Some look at the Bills with rosy glasses

This is a time of optimism in every NFL city. Buffalo is no different from any of the other towns in the league, but we have to wonder whether the colored glasses aren't just a bit too rosy right now.

For one thing, we're hearing about a playoff run, a Super Bowl run even, for the Bills. For another, we're hearing about anticipated record crowds for the training camp.

With training camp just days away from opening, far be it from us to splash cold water in Bills fans' faces, but . . .

Talk of a team trip to San Diego to visit Doug Flutie for Super Bowl XXXVII is premature. Sure, the Patriots jumped from 5-11 to world champs last season. But they improved their defensive line – which can stop opponents both on the ground and through the air – in part by drafting Richard Seymour in the first round. Ryan Denney is a nice guy, a second-round pick, but he's not Seymour.

Similarly, it's going to be a tough task to exceed the 2000 training-camp attendance of 122,000 at St. John Fisher. There is no Flutie dripping charisma on the fans. Drew Bledsoe is a better quarterback, but it's difficult to picture the more laid-back quarterback signing autographs and schmoozing with fans in Flutie fashion.

Heading into camp, five draft choices remained unsigned – most significantly top pick Mike Williams, who could do for Buffalo what Seymour did for New England. A building team can't afford not assimilating those rookies into the mix.

Above all else, by now fans have had two years of attending training camp in Pittsford to realize that camp workouts are, in a word, boring.

At least the season doesn't figure to be boring, one way or the other.


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