--The team announced its official dates for training camp at St. John Fisher College located 90 miles east of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Rochester. The Bills will work July 25 through Aug. 19 with seven evening practices scheduled. The team has three road preseason games, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame game against Tennessee on Aug. 9, part of a gala weekend that will include the inductions of owner Ralph Wilson and defensive end Bruce Smith. Home preseason games are against Chicago on Aug. 15 and Detroit on Sept. 3. The Bills are forcing fans to obtain tickets in order to attend the first four training camp practices.
"By ticketing these practices we can have a firm grasp on the attendance numbers," COO/GM Russ Brandon said. "Normally, our first set of practices is on a Friday and we see spiked attendance on Saturday. This year, our first practices are on Saturday and Sunday and we want to be proactive with the possibility of attendance at those sessions reaching a point that could pose a safety issue."
--The Terrell Owens house saga rages on. The Bills celebrity free agent had a deal in place to lease a newly built, 4,500-square foot home in Orchard Park not far from the stadium but he nixed the deal after becoming upset with the real estate agent whom he claims broke a confidentiality agreement.
"With the release of my potential rental at 34 Woodthrush [Terrace], I will not b renting due 2 the unprofessionalism of Maureen Flavin!," Owens blasted in a Twitter post to fans. Flavin declined comment when reached by reporters. At this rate, Owens will be rooming with coach Dick Jauron.
--QB J.P. Losman's fall from NFL starter to rumored quarterback for the Las Vegas franchise in the new United Football League is shocking to say the least. It's hard to believe he couldn't land one of the 64 backup jobs in the NFL after the Bills allowed him to leave as a free agent. Losman is just 28 with 33 starts.
He has completed 558 of 941 passes for 6,211 yards, 33 TDs and 34 interceptions. He has rushed for nearly 500 yards and three scores. Clearly, his slow decision-making that led to costly mistakes cost him an opportunity in another NFL city. He now must rebuild his career in a league designed as a developmental pro circuit, playing a six-game schedule on Thursday and Friday nights in October and November.
The Las Vegas team will be coached by ex-New York Giants Super Bowl coach Jim Fassel. Other former NFL head coaches lined up are Dennis Green (Minnesota, Arizona) in San Francisco and Jim Haslett (New Orleans, St. Louis) in Orlando. Ted Cottrell, former defensive coordinator in Buffalo and San Diego, will run the New York franchise.
--Offseason work concluded on a positive note for starting cornerback/return specialist Terrence McGee, who landed hard on his shoulder earlier in OTA work while covering Terrell Owens. McGee practiced in mini-camp even though coach Dick Jauron said he could've taken it easy.
"Our medical staff cleared him and he kept pushing them to clear him. Once they said he was OK, and he really wanted to go, that was it," Jauron said. "I didn't feel any need for him to practice. Terrence is a player that I have a lot of admiration for, the way he plays the game, how he prepares. He loves to play, so it was good. It worried me a little bit, he was on the ground a couple more times, but it didn't seem to bother him, so it worked out well."
--It didn't take LB Blake Costanzo long to land on his feet after being released by the Bills on June 11. He signed with Cleveland, which will take advantage of his special-team skills and add to the Browns' depth.
Costanzo appeared in all 16 games for Buffalo last year and led the team in special teams tackles with 26, eight more than John Wendling. He got caught in a bad numbers game when Buffalo added free agent Pat Thomas, drafted Nic Harris, signed rookie free agent Ashlee Palmer (who was impressive in offseason drills) and welcomed the return of 2008 draft pick Alvin Bowen from a knee injury. Still, it's hard to tell young players special teams matter when they wind up on the waiver wire.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We play in a very tough league and a very, very tough division. It's really exciting when you look at the team and you look at it develop over time and I'm looking forward to this year, looking forward to our preparation and that opening game. To open on a Monday Night is huge for us and huge for our fans. It'll be a huge test for our football team and hopefully it'll help us get ready. Not that you need any more motivation for an NFL season, but to open on Monday Night to a division rival and a very, very talented team, is a great challenge for us." -- Coach Dick Jauron on looking forward to July training camp and the start of the 2009 NFL season at New England on Sept. 14.