Bills Minicamp News and Notes- Sunday Update

Sunday saw some of the position battles heat up at the Bills mini camp held thois weekend at the team's field house in Orchard Park. Recent draft additions worked mostly with the second and third string units.

Sunday Update

DT Larry Tripplett has been the team's starting defensive tackle. Rookie John McCargo has lined up with the second team defense. Kyle Williams has been playing on the second unit alongside McCargo. Playing the nose tackle position.

The trio of defensive backs selected in the draft worked with the second and third string defense. SS Donte Whitner has exclusively been the second team strong safety throughout the first two days of camp. Ashton Youboty has been playing left cornerback with the second string. Ko Simpson has been running with the third team defense at the free safety spot.

Melvin Fowler has been the team's number one center since he arrived, and continues to get reps in the top spot. While he was a guard in college, Aaron Merz has been playing mostly at center through the first couple of practices with the third stringers. OL Tutan Reyes is seeing a lot of time at left guard. He was working with both the starters and second string unit Duke Preston has been playing center with the second unit, but has played about 2/3rds of the time at guard and 1/3rd the time at center. Brad Butler has been used sparingly at tackle so far. Aaron Gibson is working out at right tackle. He is currently getting reps with the second and third string. Terrance Pennington played at the left tackle spot with the third string.

Lionel Gates worked with the first string offense during the absence of Willis McGahee. Newly acquired Anthony Thomas was running with the second team. Shaud Williams got bumped up in the rotation later on in camp.

Saturday Report

Defense picking up, Offense not as sharp

Many of the new additions to the Bills defense were quite productive in camp. Roookie free agent CB Eric Bassey, and Angelo Crowell both registered interceptions. Rookie free agent LB John DiGiorgio had a forced fumble down the field on Sam Aiken. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is really emphasizing turnovers and stripping the ball from ball carriers. Numerous offside penalties were addressed late in practice by head coach Dick Jauron.

Meanwhile, the Bills offense struggled without Willis McGahee. Losman, Holcomb & Nall all received equal time under center. All the quarterbacks were checking the ball down a lot Saturday as the defense threw them confusing looks. On a positive note, Veteran WR speedster Andre Davis torched rookie Ashton Youboty when Youboty bit on a play fake.

Both Losman and Nall were picked off in practice.

McCargo gets some time in

Rookie Johnny McCargo got plenty of snaps in the new Tampa Cover-2 defense, playing the "three" position in a rotation with veteran Larry Tripplett. That defensive tackle shades the outside shoulder of either offensive guard. In obvious pass situations both Triplett and McCargo are expected to be on the field at the same time. Competing for the starting position for the nose tackle role include Kyle Williams , Tim Anderson, and LaWaylon Brown. Williams, the Bills 5th round pick acquired in the Eric Moulds deal with the Houston Texans has looked good so far.

Injury updates

Takeo Spikes continues to improve from the torn Achilles injury suffered 7 months ago. He is in attendance a the Bills rookie orientation camp this weekend but is not actively participating in any drills. He continues to maintain he will be ready to go at the open of training camp at St John Fisher College in July. He maintains that he can do everything physically he could before getting injured, and it's more a case of getting his timing down.

Safety Jim Leonard tweaked a hamstring and sat out the rest of the day. OL Greg Jerman missed camp due to an undisclosed injury. TE Kevin Everett returned to the field after pulling a groin in the April minicamp. CB/S Troy Vincent is not in attendance as he continues to get treatments for a sore shoulder that plagued him at the end of last season.

Friday News and Notes

Nate Clements Signs Tender-

Buffalo Bills pro-bowl cornerback Nate Clements signed the franchise tender - a one-year, $7.2 million contract. The deal represents the offer the Bills made Clements in February when they retained his rights by designating him their franchise player.

Clements accepted the offer to acclimate himself with his new teammates and begin learning the new cover-2 defensive scheme under first-year coach Dick Jauron. Clements, who had expressed a desire to be the NFL' top paid cornerback, said he was initially unhappy when the Bills retained his rights.

Clements told the Associated Press "At first I had mixed feelings about it but I tried to put myself in their shoes and see how I would manage a player of that caliber. And it's really a compliment."

"I definitely felt it was important to get in here," Clements said. "But you know, the business aspect of the game, we had to get that taken care of first."

Clements had missed the team's first three-day minicamp last month when the two sides were attempting to negotiate a long-term deal.

There are still concerns about Clement's long term future with the club. It is believed the Bills and Clements' representatives came to an informal agreement to get the cornerback to sign his tender sooner than later and get the Bills defensive leader in camp as early as possible. The Bills may have promised the Clements camp not to slap the franchise tag on him again in 2007 if a longer term deal can't be arranged. Nate Clements has made it known he would prefer to be one of the highest paid corners in the NFL.

Martin Nance leads names of Bills UDFA signings

Martin Nance, a 6-foot-4, 213-pounder who put up huge numbers during the Steeler's Ben Roethlisberger's senior season, was among eight rookies signed. Nance caught 90 passes for 1,498 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2003. Injuries limited him to just five starts in 2004. But in 2005 he rebounded with 81 catches for 1,107 yards. He was projected as high as a 3rd round selection in this past draft.

Tennessee defensive end Jason Hall and Penn State's Matthew Rice werealso inked following last weekend's draft. Hall, 6-3 and 260, had seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for losses and was an All-Southeastern Conference pick.

Other rookie free agents signed by the Bills were DE Ryan Neill of Rutgers, cornerback Eric Bassey of Oklahoma, linebacker John DiGiorgio of Saginaw Valley State ,receiver Chris Denney of Nebraska-Omaha, and fullback Derrick Ming of Missouri.

Bills Rookie Pool Amount Set

The Buffalo Bills rookie pool has been set at $5,366,937.

The rookie pool is the maximum amount of salary cap space a team can allot towards signing their rookies (drafted and undrafted). It is derived from a complicated formula based on each individual team's number of draft picks, how high the picks were, and undrafted free agents acquired.

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