Most eyes, from a Bills perspective, will be on the all the newcomers and changes this off-season brought. The defense will likely see four new starters from a year ago. Specifically, the Bills will likely have two new defensive linemen and two new linebackers. Those new comers include outside linebackers Takeo Spikes and Jeff Posey.
On the defensive line, defensive tackle Sam Adams looks to help bolster a run defense that ranked twenty ninth in the NFL last season. The other spot that will receive a new starter atleft defensive end, although who will fill that spot is unknown right now. The front runner to win the position is former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Marcus Jones, who is recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss the entire 2002 season. He's competing with Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay, whom the Bills selected in the 2nd Round in each of the last two drafts.
This isn't to say that the offense hasn't changed either. Gone are veterans Peerless Price, Jay Riemersma and Larry Centers. They will be replaced by second year receiver Josh Reed and veteran full back Sam Gash, who returns to Buffalo after spending the last two seasons in Baltimore, and tight end Dave Moore. Not only has the offense changed in personnel, but many expect the Bills' philosophy to change as well. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride looks to install a more balanced attack. That balance will focus on a power running attack featuring Travis Henry as opposed to the pass happy offense of a year ago that saw Drew Bledsoe pass for over 4300 yards.
The special teams also have a new look with free agent signee Rian Lindell who is replacing departed kicker Mike Hollis. Free agent addition Bobby Shaw is the likely new punt return man and at this point in time it's still anyone's guess as to who will be Bills kickoff return specialist.
If that wasn't enough change, the Bills also made a few coaching changes this off season, the most prominent being former Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau being installed as an assistant head coach.
Controversial first round draft selection running back Willis McGahee has yet to sign with the team, though he's still not recovered from the divesting knee injury he suffered in last year's NCAA Championship game. He isn't like to make an impact this season. All the other draft picks are signed although almost all will likely only be asked to help out on special teams and help the overall depth of this team. The lone exception could be the aforementioned Kelsay, if he doesn't win the starting left end spot, who might ultimately also be in be in a battle as the team's primary pass rush (3rd down) specialist with former Brown Keith McKenzie. Another former Brown, Mark Campbell whom the Bills traded an undisclosed draft pick in 2004 this off-season, is expected to earn a lot of playing time this season and might eventually earn starting the spot at tight end.
Finally, one former Brown who won't take the field either Friday or Saturday is back-up linebacker Anthony Denman who has yet to report to training camp for unknown "personal reasons".