The Buffalo Bills are preparing to head to Pittsford, NY to begin training camp on Friday at St. John Fisher College.
For most of the players, this is the first day of training camp. For quarterbacks and rookies, training camp started earlier in the week at One Bills Drive.
One of the major advantages of the early start for rookies and quarterbacks is the chance for quarterback EJ Manuel and wide receiver Sammy Watkins to gain a sense of rapport.
“Chemistry is extremely important and I think EJ and Sammy will definitely get there,” center Eric Wood said. “They made some plays in the spring that were really eye-opening. I think EJ is really getting better as a player and Sammy is going to be an NFL probably very quickly. He’s got a tremendous work ethic and his skill set is pretty obvious to those of us who have watched him.”
Another advantage for the Bills is playing in the Hall of Fame game in Canton. The extra game allows for the Bills to have an extra week of training camp, which is something that Manuel is looking forward to.
“This extended training camp with us having the Hall of Fame game," Manuel said, "that extra time it seems pretty daunting as a player, but it’s work that we definitely need if we want to get where we want to get on offense so any extra work before we open up against Chicago would be great.”
Using the extra time to work together also means that the players have the chance to study together to stay on the same page. Manuel thinks that the studying is as important as the practicing.
“I think the biggest thing for us is to watch the film together,” Manuel said. “I think that’s one thing that we’re excited to do. Obviously with coach [Nathaniel] Hackett being the OC he kind of goes over everything, but I think it helps me to watch film together because everybody can be on the same page. Instead of receivers saying, ‘Hey what was EJ thinking here?’ Or, ‘What was C.J. [Spiller] thinking here on this run?’ We can all just talk about it right then and there and it goes back to our rapport getting stronger as a team being together for year now and it’s easier to hold everybody accountable.”
With the rest of the team heading to Pittsford Friday, the full team practices will begin and the team will begin to prepare for what could be a pivotal season for both Manuel and head coach Doug Marrone.
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