Mini-camp helped and hurt

The draft is over. The first mini-camp is over. There's just not much for the Bills to do until . . . the second mini-camp. There weren't a whole lot of conclusions we could make from the first camp. Barely two-thirds of the roster showed up, and not all of those players were there for all three days. Missing were almost all of the veteran holdovers and free agents. So even if a rookie looked good, usually that was against other players with no real pro experience.

 

Even so, we could get a handle on some of the players who were there from observing both their play and the coaches' reactions.

Who was helped

WLB DaShon Polk – He has played on the strong side, when he has played at all on defense, during his two seasons in Buffalo. Deemed expendable but not selected in the expansion draft, Polk made the most of his mini-camp time. Gregg Williams singled him out for praise on two different days. It doesn't hurt Polk that his 26 special-teams tackles tied for second on the team in 2001.

TE Brady McDonnell – He didn't play at all with the Giants last year because of a knee injury. But the little-known free agent showed exceptional hands as a receiver and put himself into the battle for the long-snapping position. That gives McDonnell two chances to make the team. Williams no doubt would prefer to fill just one roster spot with a third tight end and long snapper.

Who was hurt

G Jon Carman – It wasn't enough that the Bills signed two free-agent offensive linemen and drafted two others. Carman also was unable to get on the practice turf for any offensive snaps during the mini-camp.

To make the roster or receive much playing time, these players will have to continue or begin to impress at the next camp, which begins for rookies May 16 and for veterans May 20. As always, we'll be there from the first snap to the last.


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