Mini Camp Finishes Successfully
The Bills finished off mini camp this week and it ended as successfully as it began. That dominated the news from the week along with some more signings. We take a closer look at all the news and give you our take on the issues:The just concluded minicamp was successful on many levels as Coach Gregg Williams said it exceeded his expectations thanks to the help from a strong internal leadership group. Some of the standouts of the second week of camp were Eric Moulds, Rob Johnson, and Sam Cowart. The coach also had good things to say about rookies Tim Hasselbeck and Reggie Germany. The players closed camp on Thursday with an impromptu meeting at midfield. They worked on pressure situations all week as they finished the camp by practicing everything three times. Monday's practice was held outside in the wind and rain, this will be a common occurrence under Williams. On Tuesday it was hot and humid and Jim Kelly was a surprise visitor to camp. Our Take: One thing is for certain, the long off season workout program and the minicamps have built up a great team camaraderie and unity. The club is head and shoulders ahead of where they have been in the past at this time as far as conditioning and preparation.
The Bills were missing a few players on the practice field as practice went on. Ken Irvin pulled his hamstring on Tuesday and missed the rest of the week. John Fina slightly sprained his ankle on Monday and did not practice the rest of the week either. Sam Cowart and John Holecek missed practice times with bumps and bruises. Phil Hansen missed most of the week to be back home expected the birth of his first child. Our Take: Gregg Williams needs to know when to take the pressure off in training camp or the Bills will build up a lot of little injuries. We have the latest on all the banged up Bills on our newly revised injury page.
The Bills came to terms with three more draft picks this week, sixth rounders Dan O'Leary and Jimmy Williams and fifth rounder Brandon Spoon. That gives the Bills seven picks under contract. Tom Donahoe hopes to have the rest signed by the end of the month and would like to do it without cutting a player but at this point he says that may not be possible. Our Take: It would be nice to get the contracts out of the way as quickly as possible so the front office can have some time off. If a lower level player needs to be cut, that might be better than doing anymore restructuring. That would just push the cap problem deeper into the future.
Corey Moore returned to minicamp on Wednesday and apologized for what has happened. He plans on staying in Buffalo for his rehab and to do what is needed to make the team. It seems like he is now on the same page as the coaches and has their full support behind him. Gregg Williams actually ripped the media for what he described as "tongue and cheek" comments being taken out of context regarding the Moore situation. Meanwhile, Moore's court date for his assault charge has been postponed until August 14th. His lawyer plans on trying to have that changed as to not effect Moore's participation in training camp. Our Take: There seems to be back pedaling going on here and rightfully so. It was a tough ordeal that Moore went through and he needed the time to get his head on straight.
The players now have the next five weeks off before training camp starts in late July. The players are responsible for continuing their conditioning on their own and to show up in shape. Some players will stay in Buffalo like Moore. Reggie Germany is one of those players, he plans on working with receivers coach Fred Graves. The two biggest stars of the offense plan to work out together for two to three weeks. Eric Moulds will travel to California to workout with Rob Johnson. Our Take: It is fantastic that the number one combo on the team will continue to work together. This team will be well prepared for the season in September.
Antoine Winfield was the latest Bill to answer e-mails at the Official website of the team. He said fellow Buckeye Nate Clements should challenge for a starting job but probably not right away. He said the secondary is doing very well but they are still adjusting to the new schemes. He also feels it may take a few games for the secondary to perform up the level of last season's play. Our Take: Honest assessments from Winfield, the defense may struggle early as they get used to the new personnel and schemes. It also is pretty clear that Clements won't be starting over Irvin on opening day.
The Bills made one front office hire this week as they added Paul Lancaster as the director of player programs. In other news, the caravan made two stops. On Monday they were in Jamestown and Wednesday it was in Waterloo. In ex-bills news, Ray Hill has found a home with the New England Patriots. Our Take: It's nice to see the caravan hit the small towns as well as the cities. It seems that all ex-Bills are ending up in the division or with the Chargers.
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