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Three Day Workout Session A Success

The players all got together this week for a three day workout session that begins a 16 week off season conditioning program. The workouts were considered a success by the coaching staff as the players were introduced to the west coast offense and the base 4-3 defense that the club will use. We tackle the issues and more in our latest week in review complete with our take on the issues:

Gregg Williams opened the three day workouts on Monday with a press conference in which he told the press that conditioning will be a major priority for the Bills. That is why this has begun a 16 week off season conditioning program which all players are expected to participate. There will be time built in to make up for lost time if Players have other commitments during the program. As far as the workouts go, the Bills had 100% attendance by the second day and even had three unrestricted free agents show up, Ray Hill, Shawn Price, and Alex Van Pelt. At the end of the workouts, Williams and the rest of the coaches came away impressed, particularly with QB Rob Johnson and the improvement of the special teams. The club is going to start every practice all season with special teams work. Our Take: It was nice to see that all the players showed up and that they seemed very motivated by the new coaching staff. It is nice that the coaches were impressed, lets hope they are still impressed in November and December.

Williams admitted on Monday that the Bills base defense will be a 4-3 now and that Sam Cowart will move outside with John Holecek manning the lone inside post. Up front during the workouts the Bills used Phil Hansen and Erik Flowers on the ends and Pat Williams and Leif Larsen at the tackle positions. Cowart was a bit apprehensive at first but now is relishing his new role on the outside since his duties will largely remain the same as he will attack the ball. Our Take: The move to the 4-3 will minimize the loss of Sam Rogers and Ted Washington and it will allow the Bills to better use the talents of Williams. It is obvious that they will need some help on the line especially at tackle and look for them to sign a second tier free agent or two and make this position a priority on draft day.

Some names the Bills are looking at on the defensive front includes former Steeler Jeremy Staat who visited with the Bills on Thursday. Tom Donahoe is very familiar with the former second round pick who did not pan out in Pittsburgh. Other second tier free agents the Bills are interested in include Tampa Bay DE Tyoka Johnson and Baltimore DE Keith Washington. Other players the Bills are reportedly interested in include Pittsburgh QB Pete Gonzalez, Tennessee DB Marcus Robertson, and K Al Del Greco. Our Take: It's nice to see that the Bills have cleared some cap room to even look at some free agents. They plan on waiting on the kicker and punter position but expect them to sign some depth on the defensive line soon. Robertson is a reach since his cap figure may be too high.

There have been many goings and some comings this week at One Bills Drive. Alex Van Pelt finally inked his one year deal with the Bills for the veteran minimum of $477,000. Keion Carpenter also accepted a one year deal worth $389,000. The Bills also signed free agent DB Lance Brown who was out of football last season. Brown was previously with Pittsburgh and Arizona and is known as a special teams standout. Former Bills that have caught on with other teams include, Joe Panos signing a two year deal worth nearly $2 Million with New England. Daryl Porter latched on to the Dolphins with a two year deal worth around $1 Million. Chris Mohr signed a two year deal with Atlanta and Ethan Albright inked a deal with Washington. Our Take: The return of Van Pelt was actually important since he has played in a west coast offense in college. The Carpenter signing was just getting rid of some paperwork since he was guaranteed to return anyway as an exclusive rights free agent. If Brown can help on special teams he may stick with the club.

In other free agent news, Donovan Greer has visited with the Rams and Ted Washington is visiting with the Bears. Tom Donahoe has also said the Bills have no interest in retaining Jamie Nails but would like to keep Marcus Spriggs if his price comes down. Our Take: Not keeping Nails is no surprise considering Williams disdain for out of shape players. For a look at all the comings and goings check out our complete free agent list on our front office page.

Also this week, Tom Donahoe sent a letter to season ticket holders assuring them that all the off season moves is for the best interest of the club this year and into the future. Every decision he said was based on exhaustive research. Donahoe also addressed the cutting of Doug Flutie by saying he hopes fans are fans of the team and not individual players. Our Take: Amen! I can't believe how many so called Bills fans are now saying they won't be fans since Flutie is cut. You root for the team first, and individual players second.

With Flutie arriving in San Diego it immediately makes next season's game in San Diego the marquee game on the schedule for the Bills. Rumors are circulating that they will play the Chargers on opening day so both quarterbacks will be almost guaranteed to be in the lineup. It appears ABC/ESPN and CBS are battling for this game. Our Take: It would be quite a way to open a season.

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