Williams pleased as punch with progress

The Bills' May mini-camp ended on a high note when new kicker Mike Hollis made good on a field goal from nearly 50 yards out during a non-contact two-minute drill Thursday.

 

More than three months before the opening game, the kick's impact was more symbolic than indicative of success.

Gregg Williams was pleased with four days of workouts attended by nearly the entire team. "I thought it was very productive," he said, "as far as understanding tempo and systems.

"There's still a long way to go. There's a lot of youth to the team, and when you have that many (seven) unrestricted free agents, we have to get to know one another. There's a lot of work to do between now and the end of training camp."

In the meantime, the players will be back for an eight-day mini-camp beginning June 4.

The team's lineup for the closing two-minute drills were hardly its opening-day offense. Pro Bowlers Ruben Brown and Larry Centers weren't on the field, and number three quarterback Travis Brown was at the controls.

Williams explained, "Drew Bledsoe had a personal family commitment, so he wanted to get out early. The flight possibilities were poor if he didn't leave early. But he wanted to get some reps today, and he got as many as he could. Alex Van Pelt is still in the rehab process (from a January shoulder separation), and I know what he can do, that he knows the read process.

"Travis Brown needs to get as many snaps as he can. It's important that the young guys get the carryover snaps they won't get till crunch time. These reps will be important for them when the real bullets are flying."

Fullback Centers, who has agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2003, also was excused from the final day. Brown remained on the sidelines while younger players worked at his position, left guard.

While the players won't have organized practices for another 12 days, Williams said the coaches would be busy.

"Next week we'll establish some depth charts, and we'll move around several people at the next camp. Marques Sullivan and Jonas Jennings will play some guard, Trey Teague will be at center, and Jonas will probably play some center. Guys who can play more than one position, especially on the offensive line and secondary, are very valuable because guys are going to get nicked."


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