2014 Training Camp Report: It Begins
The Buffalo Bills kick off the 2014 NFL training camp season and Jeff Mans reports on all the first day happenings
Welcome to the 2014 NFL Training Camp Report!! Loyal readers of Fantasy Alarm know that every summer I like to keep a finger on the pulse of NFL training camps. I am so excited this year as for the first time I will have a lot of help. The Fantasy Alarm news department who are always on top of every breaking and developing story will be aiding the cause of keeping our readers informed.
This blog will be updated randomly throughout the day so be sure to check back on the regular and bookmark it into your favorites.
Bills Are Cherry Popin’
Unless you live in upstate New York or perhaps Canada, you probably didn’t even realize that the Buffalo Bills reported to training camp on Friday. The Bills are reporting early because they are playing in the Hall Of Fame Game against the New York Giants on August 3rd. The teams that play in that game each year get to begin training camp early. Yet, the Giants are not set to report until Monday.
Since the Bills are already in camp and ran their first practice this afternoon, let’s take a look at some of the biggest story lines for them heading into 2014.
Kiko A No-Go
Training camp hadn’t even started when the Bills received bad news on July 1st. MLB Kiko Alonso, who amassed 156 tackles in his rookie campaign in 2013 tore his ACL while working out and will miss the entire 2014 season. This is obviously a huge loss to a team that was going to be relying heavily on their defense this season. The loss of Alonso creates a competition at the starting LB spot between Keith Rivers, Ty Powell and third round pick Preston Brown. For IDP leagues I am most interested in Brown, who is a sure tackling kid out of Louisville who could wind up being the leading tackler on the Bills this year.
It’s Always AIDS
I know that I am a bad person. Actually, scratch that. I am NOT a bad person. Most of you are just to goddamn sensitive. Every time I make a joke or reference something that is not politically correct, the hate mail flows in. Well piss up a rope if you don’t like it.
Back to the story at hand. The Bills are giving out no details whatsoever on the mystery illness that LT Cordy Glenn is suffering from. Whenever a team talks outwardly about a players illness, yet won’t provide any details I just assume that it is AIDS. I do this because it is obviously silly to assume somebody has AIDS but it’s even more ridiculous to talk to the media about somebody’s illness but play some kind of oppsy daisy can’t tell you what it is sort of game. Either say it is a “personal matter” and that is it or tell us what is going on.
Either way the loss of Cordy Glenn would be devastating for the Bills. Glenn graded out as the 11th best LT in football last year and his immensely important to protecting E.J. Manuel. I am sure we will learn more about Glenn’s condition in the coming days and weeks and I really do hope that it is nothing serious that he is dealing with. Still, for now…I am calling it AIDS.
For us fantasy nerds there are two very interesting position battles taking place during Bills camp this summer. The first is at the RB position where there are legitimately four players battling for two spots as active ball carriers. Last week I wrote that despite the frustrations you should be drafting C.J. Spiller this season. His upside is just too high compared to other RB’s that have similar ADP. I don’t see Anthony Dixon being anything more than a possible special teams player and injury replacement but Bryce Brown could legitimately challenge both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.
The other battle that interests me is for the WR2 spot. The Bills signed Mike Williams away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason and drafted Sammy Watkins in the first round. There is no question that Watkins is locked into the “X” position but who gets the most snaps at “Y” will be interesting. My money is on second year guy Robert Woods who has many sleeper qualities. E.J. Manuel absolutely loved him last year and I have heard that the two get along well off the field as well. Woods could be a 70-80 reception guy in 2014 if Manuel can stay healthy.
Let me just say that I hope this is the most I ever write about the Buffalo Bills in one of these training camp reports. Though this team has a lot of talent that intrigues me, I just really dislike their coaching staff. Doug Marrone has no idea what he wants to do or what type of system he wants to run. He appears to me to be a guy who is trying to copy several different styles and blend them as his own. This doesn’t work at the NFL level and he is really harming the careers of guys like C.J. Spiller, E.J. Manuel and very soon Sammy Watkins.
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