Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Some quick observations from Bills training camp so far

• It’s very, very early, and 27 years of covering the NFL has taught me not to rush to judgment, but I like what I’ve seen so far from new Bills coach Chan Gailey. There has been more hitting and more spirited play in this training camp than in the ones run by his predecessor, Dick Jauron. The new guy is much more hands-on, especially on offense, which, hopefully, will result in a more confident and less confused Trent Edwards. My sense during the Jauron era was that there were too many underachieving players feeling much more comfortable than they should have. There clearly is a culture change occurring under Gailey, who is holding everyone accountable, based on their performance. There truly is a feeling among the players that nobody’s job is secure, and, hence, there’s a greater sense of urgency. The effects of this culture change might not be felt right away, but this appears to be a step in the right direction.

• Aaron Maybin is built more like a strong safety than a linebacker. He’s listed as 250 pounds on the roster sheet, but, if that’s true, then he must have been weighed while holding cinder blocks in each hand. The second-year player out of Penn State does have great quickness off the line, but he needs to develop a few more spin moves so that he doesn’t keep getting engulfed by much larger offensive linemen.

• I’ve been impressed with rookie nose tackle Torrell Troup, Buffalo’s second-round pick out of Central Florida. He is extremely quick and relentless, just like fellow nose tackle Kyle Williams. I worry, though, if the two of them are big and strong enough to tie up blockers to free up linebackers to stuff the run.

• Roscoe Parrish appears to be reborn in Gailey’s offense. Maybe the smurf-like, lightning-quick receiver has finally found a coach who knows how to get him the ball.

• One of the bothersome things about the hold-out by top-pick C.J. Spiller is that he’s missed valuable time executing the many roles Gailey had in mind for him in the Bills new diversified offense. It’s one thing doing this stuff in shorts and helmets during off-season workouts and quite another doing this in full pads at full speed in training camp. Maybin’s holdout last year resulted in a lost season for him. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself with Spiller.


In a totally unrelated matter, I want to wish my bride “Happy Anniversary.’’ I clearly am a blessed man to have Beth in my life.

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