OTA Day 1: The Bills wrapped up day one of organized team activities yesterday with every player in attendance except Marquise Goodwin and Chris Williams in attendance. It is voluntary so they don't have to be there, Goodwin will be back today after having travel issues that prevented him from being there yesterday. Williams has not been around all offseason leaving Rex Ryan to question publicly if he even plans on showing up. Bryce Brown was back with the team after missing time in the offseason conditioning program because of the birth of his child. Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel worked with the starters on day one but there will be a rotation as Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are expected to work with the starters today. They are having two fields going at once so there are two starting units during these workouts. Ryan was happy with the conditioning for the players and had high praise for Manuel's progress in his development.
OTAs Set To Begin: The Bills begin their first of three weeks of organized team activities today as they enter the next phase of the offseason conditioning program. In this phase, all coaches are allowed on the field and players can lineup offense vs. defense but no hitting is allowed. All eyes will be on the first big step in the battle to see who will be the starting quarterback on opening day against Indianapolis. These OTAs are voluntary and the players will practice today, Wednesday, and Friday with a voluntary conditioning day on Thursday. Week 2 of OTAs will be Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week. They will wrap up OTAs with four days of practice the week of June 8th.
Dareus Suspended 1 Game: We have been waiting for the other shoe to drop on Marcell Dareus for his off the field discretions last offseason and now it has. He has been suspeneded for the season opener against the Colts and will not count towards the 53 man opening day roster until he rejoins the team the day after that game. He will be able to take part in the preseason and all training camp activities. The suspension was for his arrest for synthetic marijuana in Alabama not for his drag racing charge in Hamburg. It is officially a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He released this statement through the Bills, "Last year, I made a mistake involving possession of a banned substance,” Dareus said in a statement. “The NFL’s discipline for this conduct is part of the drug policy, and I apologize to my family, my teammates, the entire Bills organization and Bills fans that I will miss one game as a result of my mistake. I will work intensely that week and will be extremely happy to contribute to a win in week two for the Bills.”
Roman's Presser: Offensive coordinator Greg Roman addressed the media last year and said they are trying to get the guys mentally and physically prepared to compete day in and day out during the OTAs. They will employ different tempos including mental tempos. On the running back situation, Roman said you can never have enough backs and they have some good ones making it for some interesting formations during training camp. Asst. Head Coach/RB coach Anthony Lynn said he met Bryce Brown once as he has not been at the voluntary offseason program because of the birth of a child. He said it will be hard for him to catch up. He said you can never have to many good players at any position as there will be reps to go around to see who can win a competition. On Tyrod Taylor, Roman is very impressed with his football IQ, the way he handles the huddle, he's dynamic, and very well rounded player who has been coached well. He called the QB competition wide open and dismissed rumors that EJ Manuel has fallen out of favor. Saying he is doing a very good job and busting his hump everyday. It is too early to have a leader in the competition. He will probably have an opinion on a leader after the OTAs but won't divulge who he think it is. On Nick O'Leary all he does is produce and said John Miller blew them away in his pre draft visit with his football IQ. He is working with the first unit with Chris Williams still sidelined with his back issues. Nothing will be set in stone until the appropriate time but the time he's getting now is extremely valuable for him but they haven't got a defense in front of him yet. Karlos Williams has been aces and is getting it quickly. He has done nothing but impressed in every aspect saying he is super impressed with him.
Thurman Presser: DC Dennis Thurman told the media they will take advantage of Mario Williams' athleticism and will do different things with him but the number one think will be what he does best, getting after the quarterback. They need to put players in the best position to make plays and that may mean getting them out of their comfort zone more. He calls all the players on the defensive line interchangeable parts which will make them even more potent on defense. He said Ronald Darby his athletic, fast, strong and seems good in man to man even though he hasn't gone against veterans yet. He doesn't look like he has many flaws. He is talented enough to overcome any deficincies he has. Having another quality linebacker like Tony Steward is a plus as he is also athletic and strong. There will be tremendous competition at linebacker, safety, and cornerbacks while the defensive line has more of a comfort zone. There number one objective every week will be to stop the run first.
Final Pick Signed: The Bills now have all their draft picks under contract as they agreed to a deal with 2nd round pick Ronald Darby. Terms were not disclosed but Ian Rapoport reports it's a four year deal worth $4.6 Million.
Reed On Board: Andre Reed will be roaming the sidelines at St. Johns Fisher College during training camp as he will be part of the Walsh coaching internship program. In past years Reed used the program to coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. He should be a welcome addition for the young receivers like Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Dezmin Lewis, and Marquise Goodwin to learn from.
One More Pick Signed: The Bills have announced the signing of sixth round draft pick Tony Steward that leaves just the top pick, 2nd rounder Ronald Darby as the lone draft pick not signed at this point. Steward is expecting to help on special teams right way and add depth at inside linebacker. Front Office Page.