heard it I strongly suggest you check it out. (Marone on Jim Rome via WGR550). There were plenty of other National Media guys from every sports new outlet doing some kind of piece on the Bills and trying to get their first looks at Sammy Watkins and if you haven’t been keeping up on what’s going on here’s what’s happening thus far at Training camp.

One handed Sammy Watkins! - Photo via deadspin.com

One handed Sammy Watkins! – Photo via deadspin.com

Sammy Watkins is showing why the Bills spent an extra first round pick to bring him here. He turned heads with his speed on long TD catches the first few days (Check them out HERE ) and then showed himself up with this catch that is going viral ( Sammy Watkins slip & 1 handed catch! ) The Bills are going to need everything Sammy Watkins has in his arsenal if they are going to improve from 28th and 29th in the league in 3rd down conversions and scoring in the red zone. Marcel Dareus who I think we all know has a lot going on off the field is finally back with the team after a failed physical and a trip to Alabama to take care of his legal matters. Coaches expect him to re-take the physical this Friday and barring any other setbacks should be ready to suit up Monday. The week also started off with more bad news when Marone told the media Cordy Glenn is battling an undisclosed illness that makes him day to day and that doesn’t appear to be season ending… Wait what? doesn’t appear to be season ending? but didn’t you just say he’s day to day? If you read my article about the 5 positions to watch you know how excited I am for the Offensive line this year! With Glenn out indefinitely at this point there’s some shuffling the Bills need to do, but good news is that it’s early enough to do it. Alan Branch is also out due to illness but is expected to return next week. The Bills also made some roster moves basically replacing guys with similar other guys in the same positions with the only notable name being Namaan Roosevelt, the UB product and previous member of the Bills. He’ll be joining an already crowded WR group but if his hands are still as good as they were while he was here, he could find some playing time as a 4th or 5th WR and special teamer. He’s not tall or a speedster (though he did has a 60 yard TD catch against the Giants in 2011, Check it out HERE ) but he’s a good possession type receiver that can get tough yards.
Tuesday appeared to be a good day for the Running backs. Even without Glenn, there were good sized holes on a lot of plays. Every one of the top 4 Running backs (Jackson, Spiller, Dixon and Brown) all had runs that would have easily gotten a first down and then some. Bryce Brown is showing signs of why the Bills dealt for him. He showed similar shiftiness and speed to CJ Spiller, he’s not quite there but not far off and looks to be a good insurance policy if injuries happen again this year. Spiller is in a contract year and Jackson is closing in on that mid 30’s mark which for a Running back usually means retirement, it’ll be interesting to see how this battle plays out. For a team that ranked 2nd in the league in rushing last year while Jackson and Spiller were less than 100%, the fact they’ve gotten better is scary.

Doug and EJ - Photo via buffalowdown.com

Doug and EJ – Photo via buffalowdown.com

Jeff Tuel is also earning reps. He’s physically bigger than last year and throwing the ball better. With EJ missing almost half the season last year, we will need our back up QBs to step it up if called upon as often this year. Things got a little heated between Robert Woods and Da’Norris Searcy as they exchange blows to the helmet and had a little wrestling match, which had to be broken up by teammates. After practice both didn’t comment and said they left the exchange on the field.
Wednesday’s word of the day is contact! The Bills have been practicing in full pads a lot and with 3 contact practices already. No major injuries to report as of yet. Hopefully the injury bug stays away as we’ve already lost Alonso for the year and Cordy Glenn for who knows how long. There’s a battle at right guard brewing between Craig Urbik and Chris Hairston but the position is ripe for the picking for Richardson. The offense is also trying to move as fast as possible. The Bills were leaders last year in the amount of plays they ran and are looking to do even more. They will need better 3rd down conversion play (EJ manual was 47% on 3rd down last year) and help in the red zone (29th last year) in order to take that step Bill GM Doug Whaley believes they will.
The Bills also made a change to the way their season ticket holders get Tickets. They now supply a Card that the season ticket holders will use to gain admittance to the stadium. Each Tickets seat gets a card and if you really need that paper ticket you can still print them at home, email or have them sent from the box office. For more information or to get your season tickets now Click HERE .

Remember these two!  - Photo via espn1005.com

Remember these two! – Photo via espn1005.com

It was also announced that Jim Kelly will be a part of coin toss ceremony at the Hall of Fame game. It’ll be a great weekend for Bills fans in Canton. Look for my article next week talking about Andre Reeds career and a preview of Hall of Fame weekend.

That’s your mid-week recap of Bills Training Camp, do you have any perspective? Been to camp and want to share your opinions? As always leave a comment and let’s go BUFFALO!

By:
Jason Sinsabaugh

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