Training Camp News

Hello 690 Bills Fans,

I’ve tried my best to pull together news and rumors from various sites to give you a breakdown of what went down in the first week of training camp.

Things started out very well. All draft picks were signed and there were no holdouts. The first day brought what has been the biggest news yet, Mike Williams was placed on the second team behind Marcus Price at right tackle. Word is that Williams had some personal issues in the off-season, and came into camp a little overweight.

The first day also claimed the first injury. Sam Adams tweaked hamstring, and had remained out of practice ever since. Reports say it’s just a mild strain. Maybe they’re giving him extra time to heal, or maybe he’s pulling a Bruce Smith number. It doesn’t seem too serious…

Day 2 brought some more drama, as Mike Williams did not show. The Bills had released a statement later on that he was excused for the day. The offensive line is currently as follows: Teague C, Pucillo LG, Jennings LT, Villarrial RG, Price RT.

Day 2 brought some exciting news as well. First round draft pick Lee Evans is said to be progressing fast, looking very effective, and he’s been taking reps with the first team O.

Day 3 rolled in with even more Mike Williams drama. He was MIA for the day. This time, his absence was unexcused. He was fined for not attending practice.

Day 4 brought an end to the Mike Williams saga. He returned to practice and issued a brief press conference apologizing for his absence. He stated that there were personal reasons behind what had happened, and he wasn’t mad at being demoted and agreed that he should be fined. He said whatever the issue was is now behind him, and he’s focusing on helping the team.

Day 5 and 6 were pretty uneventful as far as major news goes. No news can be good news this time of year. Day 6 brought in the Cleveland Browns, and reports indicate that the Bills looked much sharper than the visiting Browns. Nate Clements was mentioned a few times over the past several days as being a real standout. The defensive unit as a whole is said to be looking outstanding. Also, Moulds appears to be, and he’s has said it himself, fully recovered from the groin injury that slowed him down last season.

Day 7 pitted the Bills against the Browns in a scrimmage. It wasn’t a real game format, rather each team was given 10 play sets as well as some work on goal line situations and special teams.

Willis McGahee looked sharp, even securing the #7 play of the day honors on ESPN. His numbers were recorded at 7 carries for 34 yards – with 4 TDs. This kid is bringing the Bills some real national attention. Travis was no slouch either! Gaining 9 and 12 yards on his first two touches. Travis gave everyone a little injury scare, but it turned out to be nothing.

Drew and the starting O sputtered a bit, but they didn’t have much time on the field to make up for their mistakes. It was reported that Drew and Eric Moulds showed some leadership by chewing out some underachievers on the sidelines. From what I gather from reports, the OL doesn’t look much better than last year. Lets hope McNally whips these boys into form by September!

A play that gained a lot of attention was Travis Brown hooking up with a wide open Lee Evans for a 50 yard bomb. It’s refreshing to have a deep threat once again. Reports indicate that Brown still has a nod at backup QB, as rookie Losman is progressing slowly but surely.

The defense looked sharp, except for one long run by the Browns’ Lee Suggs. They even got some turnovers!!! A pickoff by Reese on a batted ball by Jeff Posey, another pick by Dominique Stevenson, and a long 73 yard fumble recovery for a TD by LB Asa Francis.

Here’s a brief rundown of how some position battles are going:
– Lee Evans appears to be unseating Josh Reed for the #2 WR position.
– Izell Reese is still starting at free safety, with Coy Wire given ample repetitions to prove himself.
– Running back remains the most interesting. McGahee passed his first real test against the Browns. Hey, looks like we have two solid RBs in our corner. The 4 preseason games should be more interesting than normal.
– Backup QB seems to be Travis Brown’s at the moment as future prospect JP Losman continues to develop.
– Left defensive end still appears up in the air as Ryan Denney, Chris Kelsay, and recent pickup Jason Gildon battle for the nod.
– Marcus Price is playing ahead of Mike Williams at right tackle for the moment.
– Mike Pucillo is playing ahead of Ross Tucker and Marques Sullivan at left guard.

The only injuries {knock on wood} so far are Joe Burns’ ankle sprain (suffered on day 3) and Sam Adams’ hamstring.

That’s about it in a nutshell…

I have to credit the following sites for all the news and reports. I stop by them all daily, and they don’t disappoint.

One more item!!! YES, we will be showing next week’s pre-season game against the Broncos. We won’t have our new food menu in place yet, but we will have beer and wing specials for the occasion. It’ll be a chance to get together and watch what this Willis kid looks like in real NFL game situations. Look out for an e-mail later this week for details!!!

See you on Sunday!

— Matt Soreco