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5 (or 6 ) Biggest Buffalo Bills Stories to Watch at 2013 Training Camp
Don’t look now, but we’re spittin’ distance from the 2013 Buffalo Bills Training Camp to get started at the idyllic campus of St John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY. With that in mind, I thought it’d be good idea to layout some key story lines to pay attention to.
Surprised it’s not EJ Manuel v Kolb? I haven’t forgotten about the shotcaller contest commencing this August, but the biggest thing to track is if the Buffalo Bills can stay as healthy as possible during their summer millionaire football bootcamp. Pay attention to small stuff like calf tweaks, as they have a tendency to linger and cause guys to miss games. Recall Kyle Williams ankle that bothered him in 2011 wound up putting him on the injured reserve. There’s a reason half of all training camp interviews consist of the coach running through reams of injury reports.
2. Manuel v. Kolb
In terms of a “camp battle” quarterback will obviously be the one that has that has the biggest impact on the Bills’ fortunes in 2013. Expect snap count to be equitable early on, but my view is that the coaching staff will pick a starter by the second preseason game. Also, my view is that guy will have a name that rhymes with this fella:
3. Will Mike Pettine orchestrate a fight to light a fire under Torell Troup’s rear end?
4. Will optimism be sustained heading into the season?
In general, it’s a pretty good time to be a Bills fan. It’s an absurdity considering the recent lack of success surrounding the franchise, but fans are optimistic. We’ve got a new coaching staff, new GM, new president, and a pair of new QBs, all of whom are simultaneously experiencing a NFL Honeymoon.
Thing is, NFL Honeymoons are short lived, and Bills fans are also jaded. If Marrone takes too long to pick a QB, picks Kolb, if the team looks like crap in it’s preseason games, if Byrd opts for an extended holdout…
I could keep going but the point is that it won’t take much for people to return to the “Same Old Bills” refrain. The good part is the mood won’t have much to do with whether or not the team accomplishes anything; the bad part is if 2013 really is a rebuilding season, people will be awfully grouchy for another 12 months.
5. The Byrd Holdout
Whether or not Jairus Byrd is in town will be a tedious, boring story littered with “sources” and “per report” type stories. He’ll either show up or he won’t.
What’ll be interesting is how the coaching staff aligns the defensive backs and safeties in Byrd’s expected absence. The notables include rookies Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks, converted CB Aaron Williams, and 3rd year pro Dino Searcy, among others. If Byrd plans on forfeiting game checks this year, that’s the brunt of your 2013 Buffalo Bills secondary. If not, it’ll still be interesting to see how the coaching staff feels about the abilities of the rest of these players.
6. What Kind of Headwear will Doug Marrone choose?
Dick Jauron jokes galore when you follow @BuddyNixon.