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Buffalo training camp

Minnesota beats Buffalo 24-19. Buffalo led at the half 19-17. The Bills seemed to run the ball more effectively in the first half. Bledsoe did not attempt many passes, but was effective when he did. The Vikings scored in the second half when David Priestley, fourth string QB, fumbled the excange from center at the snap. The center at the time was Mike Pucillo, 7th round draft choice. He played guard in college, but the Bills were working him at center to see if he could handle it. The Vikings recovered at around the Bills 25 and passed for the TD. In the fourth quarter, third string QB Travis Brown engineered an 85 yard drive that stalled after Buffalo reached the 2 yard line. The Vikings' defensive line pushed the Bills back on a couple of running plays, then Travis Brown threw a couple of incompletions. The Vikings took over on downs with less than a minute to play and ran out the clock.

I could only listen on the radio. My impressions are that Buffalo ran the ball much more effectively, but still could not stop the run. Bills fans are hoping the signing of (Shawn) Price and Ahanotu (if that happens) will make a difference, but I think we all recognize that it's probably going to take a few games into the regular season at least before this defense can begin to carry its weight for the Bills, if then. Expect the Bills to be in some high scoring games.
Dolphan39 already posted the news of the signing of Ahanotu. I won't try to duplicate his efforts. I liken it to Miami's signing of Rob Burnett. He's 31 years old. He had one 10 sack season (1997). He will solidify the Bills defensive line (assuming he stays healthier than Rob Burnett has been thus far for Miami) but he won't be a star. He won't suddenly make the line a strength for the Bills, but they're better off with him than without.

In other news, it's been reported that Ruben Brown will sit out the rest of preseason but will start the first game of the regular season. Jonas Jennings is off crutches, but almost certainly will not be ready for the Jets game on September 8. Fortunately Marcus Price played OK vs. the Vikings and it looks like he can hold down the LT spot until Jennings makes it back.

The Bills have their last practice at their Rochester, NY (actually Pittsford, NY) training camp site on Wednesday morning, and pack up to leave Wednesday PM.

I probably won't be able to get enough news to continue this thread once they move back to "The Ralph" (Ralph Wilson Stadium). I would appreciate any feed back whether you felt this effort was worthwhile or a waste of my time.
Eric Flowers, John Butler's last first round pick as Buffalo GM was one of nine early cuts Buffalo made to get down to 75 on their roster. The only two Bills players remaining from that draft, Travares Tillman, a safety drafted in the second round, and Leif Larsen, a DT are both in jeopardy of being cut by the time the Bills have their final 53 man roster set. That probably makes the 2000 draft the worst in Bills history.
Jerry Ostroski retired today, saying his knee would not let him continue. Leif Larsen was waived injured. The only other cuts of note were Dan O'leary who showed some potential as a TE and long snapper last year before a season ending injury, and Curtis Alexander who tore up NFL Europe last spring until he was injured.
I wonder if Alexander will land somewhere.

I recall he did well at the end of the year in limited action...then tore it up in Europe.

The Bills obviously have way too much depth at that position...so he didn't have a prayer...

but there are alot of rosters I'm sure this guy could be the third back on.
Actually...now that I think of it...

I think it was last preseason that Alexander did well.
Yeah it was in the preseason a year ago that CA had about a 7 yd per average. I'm not sure why things changed this year, but I think CA got hardly a carry. Buffalo right now is actually pretty high on Joe Burns right now. He won't make the final squad of 53, but he's a good candidate for the practice squad. He's slow but has a low center of gravity and powerful lower body.
As the season has gotten closer, I've had better things to do than come to finheaven much. I thought I'd do a quick update though. In case you haven't heard, Joe Burns did make the 52 man squad. The Bills are carrying 4 RBs. Speculation persists that they will trade one of them for DL help. As we get closer to game 1 a trade becomes less likely though. Buffalo did cut some second tier players and picked up some replacements. Nothing earthshaking. Popular TE, Sheldon Jackson was cut in favor of Steeler castoff Cory Geason. Since Geason is 6'4" and 270, this is obviously a move to add blocking strength for two TE short yardage situations. While Jay Riemersma is the Bills best receiving TE in spite of too many drops last year, he'll never be much of a blocker.

Kris Farris was cut to make room for Mike Houghton. Mike Houghton is pretty raw, but Buffalo presumably likes his athleticism, strength, and versatility. They also switched back up linebackers. Tuitele, from NE was said to have had an excellent preseason, but Belichik wanted to keep his veterans. Denman is pretty smart and active for a youngster. In reality, these moves won't make a lot of difference.

Buffalo is pretty healthy heading into the Jets game. Only Sammy Morris is on the injury report. He's questionable. It's fortunate Jennings made a relatively quick recover from his high ankle sprain. The Jets list John Abraham as probable. One player whose name escapes me at the moment is out, another is questionable. Buffalo fans are understandably nervous as a shakey preseason performance has deflated the hopes of some. Sunday's game will give a lot more certain indicator of what Bills fans can expect this year.
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