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Dale’s Visit to Buffalo Bills Training Camp [Photos]

Bills offensive linemen working on techniques (photo by Dale Mussen)

I try to get out to Buffalo Bills training camp as often as I can during the summer.  It gives you a behind the scenes look at the team as they prepare for the season each year.  Roughly half of the workouts are open to the public.

I took the drive out to St. John Fisher College yesterday to check out how the team looks and get an idea on how the new draft picks and free agents will fit in and contribute.   The biggest addition is first round draft pick  Marcell Dareus – you can’t miss him.  He’s huge.  6-foot-3, listed at 319 pounds but looks heavier.  And the guy comes as advertised – aggressive, quick on his feet and strong.  I kept an eye on him most of the day and he’s a big plus for the team.

I like the move of Eric Wood to center.  He ended up at that position at the end of last season because of an injury to Geoff Hangartner and did well.  But it’s Wood’s natural position – he played there in college.

Looks like the Bills’ gamble on linebacker Shawne Merriman may pay off.  He could be a difference maker in the Bills’ defense this year and he’s showing signs he’s capable of doing it.  He can cover pass routes and is solid against the run.

Orchard Park native Jon Corto had the biggest hit of the day breaking up a pass intended for receiver Felton Huggins.  You could clearly hear the pop.

Recently signed free agent linebacker Nick Barnett and quarterback Tyler Thigpen were in shorts and t-shirts and won’t practice in pads until Thursday.

The play of the day was a 40-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Lee Evans.  Picture perfect throw – beautiful play.

When I go to camp I really enjoy watching the line play and try to listen to what the coaches have to say – the techniques they teach – how to gain an advantage on the opponent.  The newly-renovated practice area decreased the field, but put the fans and the media closer to the action.  I love the new set-up.

First pre-season game is August 13th against the Chicago Bears.

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