The Buffalo Bills opened training camp on Sunday night with a two-and-half-hour practice at St. John Fisher College. The fans packed the grand stand to see their beloved Buffalo Bills take the field for the first time this year. While the first practice of training camp usually isn’t the sight for groundbreaking news, the Bills first day had some interesting developments to take away from it.
Here is a rundown of the most interesting takeaways from day one of Buffalo Bills training camp:
- Marcell Dareus is placed on the active/non-football injury list
After a dreadful off-season, Marcell Dareus did not exactly start training camp in the best fashion either. According to head coach Doug Marrone, Dareus failed his conditioning test and will start training camp on the active/non-football injury list.
Doug Marrone: DT Marcell Dareus failed his conditioning test upon reporting for camp. “He needs to focus on getting himself ready”
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) July 20, 2014
With high expectations for the former Alabama standout, another setback for Dareus seems to be fitting for a player spiraling in the downward direction sadly. While many fans have a bleak outlook for Dareus, teammates like Kyle Williams feel Dareus will straighten his issues out.
“He’ll get it straight,” Williams said. “I don’t know exactly what it is, but I don’t think it’s because he is fat and out-of-shape.”
With a potential suspension from the league looming over Dareus’ head, how he progresses throughout training camp will be an intriguing story.
- Marquise Goodwin and Seantrel Henderson leave practice with injuries
It was a rough first day for rookie Seantrel Henderson, who is set to step in place for the injured Cordy Glenn at left tackle. Henderson left practice early with a hip injury and did not return.
Meanwhile, speedy wide receiver Marquise Goodwin also left practice early with an unknown injury. But Goodwin would later clear up what happened with a tweet from his personal Twitter account following practice.
No I was not hurt the first day of camp. Sickle Cell and athsma beat me today! For those who assumed… ✊ — MARQUISE GOODWIN (@flashgoodwin) July 21, 2014
- EJ Manuel and Sammy Watkins hook up early and often
With high hopes for both EJ Manuel and Sammy Watkins in 2014, Bills fans have to be pleased to see the two get on track right away at training camp. During the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, Manuel was 4-for-4 on passes to Watkins according to ESPN’s Mike Rodak.
I have EJ Manuel down as 4-for-4 in passes intended for Sammy Watkins during team drills. Good start to camp.
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) July 21, 2014
Hopefully Sunday was the start of a developing chemistry between Manuel and Watkins!
- Nigel Bradham takes first team reps at weak-side linebacker
With star linebacker Kiko Alonso out for the year, third year linebacker Nigel Bradham was the first player to get a crack at the weak-side linebacker position on Sunday. Although many speculated that rookie linebacker Preston Brown would get the first chance at first team reps, it was actually the more athletic Bradham who Schwartz lined up on the field.
But once the Bills moved into their sub-defensive packages, Brown joined Bradham on the field immediately. With veteran linebackers Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers not being the greatest pass defenders, the time for Bradham and Brown to elevate their pass defence in camp is crucial.
- LT Cordy Glenn and DT Alan Branch continue to rehab
With both left tackle Cordy Glenn and defensive tackle Alan Branch on the active/non-football illness list, fans were relieved to see both players working with the coaching staff on Sunday. Although both players were not doing any strenuous activities, it is always a boost in morale when you see two veteran players of their caliber take to the field to work.
Glenn and Branch are still a few weeks away from putting on the pads, but they will be key pieces for the Bills this season.
The Bills will be in full pads on Tuesday, as they continue to prepare for the Hall of Fame game against the New York Giants on August 3rd.