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1st Week Of OTAs In The Books

1st Week Wraps Up: The Bills wrapped up the first week of organized team activities on Friday. Dave Wannstedt addressed the media after the workout and said he feels they have a strong nucleus at all three levels on defense. He feels Mark Anderson has the quickiest feet of all defensive linemen. The plan is to use a strong rotation on the line and he said the success of the defense starts with the front four as it is a defensive line friendly scheme. Wannstedt feels Kelvin Sheppard is the prototypical 4-3 middle linebacker that can play from tight end to tight end. He feels Stephon Gilmore has great hand-eye coordination and ball skills. Tyler Thigpen missed the final two days of work with a small tear in his abdomen. No word how long he will be sidelined but it isn't something they will rush along since the core is very important to a quarterback.

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Thursday May 31, 2012

Merriman Practices: Shawn Merriman joined his teammates on the field in day two of the organized team activities. He said he felt great and actually feels younger after coming back from his Achillies surgery. He said he was full go. He called himself Benjamin Button and is going backwards moving around like he did when he first came into the league. According to the team's website rookie Ron Brooks made some good plays today and Bryan Scott made a nice interception.

Another Roster Move: The Bills made another roster move today releasing LB Garrick Williams and signing undrafted free agent DB Isaiah Green. The former Fresno State standout made 94 tackles and broke up 14 passes in his college career. Front Office Page.

Wednesday May 30, 2012

Bills Make Roster Move: The Bills have signed WR Derek Session and made room on the roster by releasing undrafted free agent signee OL Paul Madsen. Session is out of Maine and was a tryout player in the rookie mini camp earlier this month. He has good speed and is considered an excellent blocker.

Training Camp Schedule Released: The Bills have announced that training camp at St. Johns Fisher College will start on July 26th and consist of four night practices and 11 3pm practices all lasting two and a half hours. Camp ends on August 14th.

Players Look Bigger: Chan Gailey addressed the media after yesterday's first OTA workout and said the team looked bigger on both sides of the line especially as well as quicker. The coach feels he has three or four players he considers starters at defensive end. Ryan Fitzpatrick spoke about how much he likes the techniques being taught by QB coach David Lee. Fitz just went out and threw the ball now he is learning how to throw it right. The quote of the post practice press conference was Mario Williams saying the sky is not the limit with this club they have to go past it. The team will hit the practice field tomorrow and Friday from 12:35pm to 2:05pm. The media will not be at these workouts.

Tuesday May 29, 2012

Two Absent: Shawn Merriman and Delano Howell were the only two players not in attendance for the first practice. Merriman was seeing a doctor and got cleared to practice and will take the field on Thursday when the OTA resumes. Howell has a class schedule conflict at Stanford. Terrence McGee and Kyle Williams took part in individual drills but not team drills. Williams is way ahead of schedule. Stevie Johnson led the list of players sitting out practice. He is recovering from minor groin surgery a few weeks back. He is still battling a hamstring issue as well. He will likely not hit the field until training camp. Also sitting out were Cris Hill, Josh Nesbitt, Eric Wood, Erik Pears, Mike Caussin, Kamar Aiken, and Torell Troup.

OTA Notes: The Bills held their first practice of organized team activities in the fieldhouse today due to the threat of thunderstorms. Too much can be made of where players line up in these practices but since it's the first practice of the offseason everyone is curious. According to tweets from various sources Erik Pears sat out practice so Chris Hairston took first team reps at right tackle while Cordy Glenn practiced at left tackle. Colin Brown took the center reps with Eric Wood rehabbing his injury from last season. Mario Williams lined up at both end positions and looked explosive by all accounts. There was a scare when he bumped knees with Chris Kelsay but said he's fine. Those two players got the first reps at defensive end in 11 on 11 drills. Aaron Williams and Leodis McKelvin took first team reps at corner with Stephon Gilmore getting first team reps as well. Danny Batten got some reps as a long snapper.

OTAs Underway Today: The voluntary organized team activities gets underway today as the Bills are one of the last teams to start their OTAs. Practice today will be from 12:35pm to 2:05pm. The media will be allowed in today's practice and will have interviews with players and Coach Gailey. We will have snippets later today. Even though they are voluntary most of the team is expected to be there. Rookie S Delano Howell will not be in attendance because of his class schedule at Stanford according to the Bills official website. Also not expecting to participate because they are rehabbing injuries are: Mike Caussin, Eric Wood, Shawne Merriman, Kyle Williams, Torell Troup, Chris White and Terrence McGee.

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Monday May 28, 2012

OTAs Start Tomorrow: The entire team is expected to gather after the Memorial day weekend as the first week of organized team activities begin tomorrow. The first on the field team workouts are voluntary but everyone is expected to attend at least most of the workouts. Week one consists of 90 minute workouts tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday all practices are from 12:35 to 2:05 and are closed to the public. Week 2 of the OTAs will be at the same days and times next week. The third and final week of OTAs will take place June 11th, 12th, 14th, and 15th also from 12:35 to 2:05pm.

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Tuesday May 22, 2012

League Approves Toronto Deal: As expected the NFL's International Committee approved an extension of the Bills-Toronto series for another five years after the current one expires following this season. According to the Toronto Sun the deal is not finished but imminent and it will keep the Bills in Toronto through the 2017 season. Like the current deal the Bills will play one regular season game a season in the Rogers Centre but this deal will only have one preseason game over the five years. The current deal had three preseason games but one was given back to Orchard Park this year. This contract is also suppose to be much less lucrative for the Bills then the original $78 Million deal. The new deal will allow for much cheaper tickets since the original deal priced out their market. Russ Brandon released this statement: “The International Committee’s decision to approve the continuation of our games in Toronto is a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to regionalize our franchise. As we have stated on many occasions, the regionalization process remains vital to keeping our franchise strong in Western New York. We are continuing our discussions with Rogers Communications on a new deal and remain optimistic that we can come to an agreement in the near future.”

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