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Bills camp loaded with intriguing storylines

By Tim Graham

Over the past few days, The Buffalo News has produced stories to get fans primed for Buffalo Bills training camp.

My feature on the organizational culture change under General Manager Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey runs today, but the dog days of July and gorgeous weekends aren't conducive to poking around the Internet. So I wanted to make sure you didn't miss two previews that highlight the biggest storylines on each side of the ball.

Jay Skurski addressed key offensive issues:

* Players returning at most positions.

* The left tackle battle between rookie Cordy Glenn and sophomore Chris Hairston.

* The backup quarterback battle between newcomer Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen.

* The receiver job opposite Stevie Johnson.

Mark Gaughan broke down the notable defensive angles:

* How depth will be a nice change as new defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt shifts to a 4-3 base system.

* Unproven, but promising cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Williams.

* The crowded nickel cornerback derby.

* Sorting out the backup linebackers.

For another training-camp preview feature, be sure to check out Gaughan's lengthy profile on star defensive end Mario Williams.

Gaughan reached deep for quality background information on what has helped shape Williams into the man he is. The piece includes comments from friends, coaches and a mentor, former NFL defensive end N.D. Kalu, who played 11 years for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.

"I had the honor to play with Bruce Smith and Richard Dent, and they were both at the tail ends of their careers, so this might not be a fair assessment," Kalu said. "But Mario Williams is physically head and shoulders above anyone I've played with. When you talk about his height and weight and explosion and how athletic he is, I've never seen an athlete like Mario Williams."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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