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Bills in good spirits, not surprisingly, as camp breaks

By Mark Gaughan

PITTSFORD -- The Buffalo Bills closed training camp with a 90-minute practice at St. John Fisher College and not surprisingly were in good spirits about what they got accomplished.

The Bills, like every other NFL team, is undefeated in games that matter so far this season.

Cracked coach Doug Marrone: "I leave here very fortunate in not having gained any weight."

Said quarterback Kevin Kolb: "I think that everybody has been shocked with how we jelled so quickly. It’s a tribute to the coaches and the veterans that were here before, and the hard work we put in. So, hopefully we keep growing and stay hungry."

The Bills do not practice on Thursday and have a walk-through session Friday morning before leaving for Washington, D.C. The Bills play the Redskins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Safety Jairus Byrd, who signed his franchise-tag tender offer on Tuesday, won't be playing against the Redskins. He has three days to report to the team.

Said Marrone on Byrd:

"I’m really looking forward to him coming in. I’m not going to probably see him, obviously, until we get back to Buffalo," Marrone said, referring to after the team returns from Saturday's game.

"I haven’t seen him so its hard for me to answer any question," Marrone said. "We’ll transition him back in and see what type of shape he’s in, knowing that he’s a pro and he’s probably in great shape."

Marrone downplayed how hard it might be for Byrd to catch up to the defensive system: "I think he’s coming back ready to go. We’re coming back ready to get him out there on the field. We all know the type of player he is. I don’t think it’s probably as big of an issue as maybe people might make it out to be.
You can see the great things that he’s done on film. Obviously he’s a competitor. ... We have communicated with each other ... early on here in camp, not recently, though, to make sure that we’re all on the same page."

"I'm sure that he was in communication with a lot of his teammates. I’m sure that helps the transition when he comes back in of knowing what we’re trying to accomplish."

Kolb looked pretty sharp Wednesday. He completed 9 of his first 12 passes, against both first and second-team defenses. The best completion was a 43-yarder down the right sideline to C.J. Spiller.

In red-zone work, Fred Jackson rumbled in for a touchdown off right tackle in a 5-yard run. Kolb hit fullback Frank Summers on a 5-yard swing pass for a TD.

Robert Woods had a drop early. Corbin Bryant and a blitzing Kiko Alonso had sacks. Mario Williams was in the backfield on three plays in a four-play stretch against the scout team. The starting defense snuffed out a two-minute drive run by Jeff Tuel. Crezdon Butler, who had been called for a pass interference penalty on Chris Hogan to start the segment of plays, had a near interception down the sideline. Leodis McKelvin picked off a desperation Tuel pass deep down the left sideline on the last play of the practice.


Doug Marrone
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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 |

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 |

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 |