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Club Finishes Up Two-a-Days
The team had one practice on Monday afternoon following Friday's win against Cincinnati. They had two-a-days the next three days. The morning practices were walkthroughs. The afternoon practices played out what they walked through in the Morning. Wednesday's practice was the most heated as two big fights broke out after the same play. Phil Hansen who is usually mild mannered got into it with Spencer Riley while Erik Flowers and Victor Allotey also fought. That same practice also had the most intense hitting of camp. Thursday afternoon's practice was at a much slower pace. Our Take: The club is very tired of two-a-days, and thankfully they are coming to an end.
Antowain Smith is battling yet another nagging injury. He has a swollen right knee from the game Friday night that has caused him to miss most of the practices this week and probably Saturday night's game. Our Take: This is becoming all too familiar. Smith needs to get past these type of injuries if he ever wants to become the feature back the club thought they were getting when they drafted him.
The club practiced third down situations on both offense and defense after its poor showing last Friday night. They also did some goal line formations this week. That is where Jay Riemersma has shined in practice. On the third downs, the offense seemed to move the ball well. They worked on the passing game on Tuesday. Our Take: With his height, good route running, and hands, Riemersma may score a lot of touchdowns this year.
Doug Flutie is growing very impatient on the sidelines recovering from his groin injury. He will have an MRI next week to check the status of his recovery. We should have a better idea about when he will return after that. He hopes to be back quicker than expected. He is scheduled to miss two or three games right now. Our Take: With the bye week after week 3, look for the Bills to hold Flutie out until the week 5 game against Indianapolis, which would be the fourth game of the year. Of course, if Rob Johnson is injured before then, that may speed up the timetable of Flutie's return.
The battle for the starting free safety spot seems to be shaking itself out this week. Keion Carpenter has taken the lead in the battle based on his play last Friday night. That combined with the versatility of Daryl Porter means this spot is pretty much set. Porter has been seeing time in practice this week at strong safety and nickel and dime cornerback. He may wind up being the fourth corner since none of the rookie free agents seem to be taking charge of the spot. Our Take: Porter's ability to play other positions hurt him in this battle, but the bottom line is Carpenter has outplayed him and they need Porter's versatility.
Marcellus Wiley shocked his teammates by returning to the practice field this week, one week earlier than expected. He now has flexibility back and is trying to get over nerve irritation while he gets his football condition back mentally and physically. He hopes to play in next week's preseason game in St. Louis. Our Take: Wiley's return to practice was a welcome sign, but lets hope he isn't rushing his return.
In ex-Bills news, Sam Gash has found a team. Gash signed a one year contract with the Baltimore Ravens worth $600,000 with a $100,000 signing bonus. Andre Reed has moved up to number 3 on the Broncos depth chart due to injuries. Our Take: We're glad for Gash, we are even happier he isn't in the AFC East.
The NFL released the 2001 interconference schedule. The Bills will play at Atlanta and San Francisco and host New Orleans and Carolina. Our Take: The club gets a break by not having to face St. Louis.
The club reached the 100,000 mark in attendance during this year's training camp on Thursday. This exceeded the expectations of owner Ralph Wilson. Our Take: This is a good sign, towards the increased regionalization of the club, which is required if the club will survive in Western New York in the future.
The City of Buffalo ranked 26th in the nation out of 300 sports cities in a study by The Sporting News. The rankings include the teams' records, fan support, and other criteria. Our Take: This study was just to get people talking, it doesn't carry much weight.
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