Bills Wrap Up Minicamp; Chandler, Rogers, Defensive Line Among Standouts


The Bills wrapped up their spring practices this week with a three-day mandatory minicamp. Here’s an assorted collection of news and notes from those sessions:

– Believe it or not, there were no major injuries. I’m as shocked as you are. The Bills should enter training camp next month with 90 healthy guys.

– We’ve been saying this all along, but cornerback is going to be a real interesting battle in camp. We know that Terrence McGee, Aaron Williams and rookie Stephon Gilmore will compete for starting jobs, but another guy who seems to be throwing his hat into the ring is second-year man Justin Rogers. reporter Chris Brown made special note of Rogers’ improvement, writing: “The second-year cornerback looks considerably more comfortable in Buffalo’s secondary. Lining up at both boundary corner and in the slot in the first team nickel at times, Rogers made his share of plays in defending the pass. Though he missed some time with an injury in OTAs, he’s added lean muscle to his frame and appears ready to challenge for a top three corner role.”

– Scott Chandler has made the Bills look real smart for bringing him back. The tight end was a force throughout OTAs, making plays and big catches constantly. Having a reliable tight end will be a huge boost for Ryan Fitzpatrick.

– This defensive line? Insanely good. Granted, the Bills’ offensive tackle situation isn’t great right now, but Mario Williams and Mark Anderson have consistently been bringing pressure. Kyle Williams is starting to show his old explosiveness, and Marcell Dareus looks like he’s ready to make a big jump. What a powerhouse this group could be.

– On the flip side, Chris Hairston has really struggled at offensive tackle this camp. Mario Williams is a treally tough assignment, of course, but let’s just say it’s a good thing this team drafted Cordy Glenn to compete for the LT job.

– Remember this name: Dorin Dickerson. Dickerson is a tight end who has bounced around the league for a few seasons, spending time in Houston, Pittsburgh, and New England. He’s never really gotten a chance to play, but the Bills seem to have discovered a role for him as tight end/fullback/H-back. He’s been running with the first team during minicamp and head coach Chan Gailey seems to like his versatility. Don’t be shocked if he steals a spot on the roster as either a backup tight end or even if he takes Corey McIntyre’s roster spot.

– Stupid optimism time: Shawne Merriman has looked really good in camp. This part-time pass rusher role might be perfect for him. At least until his knee shatters into 1,343 pieces in September.

– The always-great Joe Buscaglia from WGR 550 broke down the linebacker situation at OTAs. I won’t repeat all his good work, so go check it out. He was definitely impressed with rookie Nigel Bradham, so that’s a good sign.

The Bills are now off until July 26, when the team will open camp at St. John Fisher College.