Good morning from One Bills Drive, which is nice to say.
The NFL is back in business. The Buffalo Bills are set to update everyone on their plans in just a few minutes. CEO Russ Brandon, General Manager Buddy Nix and coach Chan Gailey will address the assembled media here in the Bills' media room.
Reports of undrafted rookie free agents are trickling in, including Domonic Cook, the former St. Joe's and UB star. We'll see how many of those we can confirm today.
I'll provide some quotes during the presser, providing my fingers type fast enough. After the press conference, check back here for full audio.
Talk to you in a few minutes ...
9:16 a.m.: Bills' PR staff provided rosters to the media in attendance. Nice. They joked that they'll be good for a few minutes, which is true. Here's a list of the Bills' unrestricted free agents: S Donte Whitner, CB Ashton Youboty, CB Drayton Florence, LB Akin Ayodele, LB Paul Posluszny, LB Keith Ellison, DE John McCargo.
9:18 a.m.: Brandon and Nix are at the podium, Gailey will be coming later.
9:19 a.m.: Team will report to St. John Fisher on Friday, take physicals, have meetings. Start practice Saturday.
9:20 a.m.: On the salary cap, Nix says: "We've said from day one we're never going to be big spenders in free agency."
9:21 a.m.: Nix says team's philosophy remains to draft and develop players, then re-sign them. On not having an exclusive rights window: "I'm really not disappointed." On bringing Posluszny back: "He's a leader for us. He's our kind of guy. He's a tough guy, smart."
9:22 a.m.: Nix said team found out at 6:40 last night that teams could negotiate with undrafted UFAs.
9:24 a.m.: Brandon on the league's revenue sharing plan: "It was important to our organization and many of the small markets throughout the league. ... We voted for it, so we're pleased with it."
9:30 a.m.: Nix on if there's been any change with Whitner's status: "You'd have to ask Donte. There's been no change with me." Translation: don't expect him back.
9:31 a.m.: League year can't begin until CBA is formally ratified, which could be until Aug. 4.
9:32 a.m.: Brandon on ticket sales: "We are not where we were a year ago on new sales. ... We have a lot of inventory to move in a short amount of time."
9:34 a.m.: Can't confirm any signings of UFAs until they are actually under contract.
9:36 a.m.: Gailey now at the podium as well.
9:36 a.m.: Gailey on practice changes in the new CBA, including less padded practices: "I'm really more concerned about right now than I am next spring. That has my full attention right now."
9:38 a.m: Gailey: "It used to be, you were trying to get everybody ready for the first preseason game, now the whole process is geared toward Sept. 11 (the season opener)." On no two-a-day practices: "A lot more walk-thrus than we've ever had before."
9:43 a.m.: Gailey on Eric Wood practicing at center: "We're going to talk to both he and Geoff (Hangartner). I want to talk to them about the plan before I talk to anybody else."
9:44 a.m.: Nix on possibly extending quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's contract, which expires after this season: "We've thought about him since that's a pretty important position. ... A guy that's producing is a guy we'll spend our money on."
9:49 a.m.: Gailey said he doesn't anticipate regulars playing longer in the preseason. "Have to build them up to Sept. 11. The conditioning is more important right now."
Presser is over, ran 27 minutes. We'll have the audio up shortly.
Bills CEO Russ Brandon, GM Buddy Nix and coach Chan Gailey
10:07 a.m.: Fitzpatrick is addressing the media currently. "We've got a lot of work to do. I think everybody knows that."
10:10 a.m.: Fitzpatrick seems very at ease. I liked this quote: "This is my show from the very beginning."
10:12 a.m.: "The guys have been getting back here early in anticipation this thing was going to get done."
10:14 a.m.: On being ready for the season opener: "Not concerned at all, we're going to be fine."
10:15 a.m.: "I'm always excited going into a season, but it's a whole different deal when you're the guy. Being the starter, being the guy, I'm ready."
10:18 a.m.: Guest appearance from backup quarterback Levi Brown, who had the funniest moment of the press conference: "Fitz are you kidding me? We've got meetings, let's go!"
10:20 a.m.: Fitzpatrick specifically mentions WR Marcus Easley. "The combination of his size and speed is a rarity." Calls him a special talent.
Fitz is done addressing the media. Will have his audio shortly.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
UPDATE: Wide receivers Marcus Easley and Stevie Johnson also met with the media here today. Audio from them is below.
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