Adams Injures Hamstring: Sam Adams is the first casualty of training camp but it isn't a serious one. Adams has a mild hamstring strain but Coach Mularkey doesn't see him missing too much time they are just going to be smart about it and take it easy.
Mularkey On First Practice: The weather was ideal for the first practice of training camp and as expected the defense was ahead of the offense according to Coach Mularkey but the offense finished off strong. He feels it is a positive for everyone that all the players are in camp on time. The coach feels Lee Evans is going to be a special receiver and he needs to pick up the little things like coming back for the ball but he stressed that Evans had a good start. On Willis McGahee, he said he is showing no ill effects from his injury but you won't know for sure until he gets hit in the preseason games. The coach also feels that Eric Moulds is back having fun and is very confident right now that he is past his groin injury. The coach felt he and the players all enjoyed getting out on the field.
Price with first unit: The big surprise in the first practice was that Marcus Price lined up at right tackle with the first unit instead of Mike Williams. Coach Mularkey said not to read too much into it and explained to both players why he did it. Mularkey said it was his call because he wanted to make sure that Price was on page with the rest of the starters and wanted to see where he was at physically. He anticipated Williams practicing with the first unit as early as tomorrow.
Wire Improving: The coach feels that Coy Wire is improving and that he has good instincts for the free safety position but that he isn't there yet, as far as being a starter. His hitting insticts are great but his coverage instincts still has some fine tuning to do. He hopes that will come in time and stressed that Wire has gotten better and may get there soon but he doesn't know when that will happen.
Evans Excited: Lee Evans said his first training camp was more exciting than the minicamps since the fans were out there. He feels being in camp on time was big and both sides bent a bit to get a deal done. Evans knows he has a long way to go but he's learning from other receivers and is looking to define his role on the team whatever role that may be. He said it feels good to be in an NFL camp. He doesn't feel extra pressure from being a number one pick than the pressure he puts on himself.
Bills Release Carter: The Bills got their training camp roster down to 85 men by releasing CB Kahlil Carter. The team announced the move today as they hit the practice field for the first time in training camp. Teams are required to have an 80 man roster limite but the Bills have six exemptions from players that played in Europe giving them a maximum roster of 86 players at this point.
Evans Deal: While terms of the Lee Evans deal has not been disclosed, it is reported that it is a six year deal but the final year is voidable and Evans can become a free agent. Tom Donahoe said he has never done a deal like that before but he had to get creative to get the two first rounders signed and under the rookie salary cap.
Tougher Camp: To a man the Bills know this camp will be tougher than previous camps as Mike Mularkey tries to add mental toughness to the team. They will begin camp with a run test that they've known about for six weeks. It will be a test to see what kind of shape the players are in. Mularkey says "failure is not an option" on the test.
Losman, Evans On Time: Tom Donahoe said he was numb after the struggles he had signing Lee Evans and J.P. Losman and fitting them under the $4 Million salary cap for draft picks. Losman said he was thrilled to be in camp on time and that the Bills took great care of him. Losman arrived in camp with the rest of the team yesterday, and Evans arrived late last night. Coach Mularkey called the signings a very good start since it's important to get them into camp on time .
Saturday July 31, 2004
Bills Sign Evans: When the Bills hit the practice fields at St. John Fisher for the first time tomorrow, everyone will be there. The team announced that they have signed their top pick, Lee Evans. The signing came hours after they reached an agreement with J.P. Losman. Both players are expected to be in camp by the first practice tomorrow afternoon. Terms of the Evans deal were not immediately available.
Losman Comes To Terms: J.P. Losman has agreed to a five year deal, according to ESPN.com. The deal is reportedly with a base value of $7.7 Million with over $5.5 Million of that guaranteed. He gets an initial signing bonus and their are two option bonuses. With incentives the contract may be worth over $24 Million. The deal is much bigger than the one signed by Rex Grossman last year, with the same pick in the draft.
Players Report Today: The day has finally arrived. Players report to training camp at St. John Fisher today. They will check in and settle in to their dorm rooms and get ready for the first practice of training camp tomorrow. Two players that may not report later today are the top two picks, Lee Evans and J.P. Losman. Neither has signed a contract yet, but negotiations are continuing.
Friday July 30, 2004
Tickets Gone: Tickets for the first night practice on August 4th are all gone but some tickets still remain for the scrimmage next Saturday morning against Cleveland. Tickets for the August 11th night practice are available for free on a first come first served basis at Tops Markets on Monday morning at 9am. Check out our homepage for the upcoming camp schedule.
Camp Ready To Go: St. Johns Fisher College is ready and waiting for the Bills as the players arrive tomorrow. Two players that may not be there are the two unsigned first round picks. Talks are progessing but it will be real close to see if they are signed by the first practice on Sunday. The first of seven two-a-days will be on Monday. We are keeping an updated schedule of all upcoming practices on our homepage!
Thursday July 29, 2004
Offense To Help Bledsoe: The Bills are banking on the new offensive scheme implemented by the new coaches will help Drew Bledsoe bounce back from a poor season last year. Everyone will be watching how Bledsoe looks in the preseason but he is one of many offensive players that we will keep an eye on. There are many question marks on that side of the ball with the schemes and the personnel. How the players adapt to the new offense and how some young players develop will go a long way in determining the success of the team. We finish our training camp preview with a look at the offense. Complete Story.
Wednesday July 28, 2004
Talks Progressing: Tom Donahoe said today that talks are progressing with both first round picks, J.P. Losman and Lee Evans. He's optimistic they will be signed by the time players report to St. Johns Fisher on Saturday. Both players know the importance of making it to camp on time and he feels it will get done despite it being tricky with two first rounders to get under the rookie salary pool. Six picks between numbers 10 and 21 have already signed giving the Bills paramaters to work with in signing their top picks.
No Trade Talks: WGR radio and Empire both talked to Tom Donahoe today and he said that he has not had contact with Miami about the availability of Travis Henry. A report out of a Miami newspaper earlier in the week said they contacted Buffalo. Donahoe told Empire that if Miami had called it would have been a short conversation. Henry is not on the trading block for any team let alone a division rival.
Defense Looks For Turnovers: The defensive unit is the one part of the team that underwent only minimal changes and has some consistency from last year. That's a good thing since they were ranked 2nd in the league last year. They are working to fix their one shortcoming, that is to create more turnovers. Check out our second installment previewing training camp which begins on Sunday. Complete Story.
Tuesday July 27, 2004
Special Teams May See Starters: The Bills are gearing up for camp, and we begin our series of previews with a look at the special teams. New coach Bobby April is promising to use the best players even if they are starters. It remains to be seen how many starters will end up playing on the unit but one thing is for sure, there needs to be a huge upgrade in the return game. The coverage units were solid last year but need to overcome the loss of Sammy Morris and DaShon Polk, two stars last year on the unit. Take our new poll on our homepage about who should be the primary returner this year. Complete Story.
Dolphins Contact Bills: The Miami Dolphins are desperately trying to find a feature back for the season now that Ricky Williams has suddenly retired. They have contacted many teams about a trade including the Bills. They have contacted at least six other teams as well including Minnesota, Green Bay, Oakland, and Chicago. A report says that they are interested in Travis Henry but it would cost them more since he's in their division, likely a first round pick. Tom Donahoe would want more than that likely though since the Dolphins are a huge rivalry and the Bills wouldn't relish facing Henry twice a year, don't look for anything to happen here.
Bills Sign Anderson: The Bills have agreed to terms with third round pick Tim Anderson. He signed late last night, most third round picks sign three year deals, although terms were not disclosed. That leaves first round picks J.P. Losman and Lee Evans as the lone picks unsigned. Players report on Saturday but the top picks may not be there. Donahoe doesn't forsee any long holdouts since both players know how important it is to be in camp and both agents are very respectable. The last three years the top pick has not made it to camp in time but the holdouts have been very short.
Monday July 26, 2004
Camp On Horizon: Training camp begins on Sunday with all players reporting on Saturday. The Bills still need to sign three draft picks this week in preparation for the beginning of camp. We will preview camp with articles on the offense, defense, and special teams. Look for it and all Bills news throughout the week.
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