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Bills Beat Steelers 24-21

Royal Looks To Remain Number One: The St. John Fisher College portion of training camp wraps up after four more practices starting tonight with a workout under the lights. The depth chart is starting to take shape as it appears after a solid two touchdown performance on Thursday night, Robert Royal has the inside track and holding on to his starting tight end job. Some players continue to try different positions to show versatility that will help them make the team. After the team breaks camp on Wednesday, preparation for the season will continue in earnest at One Bills Drive. Depth Chart.

Saturday August 16, 2008

Evans Contract Talks: One thing lost in the hoopla of the trip to Toronto was comments made by both Lee Evans and Russ Brandon about ongoing contract negotiations. Evans said they are closer then they have been and he hopes a deal is done by the time the season starts. Brandon said both sides want to get a deal done and he indicated that they are working towards a conclusion in the near future.

Friday August 15, 2008

Who Helped Themselves In Win: Who didn't help themselves? Trent Edwards had a fantastic showing and Robert Royal showed he won't give up the starting tight end spot without a fight. Leodis McKelvin made a case he should be returning kicks. Xavier Omon helped his battle for the third running back spot. Chris Ellis had a big forced fumble and sack. Lee Evans showed how he's ready for a big year.

Who Hurt Themselves In Win: Not many... J.P. Losman showed that he hasn't learned not to hold the ball too long. He was sacked twice. Dwayne Wright had another fumble. Steve Johnson allowed a punt to bounce off of him causing a fumble although Leodis McKelvin should have recovered the punt.

Personnel Shifts: Because of a shortage at two positions you saw two players at weird spots last night. It was thought Brad Butler would get work at right tackle but it was Duke Preston that manned the position in the 2nd half for the first time in his Bills career. Jon Corto moved over from safety to outside linebacker and performed pretty well. Kennard Cox continues to get work at free safety along with cornerback.

First Team Shines In Win: The Bills starting units shined especially on offense in their 24-21 win over Pittsburgh. Trent Edwards led touchdown drives of 67 and 90 yards in his two series ending both with touchdown passes to Robert Royal. He finished 9 of 11 for 104 yards. The defense forced an interception on the Steelers first drive when Ko Simpson deflected a pass that was picked off by Donte Whitner. The Steelers would drive for a touchdown on their third possession when their first team moved the ball downfield against the Bills second unit defense. Leodis McKelvin allowed the Bills to hold on for the win with a 95 yard kickoff return for a score. The announced crowd was 48,434 which is 5,000 short of a sellout.

Schouman Hurt: One injury to note in the game against the Steelers. Derek Schouman left the game early after hurting his knee. He walked off the field under his own power but did not return. No word on how serious the injury is. Dressed but not playing were Copeland Bryan, Patrick Estes, and Marcus Buggs. Injury Page.

Thursday August 14, 2008

Crowell Out: Not playing in tonight's exhibition game include Angelo Crowell, Josh Reed, Tim Massaquoi, Scott Mayle, and Matt Murphy. Patrick Estes is there and dressed but he may only be an emergency option. Injury Page.

Dome Closed: The dome will be closed for tonight's preseason game. They were going to open the roof for one half and close it for the other. Dick Jauron reportedly wanted it closed to simulate what the conditions will be like when they play Miami in December. It started to rain this evening making them close it for the whole game.

Bills In Toronto: The Bills arrived in Toronto yesterday with a lot of fanfare and some nervousness on both sides of the border about the future of the Bills in Buffalo and the CFL. The game tonight takes a back seat to the game being played in Toronto. Tickets have been given away so that it will be nearly a full house although all those seats won't be paid for. Starters are not expected to play much more than they did last week possibly the entire first quarter at the most.

Wednesday August 13, 2008

Murphy Has Torn Rotator Cuff: The agent for Mark Murphy told AP that Murphy has a partially torn rotator cuff. The Bills haven't officially commented on the results of tests taken when Murphy hurt his shoulder during Monday night's practice. Agent Kevin Fitzpatrick said they will wait two weeks before deciding whether or not to have surgery. The hope is it will heal enough on its own to avoid surgery to the end of the season. Injury Page.

Bills Travel To "Home" Game: The Bills leave St. John Fisher College after a morning walk-thru today. They travel by bus to Toronto after the workout for their first "home" preseason game against the Steelers tomorrow night. Dick Jauron said playing a preseason game there will benefit them when they play their regular season game in December against Miami. They will be more familiar with the whole experience from the hotel to the locker room to the stadium.

Tuesday August 12, 2008

Injury List Long: Dick Jauron has yet to make a final call on who will miss the game Thursday night because of injury, but the list of banged up players are growing. On the sidelines for today's practice were Roscoe Parrish, Josh Reed, Blake Costanzo, Tim Massaquoi, Patrick Estes, Matt Murphy, Marcus Buggs, and Scott Mayle. The only player to return to practice today was Donte Whitner who left last night's workout early after getting hit in the leg. Injury Page.

Butler Playing Tackle: With the Bills down to just three healthy offensive tackles something needed to be done. So they have given some reps to guard Brad Butler at tackle during today's practice session. His reps were with the third team offense during the no pads practice this afternoon. He got some good work in working on his technique and footwork. Butler's chances of playing tackle some on Thursday night depends on if Patrick Estes can play or not. He had a stocking wrap on his very sore left knee as he stood watching today's practice. Butler played tackle for most of his career at the University of Virginia.

Tickets Remain Despite Blackout: The Bills announced that Thursday's preseason game will be on local TV and the blackout has been lifted. It's interesting since reports say approximately 2,500 tickets remain for the game in Toronto. It appears that Rogers Media has bought the remaining tickets and will distribute the leftovers to fill the Rogers Centre. The Bills spin on it is that there are tickets that have been released because they were held back for the teams and tickets are still available from Ticketmaster.

Estes, Murphy Hurt: The Bills are down to just three healthy offensive tackles after two went down within minutes during last night's practice. Matt Murphy was taken to the hospital for tests and an MRI after suffering a painful shoulder injury. Patrick Estes suffered a left leg injury but walked off under his own power. Donte Whitner's return to the field was short lived as he left early after getting kicked in the leg. He is expected to be fine. Copeland Bryan returned to the field after missing a week with a hamstring injury. Josh Reed remains out with a back injury. Roscoe Parrish was held out with a sore knee as was Marcus Buggs. Scott Mayle missed practice because of a troublesome hamstring. Injury Page.

Aerial Show: The Bills showcased their vertical passing game under the lights last night. Trent Edwards hit James Hardy with a 70 yard TD bomb. Felton Huggins made two very nice catches as well. The passing game really was hitting on all cylinders for what may have been the first time in camp.

Monday August 11, 2008

Whitner, Crowell Return: Donte Whitner and Angelo Crowell are on the practice field tonight as they return to action. Among those sitting out according to Chris Brown on the team's website are Scott Mayle and Marcus Buggs. Whitner also took part in the morning walk-thru while Josh Reed didn't. Injury Page.

Short Week Ahead: The Bills get back to work today with a morning walk-thru and a night practice at St. John Fisher. They will look to correct mistakes made in Saturday's preseason loss to the Redskins but will have to quickly look ahead to Thursday's preseason matchup with the Steelers in Toronto. The team only has two open practices this week. The night one today and a 1pm practice tomorrow. There is no practice on Friday or Saturday but there is another night practice on Sunday.

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