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Bills Hold First Mini-camp

The week after mini-camp was a quiet one at One Bills Drive. The veterans returned to continue the offseason conditioning program. The Big news was the announcement of new turf for the stadium and the news that Darryl Talley will go on the Wall of Fame. Here is our take on all the issues from the week:

The Bills announced on Tuesday that they will install AstroPlay. It will replace the existing artificial turf on the stadium field. The new product has been used in many colleges but Ralph Wilson Stadium will be the first pro field to get the surface. The team experimented with it for 15 months and looked at every alternative over the past two years. It was on a piece of an outdoor practice field and they liked the way it held up over the four seasons. They like it because it will increase safety and the rubber infill does not freeze in the harsh Buffalo winter. Our Take: It seems like this will be the next best thing to grass, which is not feasible in Buffalo. It may help market the team to free agents who don't like normal artificial turf.

The team announced on Saturday that Darryl Talley will become the 20th member of the team's Wall of Fame. He will be honored on Oct. 19th when the Bills take on the Redskins. Talley played 12 years with the Bills including the four Super Bowl years and never missed a game. Our Take: Talley was the heart and soul of those teams and deserves this honor.

The Bills decided this week not to renew the contract of VP of Player Personnel Dwight Adams. He had been with the team for 13 years but his duties have diminished under the Tom Donahoe regime. Tom Modrak had taken over control of the scouting department and the draft. Our Take: Adams is a great personality that will be missed on draft days but the writing has been on the wall for two years that his days were numbered.

John Butler was remembered in a memorial service on Thursday. Marv Levy spoke about Butler saying he was, "devoted to his family, friends, football, and food." Levy also said that Butler's legacy lives on and it inspires everyone. Our Take: Butler will definitely be missed in the world of football.

The team announced that training camp will open on July 24th with the rookies reporting. The veterans will report two days later on the 26th. The team also held its annual select-a-seat program for prospective season ticket holders on Saturday. Our Take: Camp is now just 2 1/2 months away! The select-a-seat program is a unique program that works well and gives fans a chance to meet players and tour the team locker room.

Ken Simonton continues to impress in Europe as he was named offensive player of the week for the second time. He had a league record 271 all-purpose yards with 108 rushing, 97 receiving, and 66 on five punt returns. Our Take: He is starting to impress the coaches as Kevin Gilbride commented on his play this week. It probably won't help him when training camp starts though.

Marcus Jones appears to be healing well from his knee injury and should be ready by training camp if not before. Our Take: If the Bills get anyting close to the Jones of a few years ago, he will be an upgrade at left defensive end.

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