After nearly four weeks of tackling drills, special teams work and fine-tuning the no-huddle offense, the Buffalo Bills have closed their 10th training camp at St. John Fisher. The Bills held their final practice on the campus of the Pittsford, N.Y., college Wednesday morning and headed back to Orchard Park in the afternoon.
After nearly four weeks of tackling drills, special teams work and fine-tuning the no-huddle offense, the Buffalo Bills have closed their 10th training camp at St. John Fisher.
The Bills held their final practice on the campus of the Pittsford college Wednesday morning and headed back to Orchard Park in the afternoon. They will practice today and Friday at their own facility before heading to Green Bay for Saturday’s preseason game.
Players and coaches seemed pleased with how things progressed at this year’s camp.
“Our head coach runs a great camp, and the facilities here are beautiful, the people here treat us very well, but there’s no place like home,” said quarterback Trent Edwards. “I’m happy to get back to Buffalo, get back in my own bed and get a couple home-cooked meals.”
The Bills came to camp looking to improve in many areas including their offensive line, which featured five new starters. The most notable changes came at the guard spots, which will be manned by draft picks Andy Levitre and Eric Wood, left and right, respectively.
The unit will be a key not only in keeping Edwards healthy and upright but in paving the way for a running game that will be without starter Marshawn Lynch for the first three games of the season.
“I feel like the front five have done a good job for us all camp long,” Edwards said. “We’ve all become a lot closer. I know Eric and Andy have done a great job for us, and they are obviously going to need to play for us this season."
Levitre and Wood weren’t the only new additions to the offense this offseason.
The signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens garnered national attention. The controversial T.O. was well received by fans, as nearly every move he made in the camp was cheered loudly by the Bills loyal supporters.
They didn’t have much to cheer about the final two weeks of practice as a toe injury kept him out of all but one of the team’s final nine practices. Owens is not expected to play against Green Bay.
“It was good to get here and work with him closely,” said Lee Evans, the Bills’ other starting wide receiver. “We got a lot accomplished. We have a lot more left to do, but we are off to a good start.”
Owens’ competitive fire was stoked by daily competition with the Bills’ defense. He and the veteran secondary had plenty of battles in two-minute drills.
Unfortunately, the defense went the entire camp without one player who was expected to be a key.
First-round draft pick Aaron Maybin held out of the entire training camp because of a contract dispute. The Maybin conflict continues to hang over the organization and some are questioning what kind of impact the defensive end will have this season.
“Well, I coach the guys that are here,” said head coach Dick Jauron when questioned about Maybin’s absence. “I can’t do anything about him not being here. We’d love to have him. We’ll just see what we can do when he gets here. We drafted him high for a reason, and hopefully they’ll get that thing worked out soon.”
With or without Maybin the Bills are looking to build off a strong performance against Chicago on Saturday. Buffalo defeated the Bears 27-20, accumulating 375 yards of total offense and forcing five turnovers.
Even if it is for only a couple of series, the Saturday’s matchup against the Packers will be the offense’s first road test of the year. The team is excited to try its no-huddle in a hostile environment.
“The bigger the crowd, the more the noise, the better it is, kind of, just for the experience of doing it,” Jauron said. “We work with noise in practice a lot, but it’s not the same. It’s just not the same. So yeah, it should be good.”
Bryan Sullivan covered Buffalo Bills training camp for Messenger Post Media.