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Quiet Week Follows Mini Camp

The announcement that Jim Kelly and Fred Smerlas were going on the wall of fame highlighted a quiet week at One Bills Drive. We take a closer look at all the news for the week including our take on the issues:

The Bills announced on Wednesday that two heroes from the past will be put up on the wall of fame this year. Jim Kelly and Fred Smerlas will have their names added in separate ceremonies before different games this season. The games have yet to be determined but Kelly's name is expected to go up first. Our Take: Fred Smerlas made it to four straight pro bowls at nose tackle for the Bills and is very deserving of this honor. In our opinion, Jim Kelly is the greatest Bill of all time and his inclusion is long overdue.

The Bills also announced this week that the dates for training camp are set. Camp will open on July 28th and end on Aug. 22nd. The dates are later this year since the season opens a week later than it has in the past. The Bills will enter their second season of camp at St. John's Fisher College outside of Rochester. Tom Donahoe recently toured the facilities for the first time and came away very impressed. Our Take: In the past, camp was let out early, don't expect that to happen under the new regime. In fact, expect the toughest training camp that has been seen in Western New York in the past 15 years.

The club finished summer plans this week by setting up a scrimmage and workout session with the Cleveland Browns for Aug. 3rd and 4th at Endiboro University in Pennsylvania. The club has held scrimmages their in the past. Our Take: A scrimmage is always a good idea so players can hit other teams' players. They should schedule a scrimmage every year.

In free agent news, the Bills continue to talk contract with free agent Larry Centers. The agent for Jamie Nails says the door isn't closed on his return to Buffalo and rumors persist that Antowain Smith will be cut. The Bills have sent a final proposal to Centers who would have to fit under a very tight salary cap to come to Buffalo. One report says Smith was almost traded to the Panthers on draft day and may be a salary cap victim to sign picks or free agents. Our Take: Expect Centers to sign with the Bills since the market for fullbacks is awful right now. There are many available and not much demand for them. Smith will be a cap victim, as his $900,000 will help sign the rookies. The rookie cap figure for the Bills is $4.601 Million. Don't expect Nails back, his conditioning would not be a favorite of Gregg Williams.

Owner Ralph Wilson had his second chat with Bills fans on the club's official website. He was asked numerous questions about the Bills draft choices but really didn't have much to say on that subject. He hopes the club will be competitive but only time will tell if that is the case. Wilson said he, and the veterans are very enthused by Williams and Donahoe. The owner also believes the West Coast Offense will help Rob Johnson. Our Take: The owner seemed to have a realistic approach about the team, the fact that he doesn't know much about the draft picks is fine, it isn't his job to know about them.

Gregg Williams and his coaching staff held a two day clinic for Western New York area high school coaches on Tuesday and Wednesday. Williams spoke to the coaches and his staff held tutorial sessions. Our Take: It's nice to see Williams remember his roots as a high school coach.

A hearing on the salary dispute between Ralph Wilson and Wade Phillips was postponed for a second time by the Bills owner. It is now scheduled for May 16th. The owner says he shouldn't have to pay off Phillips' contract because he effectively resigned when he refused to fire special teams coach Ronnie Jones. Our Take: This is an embarrassing situation and Wilson should just honor the contract and pay Phillips.

It appears the Chicago Bears are worried about the weight and conditioning of their free agent prize, Ted Washington. He came into minicamp at a weight of 383 pounds and with an arthritic knee. Our Take: It appears Washington was a good cap cutting move, since he would never have fit in with Williams philosophy.

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