Slowing it down a little

We hear so often that young players have to get used to the speed of the NFL that the expression is almost a cliche.


The rookies in the Bills' training camp, however, haven't seen anything yet.

That's because most of are going up against only players with similar experience, and not the NFL regulars who have been at other years' Buffalo mini-camps. And that is by design.

"The biggest thing is to see how fast they learn, see how fast they fit into the game. Last year, the rookies didn't even get a chance until Sunday," said head coach Gregg Williams. "They all need as many reps as they can get before they mix in at the May camp."

Said defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, "When the older guys come back, we want (the rookies) to say, 'Those guys are really fast.'"

Another reason there aren't many veterans in camp is because there are only 25 with enough experience to allow them to be excused from the camp.

For example, only two defensive linemen, Pat Williams and second-year man Aaron Schobel, were excused. Third-year men Erik Flowers and Leif Larsen -- along with Bryce Fisher, in his fourth season of Bills mini-camps -- mixed in with the younger defensive linemen.

Is it possible that all those linemen are present in this camp because of uncertainty at those positions? Gray said no. OK, whatever you say.

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