July 23, 1987 -- The opening of training sessions is usually associated with optimism that better times are ahead for a sports team. It usually is applied to baseball teams, but football teams sometimes can feel it too.
On this particular date, though, optimism really was everywhere for the Buffalo Bills. The Bills started training camp with a couple of important figures on the job right from the start for the first time.
Marv Levy had been hired in miseason in 1986 to replace Hank Bullough as head coach. That sort of action usually doesn't work too well immediately in football; it takes a training camp for a new coach to install his system.
Levy was looking forward to working with his quarterback in that camp. Jim Kelly had been signed the previous year just before the start of the regular season, and now had a chance to get some work done.
The whole team gathered at Fredonia for camp, with the exception of Shane Conlon. The first round draft choice was holding out for a contract.
--- Budd Bailey