The Bills have reached agreement on a contract with linebacker Reggie Torbor, coach Chan Gailey confirmed after the team's practice Saturday.
Torbor, 29, was released by Miami on May 27. He spent his first four years with the New York Giants and the past two with Miami. He played under current Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards the past two years. Edwards was linebackers coach with the Dolphins.
"I’m excited about having him," Gailey said. "I like him. He’s a veteran player who’s done a lot of good things and I think he’ll add something to our football team."
"The one good thing about it is he brings versatility," Gailey said. "That’s one thing we really liked about him. Of course, George Edwards has had a good deal of experience with Reggie, and that’s a positive. It gives us more depth. The more times you can add quality players. Nobody’s got anything set in concrete at this point. If you can continue to add good football players, you help your football team."
Torbor played inside in Miami's 3-4 defense and outside in the New York Giants' 4-3 scheme.
The Bills acnowledged that running back Marshawn Lynch was in town this week and lifted weights at the team facility. Yet he was not in attendance for the team's eighth straight spring practice Saturday.
Coach Chan Gailey spoke to reporters after the session and was asked if he told Lynch not to practice yet for some reason: "No," Gailey said. "This is all voluntary anyway. He was in town. I never saw him. I’m more worried about the guys that are here than the ones that aren’t here."
Gailey was asked: Is it strange that one of your running backs is in town and you two never meet? "I would think that is strange, yes," he said.
Do you want to meet with Lynch? "Always," Gailey said. "I like to meet with every player we’ve got. Sometimes you do sometimes you don’t. That’s life."
UPDATED (6:30 p.m.) Buffalo Bills rookie offensive tackle Ed Wang suffered what the team hopes will not be a significant injury to his left leg during the team's minicamp practice Saturday morning.
Wang, a fifth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, had to be carted off the field and was helped into the team's training room near the end of the 90-minute practice. The initial indication is Wang suffered a high-ankle sprain, a league source confirmed. However, the team still was awaiting results of tests on Wang's leg.
"I hope we haven't lost him for the season, that's what I'm hoping," Bills coach Chan Gailey told reporters after the afternoon practice in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Bills were working inside their fieldhouse in the first of two sessions when the injury happened. Wang was injured during an 11-on-11 drill. Spring practices are not conducted with pads and are non-contact. But Wang collided with another linemen in the backfield on a passing play and went to the ground. He got up under his own power and walked about 10 steps but then laid down on the turf. Wang is the first Chinese-American player to be drafted by the NFL. He has been working mostly with the second-team offensive line in spring practice. However, Demetrius Bell is the team's prospective starter at left tackle and is not yet practicing because he is rehabilitating from a knee injury suffered last season. Bell expects to return to the field for the start of training camp.
Two other players suffered what looked like minor leg injuries during the workout. Rookie guard Jorge Guerra and first-year nose tackle Lonnie Harvey walked off during the session under their own power.
The Bills continued their quarterback rotation. Brian Brohm took the first snaps in both the 7-on-7 session and the 11-on-11 session. Trent Edwards was second, Ryan Fitzpatrick third and Levi Brown fourth in the morning rotation.
Starting cornerbacks Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin both were in attendance but sitting out the practice. The defensive backs, nevertheless showed why their unit is the deepest and most experienced on the team. Third-year cornerback Reggie Corner had the pass breakup of the session, diving to bat down a pass down the seam for James Hardy from Fitzpatrick. Corner also had a diving interception of an overthrown pass for Roscoe Parrish from Brohm. Rookie receiver David Nelson ran a nice hitch route and made a catch in one-on-one drills but veteran cornerback Drayton Florence showed his savvy by poking the ball out of his hands from behind. Cornerback Ashton Youboty made an interception of a pass that was batted near the line by Bryan Scott. Edwards hit Chad Jackson down the left sideline on a good low-trajectory throw. Brohm hit Hardy on a good crossing pattern.
Not in attendance were Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Will Croner, Lee Evans, Aaron Schobel and John McCargo.
Bills middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was asked after Friday morning practice if he had lost weight. He looks trim, which he jokingly attributed to cutting the long hair that flowed out of his helmet last year. He said he hasn't lost any weight. In fact, he's trying to add few pounds.
Poz currently weights 240 pounds, two more than he played at last season. He'd like to be between 242 and 245 pounds going into this season.
Playing inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, Poz feels the added muscle will be beneficial.
"It’s all about being bigger, faster and stronger, so I’d like to gain two or three pounds here,'' he said.
Poz called the defensive plays when the Bills used the 4-3, but that role is owned by Andra Davis during the offseason workouts because of his experience in the 3-4. Poz did say that the coaches would like to get to a point where all the inside linebackers will be able to call plays.
Former Bills backup quarterback Gibran Hamdan has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement on Friday.
Hamdan, 29, signed with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts in hopes of becoming a full-time starter. But he decided that he has lost his zest for the game.
"My short time with the Argos has been a great experience," he said in a statement. "Jim (head coach Jim Barker) and the Argos are heading in a direction where they need 100 percent dedication and when I looked in the mirror, I knew I couldn't deliver that.
"My heart and dedication would not take this team to a championship and it would not be fair to my teammates, the organization and the fans to continue. I wish the Argonauts every success this season."
Hamdan might not have been a great quarterback, but he has always been a class act. It would not be a surprise to see him end up as an analyst on television somewhere down the line. He did participate in the NFL’s Broadcasting Boot Camp last year. We wish him well no matter what he does in the future.
UPDATED: The Bills held the first of two practices today on their grass field and running back Marshawn Lynch was not in attendance. The Bills this afternoon confirmed that Lynch was at the One Bills Drive complex Wednesday and Thursday and lifted weights. However, Lynch still is not on the field.
This weekend's three-day minicamp is voluntary, and it's an extra session that's granted to the Bills because they have a new coaching staff. Lynch gave two interviews in the past two weeks in which he said he'd be showing up with his teammates. Running back Fred Jackson, who has been at all of the workouts so far, was not at the practice. Defensive end Aaron Schobel, who is not expected this spring, if ever, also was absent. Tight end Shawn Nelson, who had missed practices earlier this week, was working on the field. The Bills will hold their lone mandatory minicamp in three weeks.
If Lynch still is holding out hope for a trade to Seattle, it still looks like wishful thinking. The Seahawks, of course, cut big-back LenDale White last week. But the Seahawks don't have a third-round pick in next year's draft. They gave it to San Diego to acquire quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. If the Bills wouldn't accept a fourth-round pick for Lynch right before the draft, which was the optimal time to trade him, it's hard to imagine them doing it now. Lynch's best hope for a ticket out of Buffalo would be for some star back to go down with a major injury in preseason, thereby prompting a desperation call to the Bills.
Sixth-round draft selection Danny Batten has signed with the Bills, the team just announced.
Batten, the team's second of two sixth-round draft picks, started 45 of 46 games at South Dakota State, recording 274 tackles - 115 solo - with 23 sacks.
The 6-foot-3, 254-pound linebacker was an All-Missouri Valley Conference first-team selection and co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
Batten is the second of the Bills’ nine draft picks to sign with the team, joining Virginia Tech's Ed Wang.
The Bills finished their sixth spring practice Thursday outside the team's fieldhouse, and running back Marshawn Lynch was absent for the sixth straight session. The Bills begin a three-day voluntary minicamp on Friday. It's a practice just like they have been doing. But it's an extra three-day session that is allowed for teams that have a new head coach. There are two practices scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The afternoon session on Saturday is open to the public.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed on an initiative with Mothers Against Drunk Driving on programs designed to prevent drunk driving. One of those is a pilot program to increase awareness on the dangers of drunk driving that will be conducted on game days in Buffalo and Oakland.
MADD will serve in an advisory role to the NFL in its initiatives to promote responsible behavior and prevent drunk driving. MADD representatives will attend and talk to incoming NFL players at next month’s NFL Rookie Symposium. One of MADD’s victim impact speakers, who lost a family member to a drunk driver, will address the rookies and discuss how drunk driving affected her family. NFL and MADD will also explore having players and personnel participate in “ride-alongs” with law enforcement to witness first-hand the effects of drunk driving.
MADD and the NFL will pilot game day programs this season at stadiums in Buffalo and Oakland. MADD will develop ways to support its campaign to prevent drunk driving. Elements will include distribution of MADD brochures at stadiums, enhanced designated driver programs, and point-of-sale messaging at concession stands.
The UFL held its draft on Wednesday, and it included a blast from the Bills' past. Melvin Fowler, who started 37 games for the Bills from 2006 to 2008, was taken 58th overall by Florida (one of the five UFL teams). It's a sad commentary on the Bills' O-line woes under former coach Dick Jauron that Fowler never played again after leaving the Bills. He was waived by Arizona last summer then spent a month during the season with Detroit but never played. Notables in the UFL draft included former NFL pass rushers Dewayne White and Chike Okeafor, taken first and sixth overall by Omaha, and former Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Shawn Andrews, the 11th pick.