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Bills Daily Week in Review - April 24th - April 30th, 2000Previous Week

First Mini Camp Gives Rookies A Look

The club added three more rookies this week and cut one as the new players had a chance to make first impressions on the coaching staff at the first off season mini camp. Here's a look at the complete week in review including our take on the issues of the past week.

The highlight of mini camp was Coach Phillips saying the club will use a two QB system this season. The plan is to start Rob Johnson and use Doug Flutie off the bench in shotgun situations. Our Take: This may be just talk, like last season when Phillips said he had two number one QBs. Don't expect that rotation to be used too much during the season. It won't be good for Johnson's development if he is taken out once a series even if Flutie brings an intangable that may bring more first downs.
There was less of certain players at mini camp. The club has instituted a weight program that can hit the players in their wallets if they don't stay below their individual weight goals. Each player will be fined $150 per pound, per day that they are over their goals. Ted Washington, Marcellus Wiley, and Jamie Nails were each looking slimmer at camp. Our Take: The club took some criticism last season for having too many players overweight and out of shape. This crackdown on players' weight is long overdue.
On the field at mini camp it was less eventful. That's good news since there was an injury during last season's mini camp to Peerless Price. No such injuries this year, just minor hamstring twinges for two rookies, Corey Moore and David Byrd. Rookie Tackle Shane Cook failed his physical and was released. Henry Jones, Jay Riemersma, Antowain Smith, Ken Irvin, Robert Hicks, and Sam Rogers all missed mini-camp with their respective injuries. Two players back on the field were Shawn Bryson and Joe Panos. Our Take: Kwame Cavil and Bryson appeared to be the stars of this camp. Bryson will seriously challenge Jonathan Linton for his spot on the depth chart. Cavil has an excellent chance of making the team and even being the third receiver, although he'll have a fight on his hands from Jeremy McDaniel. All in all the defense was ahead of the offense for the most part though. As Moore and Erik Flowers showed they are players and the rookies in the defensive backfield had a chance to show their stuff. Raion Hill and Jay Hill helped themselves while some defensive backs dropped some interceptions. Our Take: The mini camp accomplished its goal of getting the rookies acclimated and giving them a head start for June's mini camp and training camp.
The mini camp gave the Bills a chance to show some of their new offensive formations. The five receiver set will probably have two TEs and a running back in it with the two starting WRs. TE Sheldon Jackson will play more fullback this year. Our Take: With the depth at TE and RB and the lack of experience or depth at WR using Bobby Collins and one of the many accomplished receiving backs (Bryson has the edge) in the spread offense makes the most sense.
The club added three players before the start of camp, two of them were on the team last training camp. TE John Jennings comes to camp as the fifth TE, G Corey Hulsey returns to the team for his second shot at a roster spot. Punter Jason Van Dyke gives the club another leg in camp. Our Take: These three are training camp fodder.
At the beginning of the week, word leaked out that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were closing in on signing free agent LB Gabe Northern. He has yet to sign the deal. Our Take: Northern isn't in the Bills plans as Keith Newman and Corey Moore will battle for the position.
In Other former Bills news, RB Sam Gash may be headed to the Giants. They are only interested in Gash if their own FB doesn't make it back from injury. They told Gash to take another offer if he gets it, if not they may get back to him. Our Take: Gash will not get the money he deserves this late in the off season.
Off the field, Flutie will be appearing as himself in an upcoming TNT movie called Second String. The movie is about the Buffalo Bills losing their entire first string to food poisioning on the eve of the playoffs. Flutie's scenes will be filmed next week. Our Take: This movie should be fun to watch for Bills fans.
Former head coach Marv Levy was nominated for an emmy for his work as a studio analyst for Fox Sports Net. The award went to Terry Bradshaw. Our Take: The nomination was a victory for Levy, who many critics thought was too old to be an analyst.

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