I got married this weekend, so I had to take a little break from keeping tabs on Bills camp the past few days. (The new wife wouldn’t have been thrilled if I pulled out a laptop on our wedding night, I bet.)
The Bills had the day off today, so it’s a good time to back and hit upon the major happenings in camp so far:
Injuries: Fortunately, there hasn’t been a major injury at camp yet. The scariest moment thus far came when WR David Nelson knocked knees with rookie CB Prince Miller. Nelson immediately feared the worst, but it turned out to be just a painful bruise and a strained tendon. “It is nothing serious,” Nelson said. “There is no long-term damage. Like I said, the way it looked on film, the way it felt in the field, I am very lucky with the diagnosis that I have. I definitely have a guardian angel somewhere.”
In other injury news, DE Shawne Merriman rolled an ankle and missed some time, while RT Erik Pears re-aggravated a nagging groin injury. Neither injury is thought to be all that serious. Sam Young has taken Pears’ place in the starting lineup at RT.
Second-year CB Justin Rogers is also dinged up, and could miss as much as a week of time.
Defense Dominates: It’s really, really early, but the new-look Buffalo defense has looked pretty good so far. The defensive unit has been led by a defensive line that has lived up to lofty expectations so far. There has been consistent pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick and the other QBs throughout camp. “They’ve got some good players and they work hard, play hard, they’re good leaders,” Head Coach Chan Gailey of his defensive line. “It’s a strong group up there.”
Gilmore Impresses: Very impressively for a rookie CB, Bills first-round draft pick Stephon Gilmore has by all accounts looked fantastic in his first NFL camp.“Stephon is playing well outside,” said Gailey. “There’s no up and down in the guy. What you see every day is what you get every day. That’s been a pleasant surprise. A lot of times rookies if something bad happens to them they go in the tank. He’s very strong in that area.”
Gilmore has impressed enough that he has more or less locked down one of the starting cornerback positions. Holy crap, is that good news. The Bills could really, really use a consistent lockdown corner.
Don’t Cross the Moats: Another young player looking good so far is Arthur Moats. Moats was in danger of getting lost in the linebacker shuffle, but he’s stepped up and earned time in a host of different roles, including all three linebacker spots in the base package as well as some nickel LB work. Gailey has certainly noticed Moats’ play so far, saying, “He’s got a lot better in OTAs and the minicamp. It made so much difference for him to have that it’s unbelievable. So I feel good about where he is right now after three days of practice. He’s been very impressive thus far.”
Easley Emerging?: You can’t help but to root for Marcus Easley, who has had his first two NFL seasons robbed from him by injury. Easley is back for a third camp, and it looks like he’s ready to finally play an NFL regular-season game. Easley made some fine catches in Sunday’s practice after earning some additonal time with the starting unit. “I’m just trying to get better day in and day out,” said Easley. “I made a couple of plays today, but that’s just the nature of the position. You learn from the bad plays and if you make good plays you just move forward to the next day.”
Buffalo’s next practice is Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern.