Initial Bids Due Today: Prospective buyers of the Buffalo Bills have until 5pm today to notify Morgan Stanley if they intend to remain in the bidding for the team. Anyone that wants to stay in the process must submit an official notice of intent along with an initial non binding bid. Names of people/groups that are expected to make a bid include the Bon Jovi Toronto group, The Pegulas, Tom Golisano, Donald Trump and perhaps Jeffrey Gundlach and C. Dean Metropoulos. The Buffalo News reports that Scott Congel will not bid but will work on his proposed West Seneca stadium project. The paper also reports at least 15 non disclosure agreements were submitted which is a number that is considered low. Those agreements gave them access to the sales book to decide if they want to submit the initial bid. The goal is to have a new owner in place to be approved by league owners during the October 7th and 8th owners meeting.
Fiesty Camp: The Bills hit the practice field last night instead of the morning and the players seemed to have some pent up energy to get out. There were a few skirmshes including a fight between C Macky MacPherson and DE Bryan Johnson and another one between DE Iggy Igbinosun and Cyrus Kouandjio. Doug Marrone got upset with the chippiness and got OL coach Pat Morris and DL coach Pepper Johnson together to discuss it. Things got heated between Marrone and Johnson before the head coach got both units together to put a stop to it. By the end of the huddle there was laughing in the huddle. After practice all players seemed to shrug it off as just things that happen on the football field. The team was in pads for the sixth straight practice but they did not go live because of the change in the schedule. They waited until the night because the forecast for the morning was for lightning. Among the people taking in practice yesterday were Chris Collinsworth, Buddy Nix, Marty Schottenheimer, and Paul Hackett. The team has Tuesday off.
Chandler Sits:Scott Chandler sat out practice yesterday after leaving Sunday's session with a groin injury. Sammy Watkins didn't see any team reps but was not hurt it just seemed to be a rest day for him as the team held one of their shorter practices. Chris Gragg continues to sit after having a heat issue last week. Tony Moeaki and Kenny Ladler remain sidelined with hamstring injuries. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reports that Cordy Glenn is due back from his illness before the start of the season. A source told the paper he would be shocked if Glenn wasn't ready to participate in at least one preseason game and be ready for the opener. Doug Marrone said he hasn't heard that Glenn will be ready. Aaron Williams sat out because he was sick and Kevin Elliott returned after leaving Sunday night with concussion like symptoms. Injury Page.
Practice Moved: The Bills have moved today's practice. It was originally scheduled for 8am but has been moved to a night practice at 6pm. Unlike other night practices, a ticket is not required to get in. It is being reported that the move was made for weather related reasons.
Sunday's Practice Notes: The team had another nearly three hour session in full pads and went live for goal line drills. The offense looked a bit better today than they have the past few practices according to all reports. Kraig Urbik caught a touchdown pass on a tackle eligible play on the goal line. Chris Hogan seemed to be busy and getting extra work in the slot today. Sammy Watkins looked like himself making big plays and Mike Williams went up high for one long reception. The defensive line got the better of the offensive line once again. There was a funny moment when DB coach Donnie Henderson was looking for someone to play safety and Marcell Dareus quickly volunteered and seemed serious.
Jackson Returns:Fred Jackson returned to practice this afternoon after sitting out Saturday's session with a lower leg injury suffered on Friday night. Kevin Elliott and Scott Chandler were unable to finish today's session as they went to the locker room early. Chandler left with a groin injury and Elliott had concussion like symptoms. Duke Williams spent time in the cooling tent and Aaron Williams along with Jeff Tuel got shaken up during the workout but Williams returned and Tuel never left. Tony Moeaki was seen riding the stationary bike during practice. Injury Page.
Live Tackling In Practice: The Bills had live tackling to the ground for a portion of tonight's practice in front of a packed house at St. John Fisher College. Once again the defense ruled the day dominating the offense especially along the line of scrimmage. Mike Rodak of ESPN tweeted that EJ Manuel's final 20 11-on-11 reps accumlated 7 sacks, 4 handoffs, 4 completions, 3 scrambles, 1 throwaway, 1 pass batted down. Joe Buscaglia reported for WGR that of the last 17 plays run, eight were sacks. Cyrus Kouandjio continued his struggles and he looks like the 7th round pick while fellow rookie tackle Seantrel Henderson looks more like a 2nd round pick. The team returns to the field on Sunday for a 2pm practice.
Jackson Sits:Fred Jackson sat out tonight's practice but is leg injury is not serious and he sat more as a precaution. Mario Williams and Leodis McKelvin did not take part in the team drills that had live tackling. The Bills say McKelvin is not on the injury report but he has sat out the last two days from team reps. Chris Gragg remains sidelined after being hospitalized this week, he should return next week. Tony Moeaki is expected to miss significant time with his hamstring injury but should be back before the end of training camp. Injury Page.
Roster Move Made: The Bills continue to tweak their roster but today did a move out of necessity. With Chris Gragg and Tony Moeaki currently sidelined the team was down to two tight ends forcing them to make a move. They have signed TE Dominique Jones and made room by releasing OG Mark Asper. Jones entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Colts in 2012. He has played in 12 career games with the Colts and the Chiefs. Front Office Page.
Jackson Leaves Practice Early:Fred Jackson limped off the field with a bruised fibula and is day to day. It didn't appear too serious as he came off and it wasn't as he was taken out more as a precaution. CB Kenny Ladler and TE Tony Moeaki both left with hamstring injuries. Marcell Dareus and Alan Branch took part in their first practice of the summer and Dareus even had touch sack. Chris Gragg did not practice as he will be eased back in after being in the hospital with dehydration. Leodis McKelvin had a rest day and didn't really see the field giving Corey Graham some extra reps. Injury Page.
Johnson Activated:Randell Johnson has been activated from the PUP list leaving just Cordy Glenn and Kiko Alonso inactive. The team also added a cornerback in time for tonight's practice. Bobby Felder joins the team after having stints on the Vikings and Buccaneers practice squads since coming out of Nicholls St. in 2012. To make room for him they released DT Colby Way. Injury Page.
Dareus, Branch Back: The Bills announced that Marcell Dareus and Alan Branch are back on the active roster. They both are now in good enough shape to pass their respective conditioning tests. Branch was on the Active PUP/Non-Football Illness list while Dareus was on the Active PUP/Non-Football Injury list. They both should be on the practice field when the team works out tonight at 6pm. The team also made a roster move yesterday, they waived Brandon Smith designating him waived/injured and picked up center Jared Wheeler off of waivers from the Panthers. Smith suffered a leg injury in practice earlier this week. Wheeler was an undrafted free agent from the University of Miami who was signed by Carolina after the draft and released Wednesday. Front Office Page.
Kelly Honorary Captain: The NFL Hall of Fame announced that Jim Kelly and Harry Carson will be the honorary captains when the Bills take on the Giants in the Hall of Fame game a week from Sunday. The two legends will take part in the ceremonial coin toss. It is heartwarming that Kelly is well enough to take part in all the festivities in Canton this weekend. Kelly said, "I have always said that God willing, I will be back in Canton every summer. This year especially, I am so thankful that I can be on hand to share in a great weekend that shines the spotlight on the Buffalo Bills. There isn't a person more deserving of joining the Hall of Fame than my teammate and friend Andre Reed. It is also a great honor for me to represent the Bills organization at the coin toss to kick off the season. The entire experience will bring back many great memories from 2002 when so many of the Bills family — fans, players, and staff — joined me in Canton for one of the most memorable times of my life."
Bon Jovi Latest: The AP is reporting that the Bon Jovi group has done a feasibility study that has identified three possible sites for a new stadium in the Toronto area. Andy Bergmann is the man in charge of the Bon Jovi stadium plans and said no feasibility study on any potential sites has been undertaken just engineer and design studies in general. He said they are also meeting with two Buffalo area developers next week. NY Lt. Gov Robert Duffy sent several tweets last night cautioning the Bon Jovi group against a possible move saying he would lose Western New York fans forever. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told the AP that he has no doubt this group would look to move the team to Toronto first chance they get. All potential bidders must submit a first letter of indication by Tuesday. This includes their initial and non-binding bid to purchase the team. The Buffalo News reports a person with knowledge of the sale process said there have been more potential bidders for the Bills than what many insiders had expected.
Camp Observations: The players have a day off today, under the CBA they now have to be given a day off every five days in training camp. With four practices in the books it is a good time to make a few very early observations. As it usually is this early in camp, the defense is ahead of the offense. It is a bit troubling how much EJ Manuel is struggling but very encouraging how great Sammy Watkins looks. Kraig Urbik has really struggled at right guard and he may lose his job to former starting tackle Chris Hairston who is trying to make a comeback after missing all of last year with an illness. The kicking battle is over before it started but the punting battle is a good one. Jeff Tuel had a very good offseason on the field and now has a chance to win the backup QB job. Nickell Robey and Jerry Hughes stand out on the defensive side of the ball as Robey looks to lock in the nickel spot for a second year and Hughes looks to put the drag racing incident behind him.
Day 4 Of Camp: The Bills practiced in pads for a second straight morning today. Chris Gragg, Evan Rodriguez, and Brandon Smith did not practice for a second straight day. Smith is out indefinitely with a lower body injury. Gragg and Rodriguez are sidelined with cramps. Both men were in the hospital. Rodriguez has been released but Gragg remains in the hospital as of the end of practice. Marcell Dareus was working on the side on a stationary bike with Alan Branch. The offense rebounded from a poor performance on Tuesday and Sammy Watkins made a beautiful one handed grab for a score. That was one of many fine catches including a TD reception by C.J. Spiller and a nice catch against his helmet by Robert Woods and a solid grab by T.J. Graham. J.J. 'Unga limped off but quickly returned. Chris Hairston got some first team reps at right guard after Kraig Urbik struggled mightily in practice yesterday. Doug Marrone said after practice that the spot is up for grabs. There is no practice tomorrow as the players are off. Injury Page.
Dareus Statement: The Bills have released a statement from Marcell Dareus that stated: "After dealing with a personal matter in Alabama, I am excited to return to training camp to rejoin my teammates in our preparations for the 2014 season. Right now, my focus is on earning the trust of my teammates, coaches and the fans while continuing to improve as a football player. I have a passion for this game and I want to be here to help this organization achieve its goals. There are things I need to work on professionally and personally to make sure I can be accountable to myself, my family, this team and this community. My focus will remain on achieving that goal one day at a time. I want to thank the Bills organization, coach Marrone and the coaching staff, my teammates and our fans for their continued support."