The Bills wrapped up their first week of official team workouts for the 2012 season with a session this afternoon. It’s really too early to read too much into the practices themselves, but the coaching staff is excited about the upgraded talent level on this roster:
"“It’s obvious that we’ve added talent,” defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt said. “That’s no secret, but the thing that excites me as much as anything is the talented guys that we brought in are good people that want to win and are willing to work. There’s a lot of talented guys out there that I’ve been involved with, you trade for or you sign in free agency and they have talent but their agenda is not what the team’s is. The guys we’ve signed are as good as people and attitude wise as they are in talent. I think that’s what’s most exciting to me.”"
Other various notes from the end of the first week:
– Shawne Merriman is back, and is (again) claiming that he feels better than ever. He went as far as to call himself “Benjamin Button.” Merriman added: ”I feel young. Anybody that will get a chance to watch me this year will see I’m moving around as I did when I came into the league.” I’m always skeptical when it comes to Merriman, but if the Bills can get anything out of him in 2012 it’d be a huge boost.
– Quarterbacks coach David Lee has liked was he’s seen from Ryan Fitzpatrick so far, especially on Friday. “I didn’t anticipate him hitting the back shoulder (throw) until the middle of camp and he just nailed that one,” said Lee following Friday’s practice. “He hit the go route, which bothered him last year especially to his left. I’m really pleased with how quickly he’s taken to it, but it’s not muscle memory yet because we haven’t done it long enough. He’s improving, but he’s not yet where he’s going to be.” Fitzpatrick connected on big pass plays with Derek Hagan, David Clowney, and Donald Jones during 11-on-11 work Friday.
– Speaking of quarterbacks, Tyler Thigpen is sitting out with an abdominal tear. There’s no timetable for his return – that’s a painful injury you don’t want to mess around with.
– DT Kyle Williams is easing his way back into team workouts, participating in a series or two of 11-0n-11 play Thursday and Friday. “Thursday it felt uncomfortable,” he said. “Obviously I’ve been out of it for a while so being in my stance and being able to adjust things, but it comes back pretty quick and so Thursday I felt like I was kind of feeling it out and (Friday) I felt I had a little more snap and a little more get off and felt more comfortable. I want to avoid anything that gets me off to a slow start. When we get to camp I want to hit the ground running because I want to be ready to roll come September. So this is big.”
The Bills are back to work Tuesday.