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Bills are off

PITTSFORD -- There is no practice here on Sunday. It's the first extended time off the players have gotten since camp began 11 days ago. Head coach Chan Gailey said the guys deserve a break after 13 practices in 10 days.

"They need a day off,'' he said. "We don't come out here and mess around. I'm not trying to be out here 2 1/2, 3 1/2 hours. We go to work, get our job done and get off the field. They've done a good job of that.''

Practice resumes with an evening session on Monday. You must have a ticket to attend.

---Allen Wilson


Running backs shine

PITTSFORD -- Even without rookie holdout C.J. Spiller, the Bills' running game has been impressive in training camp. Wednesday might have been the best showing yet.

Running backs Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson burst through big holes for sizeable gains. Equally impressive were Chad Simpson and rookie Joique Bell. Both displayed good quickness and vision by darting through creases en route to long runs.

The passing game has been spotty, but head coach Chan Gailey has been encouraged by the rushing attack.

"We’ve been able to run the football somewhat consistently,” Gailey said after practice. “That’s probably the most consistent thing we’ve done all camp. So I have been encouraged by that and we’ve got to continue to build that as camp goes on.”

---Allen Wilson

Mike Williams excelling with Bucs

It hasn't taken Buffalo native Mike Williams very long to make an impression with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Riverside High product and rookie wide receiver from Syracuse is currently practicing with the first-team offense during the early stages of training camp. 

Williams, a fourth-round draft pick, is working as the starting "X'' receiver (or split end on the line of scrimmage opposite the tight end). He was the second of two wide receivers drafted by the Buccaneers in April. The other was second-rounder Arrelious Benn, who starred at Illinois. Both are expected to have prominent roles on offense once the season begins, but Williams has clearly been the best of the two rookies so far.

"Mike Williams had a dynamic offseason,'' Bucs coach Raheem Morris told Tampa reporters. "He's come in, he's done everything we've asked. He's been one of the guys who has caught the ball, he's stood out and he's been standing out since he's been here.

"He's a big, tall, fast guy who can go out there and make plays, and right now he's running with the ones (first team). So he'll have an opportunity to go out there and prove himself in the preseason. Depth charts don't come out until we play Cleveland (in the regular-season opener). But right now, he's running with the ones, and he's having a ball and his teammates are having a ball with him."

It should be noted that Williams would have been drafted much higher than the fourth round if not for questions about his character due to off-field issues that led to him missing several games and getting a one-year dismissal from the school. He was reinstated last season, but left SU again after violating team rules.

It appears Williams has grown up a lot since then, which is good news. He is an enormous talent and if he keeps his head on straight, he could be an impact player in the NFL for many years to come.

---Allen Wilson

Videos: Gaughan Talks Roster Battles, Fans Talk Expectations

Bills Beat Reporter Mark Gaughan discusses which players are vying for which roster spots in this summary of the first day of training camp:

We caught up with a few fans at the opening day of Bills' training camp. Here's what they had to say:

Wood hopes to be ready by training camp

---Left guard Eric Wood who is recovering from a broken leg, wants to be able to practice fully when the Bills start training camp in July. Wood, whose promising rookie season ended in Week 10 at Jacksonville, is working on the field on a limited basis during the Bills OTAs, which resumed on Tuesday.

"I'll be there and I should be working, hopefully with the one's (the first team)," Wood said on Tuesday. "I may need a day off here or there to let the soreness come out or what not and we'll play it by ear. The real matter is Miami, Game One, on the field.''

---Bills running back Marshawn Lynch was a no-show again when the Bills resumed OTAs. Seattle's release last week of running back LenDale White is likely to continue speculation about the Seahawks’ potential interest in Lynch. Justin Forsett and Julius Jones are battling for the starting job in Seattle, and the Seahawks traded for Leon Washington to be the change-of-pace and third-down back. Washington is coming off an injury and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

---Rodney McKissic


Bills release training camp schedule

Training camp begins July 29 at the St. John Fisher campus, marking the 11th year the team has held its camp in Pittsford.

The first open practice to the public is tentatively scheduled for July 29 from 3-5:30 p.m. The first night practice will be the following evening on July 30 from 7–9 p.m. Admission is complimentary for all fans. Tickets are required for each of the tentatively scheduled eight night practices throughout training camp.

The eight night practice dates are tentatively scheduled for July 30, Aug. 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 16 and 22. The last practice is scheduled for Aug. 24. All night practices run from 7-9 p.m.

---Rodney McKissic


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