Postcard from camp: Bills
In 1948 a legendary priest of the Basilian Order,
"I never knew it was lost," she said. When the hysterical laughter died down, she said, "Wait right here," and immediately came back with a 55-page historical memoir by Father Haffey, leading up to the laying of the first stone.
"Tomorrow you get graded on this," she said, which didn't worry me because I knew something extra about St. John Fisher, and I knew it because The Flaming Redhead and I have been slaves to the Henry VIII TV series
And so in this idyllic spot close to Lake Ontario, the Bills have set up their training facilities, complete with fan delights such as interactive participation gimmicks and conference rooms and "enhanced sideline vantage points," which means that fans can wander right up to the edge of the stands, a whisper away from the field, without getting Securitied to death.
It's a nice, loose, happy atmosphere, and the guy who brought all this action to his school nine years ago is
1. Things are on the upturn, the defense, the special teams, which are always great under
2. OK, veteran holdouts are standard procedure for training camp, especially during those hot two-a-days. Nothing really to get excited about, right? "The summer of discontent,"
3. The third observation is a continuation of the second, which is a continuation of the first, because this basically sets the tone for this camp. Peters is on the third year of a five-year contract that he has clearly outperformed. He's one of, if not the best, left tackles in the league. His response has been a noise like an oyster. He was a no show during the spring workouts, and a no show in camp.
The Bills have a new offensive coordinator,
Formerly a business projects type of guy, his crowning achievement was bringing the Bills to St. John Fisher. It's his first year as CEO. He's a nice person, but he's never gone up against the Eugene Parkers of this world. To cave completely might give other agents ideas. But to play hardball with the Bills' best player isn't the greatest idea, either. "If they'll just get in touch ..." he says, which is logical but not everyone's negotiating strategy.
Note to Russ Brandon from Dr. Z, who has never risked a penny of his own and is very generous with
Final observation about the observations:
Not too tough. They open with Columbia, then face Lehigh on the road, and ... wait a minute ... wrong list. OK, here it is. It could turn around the bad trend of last year. In '07 they started slowly, came on strong in the middle of the season. "Look out for the Bills," was the word on Wall St. Then they futzed away their playoff hopes with three losses at the end. But if they start off in decent fashion this time, just look at how the year closes out. Five in a row with losers from 2007 -- K.C., San Francisco, Miami, Jets and Denver, and then the closer at home against a Patriots team that probably will have clinched and will be resting people.
It's early in last Saturday's morning practice. Along the sidelines comes wafting the aroma of freshly charcoal-broiled hamburgers and hot dogs.
The Bills are a team you root for. People are friendly. You watch the practice from close up. They don't have a bunch of characters with Security on their arms chasing you. Players get along with the fans, even with the writers, imagine.