Buffalo Bills

Stadium: New Era Field | Coach: Sean McDermott
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense25th129.5 (8th)162.5 (28th)
Defense2nd57.5 (5th)177.0 (6th)

Bills report: Notes, quotes

The Sports Xchange
Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel · Inside slant

The Bills are counting on left tackle Demetrius Bell and right guard Eric Wood to make it back from serious leg injuries and be ready for the season opener in September.

If not, Buffalo's starting line could look like the one that took the field for the start of organized team activities.

Jamon Meredith was with the first unit at left tackle for Bell, who is rehabbing from right knee ligament surgery while Kirk Chambers filled in for Wood at right guard. Wood is recovering from a broken leg in two places.

The other starters were in their normal spots -- Andy Levitre at left guard and Geoff Hangartner at center. Free agent Cornell Green was at right tackle.

"Oh yeah, I'll definitely be ready for training camp, definitely," said Bell, who was injured in a game at Tennessee last Nov. 15. "That's my plan."

While Bell's knee isn't quite up to speed, his confidence is.

That's because Buffalo's new front office regime and coaching staff didn't use the No. 9 overall pick in the college draft on a left tackle as expected, instead selecting Clemson running back C.J. Spiller.

Bell, a seventh-round pick in 2008, took that as a vote of confidence.

"I would think it's proven that they believe in me, and they know I can get the job done," he said.

Bell, a nimble 6-5, 310 pounds, does possess good athleticism. What the Northwestern (La.) State product doesn't have is much experience -- eight NFL starts. He has only played organized football for five years.

After the Bills traded two-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters to Philadelphia and cut Langston Walker, Bell found himself in the starting lineup a year ago. He played eight games and struggled with penalties until his injury.

"I feel stronger than last year," he said. "I think I'll be a whole different person from a year ago once I get back on the field, get back in the swing of things. I think I'll be a whole different person. The game will slow down a little bit. It will slow down from what it was last year, I can promise you that, because my first year was crazy."

It is Bell's job to lose. Working behind him are Meredith and rookie Ed Wang.

"It was the greatest learning experience as far as getting used to the speed of the game and the bullets flying in the heat of the moment," Bell said of starting games. "If I had those last games (he missed) I know it would have made me better."

--The Bills will open training camp July 29 at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. This is their 11th consecutive year holding camp in the location of the team's second-largest fan base. As with past coaches, Chan Gailey has scheduled numerous evening workouts to accommodate fans and generate interest. The Bills have been become adroit at combining practice with marketing. Gailey toured the Fisher facilities recently and came away impressed. "I went out there last Monday and that's an impressive facility," he said. "It is a great facility. I've been to quite a few in this league and it is very nice."

--Ryan Fitzpatrick knows what it's like to learn a new offense and suffer brain cramps. "My rookie year (2005), I stepped in and I was in Mike Martz's offense," he said of the former Rams coach. "That's the same thing where you're expected to know it, so I'm in the huddle trying to spit out all the words right. And you're stumbling, you're a rookie, you're afraid and then you get kicked out of the huddle and you just stand there trying to think of it."

--Gailey had this to say when asked if there was anything new to report on veteran defensive end Aaron Schobel: "No."

Schobel is pondering retirement and has yet to inform the team of his plans. He was a no-show for the start of OTAs. RB Marshawn Lynch was also a no-show but he was expected to report in the next week or so.

--QB Trent Edwards took a shot at Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly during an interview with XX Sports Radio 1090 while taking a break in the Drew Brees Celebrity Golf Tournament. It was Kelly who pushed for the Bills to draft Tim Tebow, saying that Edwards had his three years and "It's time to find somebody who is the future of the Buffalo Bills. ... And you look for a guy with good character, good leadership ability and good arm strength -- and a guy who doesn't come from California." Ouch! Edwards, from Los Gatos, Calif., took exception to Kelly's slamming of West Coast QBs. "It's definitely frustrating because I don't know how much time Jim has spent in California," Edwards said. "I love the state of California. Obviously, I'm very biased towards where I grew up in, but it's a little bit naive maybe that he makes comments like that. It's frustrating because I feel like there's a ton of great California quarterbacks out there that have played in the league for an extended period of time. I mean, we can go down the list right now. But he unfortunately said some things that aren't always the best things to say. But that's kind of the way he is, I guess."

"It's all about coming out here and working. Whoever the starter ends up being, if I work as hard as I can and I'm the starter, I know the team's going to be better. If I work as hard as I can and Trent (Edwards) is the starter, then we're going to be a better team because of it. I'm going to push him and he's going to push me." -- Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on handling competition.

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