Lots of moves going on here

Goodbye Bobby Collins. The third-year tight end with tons of natural talent was traded yesterday for Green Bay defensive end David Bowens, a Broncos' fifth-round draft choice from Western Illinois. Bowens was a reserve with the Broncos and Packers. He'll be competing at right end.

Collins was battling Sheldon Jackson for the right to remain on the Bills' roster. The Bills had five tight ends in camp – one, Josh Whitman, is a total long shot. But rookie tight end Dan O'Leary earned a job because he will probably be the team's long snapper. He also showed he can play tight end. Of course, Jay Riemersma is indubitably the starter. Jackson is an excellent blocker, though he may not have the natural abilities Collins has. His grasp of the Bills offense is above Collins' and he does more of the "little things" well. That made it clear that Collins was on the outs. But instead of releasing a promising player at a position where promising players are hard to find, the Bills opted to trade him. It was a good idea . . .

Bobby Collins traded to the Packers for defensive end David Bowens.

Bowens is 6'2", 270 pounds, 24 years old, in his third season from Western Illinois. Drafted by Denver in the fifth round in 1999, traded to the Packers for a draft pick before the 2000 season. He has 48 tackles and four sacks in his career.

Tom Donahoe said Green Bay initiated the trade talk because the Packers have had injury problems at tight end. They had a scout at Edinboro.

"I feel it will be a good trade for both teams. They're both young guys (Collins will be 25 Aug. 20). Bowens is a good athlete. He played in situations last year for Green Bay. He's someone who has speed and ability.

"There's always a need for guys who can get upfield, and we feel David Bowens has that ability. This will create more competition the defensive line. We'd like to get more guys after the quarterback. Green Bay felt they had a surplus on the defensive line.

"We think he can play more than (just as a pass rusher)."

"We've been very pleased with our group of tight ends, especially the younger guys. Sheldon has experience; he's a guy has been here. The two young guys, Dan and Josh have a lot of potential. Josh has some versatility at fullback and tight end."

"We didn't want Bobby to feel there was something he didn't do here. When he asked us we said he would do everything we thought he could do."

Donahoe was asked if there was dissatisfaction with players such as Flowers and Fisher.

"Not at all. Training camp's all about competition. What we're trying to do with our roster is create competition. The best players will make the team."

Does Bowens do what he does better than Flowers, Fisher or Schobel? "I don't know. He's got a reputation as a speed guy, an upfield pass rusher. We've got some guys who are pretty good at that."

Both players have to pass a physical, but Donahoe said neither had missed a snap in training camp because of injuries . . .

Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman attended Tuesday morning's practice. Of Rob Johnson, Zimmerman said he wasn't sure he'd be a good fit in the Bills' passing offense – a quick drop, quick throw system. "You need a quick decision and quick release. He looks like a classic drop-back quarterback to me."

Johnson has been having some difficulty throwing the ball lately because of a jammed index finger on his throwing hand – suffered during the first week of camp. The finger looks swollen and immobile. He said that doctors have told him that there's no hairline fracture. But the finger looks pretty mangled, almost like a basketball player's mangled finger, an injury more typical in that sport. So Johnson keeps playing. The finger has affected his throwing. The interception in Edinboro vs. the Browns Saturday, a ball that wobbled and was short when it left his hand, was a case in point . . .

The Bills moved Jonas Jennings to first-team right tackle and Kris Farris to second-team left tackle. Jennings has been impressive so far. If he plays well in the preseason games, look for him to start at right tackle for the Bills this year. Robert Hicks' dropoff cannot be attributed to injury because he says he feels good. On the sideline Tuesday morning, John Fina and Ruben Brown were working with Hicks on technique – how to best take that first step back while facing a rusher during a pass play . . .

The Bills worked on scout-team stuff for upcoming opponents during the morning and afternoon practice . . .

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