Veterans Report to Training Camp

The Buffalo Bills veterans reported to training camp today, including the anticpated arrival of offseason acquistion LB Takeo Spikes, as the Bills hosted their first full-team practices.

[PREMIUM]Buffalo Bills veterans reported to training camp today as the Bills held their first full-team practice. There was only one practice today, so there's no much to report.

Offseason acquistions Jeff Posey and Takeo Spikes were seen checking in together along with the returning starter they'll be lining up together with at lineback, London Fletcher.

QB's:Give me somebody that can throw the long ball! Drew CAN but nobody else can except for the rookie Jason Johnson. Jason learned a valuable lesson today. Don't throw the short sideline pattern with Kevin Thomas lurking in the area. Aside from that misque, Jason will not be your typical undrafted rookie training camp fodder. Johnson looks accurate, in control and a learning sponge. He does not seem overwhelmed and he brings refreshing enthusiasm to the camp. AVP and Brown have presence and they are extremely accurate inside of 15 yards but anything over 20 is a reach. AVP has to generate a lot of armspeed to do what Drew can do in the flick of the wrist. Travis Brown still can't hit the side of a barn with a long throw. His throw starts to flutter and lose spiral within 5 yards of the receiver (if it gets that close).

TE's- Lets just agree to put McDonnell back on the defensive side of the ball. He can't get those mitts around a football and he "lumbers" in his gait. Neufield again had a steady day with no spectacular grabs but got the job done. Even Thomas was better today.

WR's: Rodney Wright appears like he is trying too hard to leave an impression. He was involved in the hit of the day.Scott Turner lined him up and let him have it on a slant over the middle. He has speed but I have knawing feeling that something bad is going to happen when he gets the football. Aiken had some lapses in concentration, dropping a well-thrown sideline screen. He looks amazing though- tall and well conditioned.

KICKOFFS RETURNER: It is too early to tell but I think someone made a huge impression as a kick returner this morning. Antonio Brown shows amazing speed in kickoff returns: he can really get going in a hurry. He looks comfortable handling the ball but his speed may cause trouble for his blockers to get set up quickly. Brown also made the catch of the day on a throw over the middle.

I GOT YELLED AT TODAY: Justin Sands was the leader in this category with not one but two tonguelashings for not delivering a proper hand punch.

WE'VE GOT NO QB COACH: I was musing before about this but it appears that Kevin Gilbride has been picked to mentor the QB's. Not a good move in my opinion. In this mornings D&C, Gilbride concedes that his other duties will make it impossible to properly study the individual mechanics of each of the QB's. Not that KG is not capable- its just that this needs to be a dedicated full time position.

FUNNY STORY: One of the Bills special teams coaches relates the following story about undrafted rookie long snapper Jon Dorenbos (paraphrased) STC: I hear that you are big into magic JD: Yes, I have even worked in Vegas performing magic tricks STC: Do you appreciate a good magic trick? JD: Yes STC: Well I forgot to tell you that I am a great magician as well JD: Oh really? STC: I sure am! If you don't perform your job well enough here, I will make you disappear really quick!

ROOKIE WATCH: Apparently, the Bills coaches have noticed in a flaw in rookie Terrence McGee's technique on the backpedal. He is using his heels instead of being up in his toes when he goes into coverage. The Bills staff are working with him to correct this. McGee was measure in the combine as having a 46" vertical leap. He still didn't look that impressive today though. It is early for him though.

BEST PLAYER TODAY: Kevin Thomas with two picks. He has an uncanny knack of getting into position to make the pick. He read the QB's eyes today and lept high to pick off an errant pass. This is no fluke. The man has real ball-hawking abilities and I look forward to him creating turnovers in the regular season. He took Jason Johnson to school and agressively jumped on his sideline pattern for a TD.

DIDN'T SEE MUCH OFF: Crowell, T.J. Watkins, Haggans. It was more of just walkthrough and specialization drills. (I know you were asking about these guys)

WE'VE GOT LEADERS: The veterans are not even in town fully yet but the leadership is everywhere. Lots of talent and fine work ethic. Drew, Josh Reed, Mike Williams, and even Jason Johnson.

INJURY NEWS: Sixth-round pick DT Lauvale Sape suffered from a calf strain today and is listed as day to day. Safety Jerton Evans and OG Mike Pucillo are still injured and did not particpate.

Finally, despite the excitement of the arrival of the members of the revamped defense, there was some sombering news today. It was released that receivers coach Fred Graves had surgery earlier today after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He will have to miss the next three to four weeks recovering. To replace him the Bills have assigned RB coach Les Steckel to coach WRs and have installed special teams/offensive assistant Tommy Kaiser as RB coach.

There will be two practices tomorrow. The morning to start at 8:25 am and will run until 10:30am At the autograph tent following the morning session there will be Joe Burns, Travis Henry and Sammy Morris. The afternoons practice is expected to start at 2:45pm and run until 4:45 pm. Following the afternoon practice Ahmad Brooks, Nate Clements, Kevin Thomas and Antoine Winfield are expected to appear at the McDonald's Autograph Zone. [/PREMIUM]

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