Predicting the Biggest Training Camp Battles
[picappgallerysingle id="6473082"]As we had expected, the biggest position battle, and frankly the biggest question mark, has revolved around the Quarterback position. Now that we are officially aware of Trent Edwards winning the starting job, lets discuss some of the other position battles taking place.
Below I will list the battles in the order of importance as determined by me:
1) Number two wide reciever-Its simple, any team with one major wide reciever will fail to be a prolific scoring attack. When you think about any potentent offense, most of the time the wide reciever corps includes a superstar wideout and a great supporting cast. In the “number two” wide reciever, Coach Chan Gailey will search for someone who is a threat both vertically and down the field. Through my time at camp, I feel like a few guys have put themselves ahead for this position, including both James Hardy and Steve Johnson. Johnson has great breakout speed and really looks to be a threat down field. He also possesses the ability to make extremely athletic plays such as the leaping one handed catch he made during a seven on seven drill from Fitzpatrick. Hardy’s greatest asset is obvious: height. Standing at a towering 6’5″, Hardy is big enough to be very physical but quick enough to be a difficult assignment. Also sneaking into this battle is Bills’ veteran Roscoe Parrish, who has spent most of his time as an extra reciever and a kick returner.
Prediction: I think Hardy will be the number two reciever for the Bills because of his size and physical abilities. I think Johnson or Parrish could challenege him for this but they are both better suited in the slot. Due to their abilites, I fully believe that either could be the third or fourth wide reciever.
2) Running Back- With the addition of multiple running backs, the Bills have an issue on their hands that is frequently a good one to have. Unfortuantely for the multiple talented backs, some may not make the active roster and end up on a different team. Obviously Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch and CJ Spiller are locks to be spliting time in the back field in 2010. I would however, petition the Bills to keep one more running back on their staff, by the name of Joique Bell. Bell has impressed multiple contacts that I have spoke with including some Bills’ insiders. From the first day of camp, Bell has come fully dressed and prepared, ready to win a roster spot. The former NCAA Divison II player has already earned a name for being very physical for his size and has done nothing but impress with his hard-nosed, downhill style of running. If the season started today and Chan Gailey contacted my about who to keep, I would ask him to trade Lynch and keep Bell based on what I have both seen and heard about him from Camp.
Prediction: I believe this will be a rare year where the Bills keep four running backs on their active roster. Because Buffalo is a cold weather city, their is no such thing as too many running backs and the Bills will embody that this year. If I had to pick one player to leave of the the four, I would pick Lynch because of his lack of effort at times in the past. Lynch has been fanastic at camp though and because of this, I believe he will still be a Buffalo Bill through 2010.
3) Backup Quarterback-Not a glamorous job, but someone wants to do it. I think this is an intriguing battle, but one that will be easily determined. As I have closely studied the foot work, release times, intelligence, decision making abilities, and attributes that make for a good quarterback, I feel that Brian Brohm is the best choice for 2nd string. Fitzpatrick has obvious, but raw talent. He loves to throw the deep ball and can do so in a decently accurate fashion. However, Fitz doesn’t always make good decisions. This was obvious during a 7 on 7 drill at thursday’s camp when he forced a sideline out route throw into an area where there were four defenders, leading to the easy interception. As far as Levi Brown goes, I think he will be good in the future but he needs work around the edges before he will be a good backup quarterback.
Prediction: The job will go to Fitzpatrick because of his experience in the NFL, something that Brohm lacks. Although I don’t think this will be permanent, I think Fitz wins the job just based on his knowledge of real game situations. I do believe however that by the end of the season, Brohm will be the number two quarterback.
Keep your eyes glued to the Bills Chronicle for more camp updates soon!