Coaches Impressed With First Week Of Minicamp
The past week was dominated by the first week of minicamp and some rookie signings. Gregg Williams was impressed with how his team came out of the week. We take a closer look at all the news and try to sort through the rumors as we give you our take on the issues:The coaches used the first week of minicamp to install more of the system as well as try to get the players ready by practicing many game conditions including goal line and two minute drills. They also had a drill where the offense has the ball with the lead and they try to run out the clock. Coach Williams was very impressed with the development of the young players especially Travis Henry and DaShon Polk. The coach was also impressed with the internal leadership when there was some sloppy points in the practices. The coach said that Rob Johnson is ahead of everyone else and is the last one in the film room every night. The departure of Doug Flutie helps him since he isn't looking over his shoulder anymore. The one surprise in the first week was the use of free agent David Dinkins at quarterback. He was signed as a defensive back but may have his best shot at making the team as a slash player. Our Take: Minicamp being impressive is one thing but the coach admits it will be different once the hitting starts. If the coach says he's impressed then he is. He doesn't pull punches with the media and if he's happy, the players must be responding.
The biggest off the field news at minicamp was the absence of Corey Moore after he was shot a week ago Friday. He had surgery on Monday to remove the bullet but did not immediately call Coach Williams upsetting him. Coupled with the fact that Moore has missed a lot of the conditioning program doesn't help his standing with the team. Moore's agent fired back saying he was mad at the comments and said Moore did nothing wrong. He is expected to return to Buffalo sometime soon but maybe not in time for the rest of minicamp. He has a court date on Tuesday on an aggravated assault charge from May. Our Take: It is obvious Moore isn't one of Williams' favorite players but he maybe should have been a little bit more reserved when talking about him after having surgery. That being said, if Moore doesn't make up the work quickly he may find himself on the waiver wire.
The Bills came to terms with three draft picks this week, seventh rounders Reggie Germany and Tyrone Robertson and fifth rounder Marquess Sullivan. Terms were not disclosed but it is believed that Robertson's deal has a cap figure of $218,000. Our Take: That gets the Bills a third of the draft picks under contract. The quicker the lower round picks sign, the quicker they can figure out what they need to sign the top picks.
On Saturday the club announced that the Nov. 18th game against Seattle will be the one that Jim Kelly will go on the wall of fame. Our Take: It is an honor that is long overdue, and with four other games being close to sellouts (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, New York, and Miami) it makes sense to make it a game that would normally have been a slow seller.
Gregg Williams is finalizing his plans for training camp. The club will have 33 practices split evenly between full pads, helmets and shoulder pads, and no pads workouts. The club will also hold night practices for the first time on Mon. July 30th and Aug. 6th. One thing is for sure, this camp will much more physical as Williams will have heavy contact and he says he's not worried about anyone getting injured. Our Take: With young players the camp needs to be more physical but they do need to be careful so players don't get injured.
Tom Modrak pulled out of the running for the Bears GM job and signed on with the Bills in the newly created position of Director of Football Operations. This is the same title he held in Philadelphia. He will run the college scouting as well as being involved in the day to day operations of the club. He will deal with the waiver wire and the salary cap. Our Take: Modrak was a great hire and a steal. The Bills may have the most organized and one of the most well respected front offices in the league. Unfortunately Modrak won't be a number two guy for long, look for him to move on to a top job next off season.
Speaking of Williams, he took time out this week to answer e-mails from fans on the Official website of the club. He feels players like Shawn Price are underrated and he is excited about the new regime. He also feels the defensive line has a chance to be very good this year. He feels the new defense is good for him and will give him a chance to attack. Our Take: Williams re-iterated what many of his teammates have said, the new regime is good for the players.
Ruben Brown took advantage of a media session to rip the former coaching staff. He felt the ship wasn't run tightly and the offense was unorganized by the coaches. Brown felt that Marv Levy left Wade Phillips with a Super Bowl team but the staff blew it. Our Take: This is ancient history, it is time to move ahead. The Bills were 6-10 when Phillips took over and they one 11 and 10 games the first two years under Phillips.
In other news, former Bill Antowain Smith found a home within the division as he signed a one year deal with New England on Thursday. Our Take: He will have a chance to get revenge on the Bills twice this season, can he do it? We will see if the Patriots can get his talent unleashed.
One rumor this week has the Bills interested in recently cut safety Scott Shields. The Steelers let the three year veteran go in a cap move. Our Take: Shields is another player from the Donahoe-Pittsburgh era so the Bills interest in him isn't surprising. He is a border line talent at best though. He would come cheaply and bring some experience to the secondary depth, so it couldn't hurt to bring him in.
The Bills also announced this week that the express gameday trains from Albany will be used again this year for three games. It will be used for the opener against New Orleans as well as the Pittsburgh and New York games. It will make stops in Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester. Our Take: This train is a good idea that works well with the regionalization of the team.
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