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10 Takeaways From Buffalo Bills Training Camp So Far

10 Takeaways From Buffalo Bills Training Camp So Far

Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Due to their participation in this year’s Hall of Fame Game, the Buffalo Bills have had a longer training camp than any other team in the NFL. As they prepare for their next preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, here are 10 takeaways from Bills camp so far.

10. Jeff Tuel is the Probable Backup QB

Jeff Tuel Buffalo Bills
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

10. Jeff Tuel is the Probable Backup QB

Jeff Tuel Buffalo Bills
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With E.J. Manuel entrenched as the starter and Thad Lewis performing fairly well in spot duty last year, there wasn’t supposed to be much debate about the Bills’ QB situation. But Lewis has struggled mightily in training camp and Tuel looked good in the team’s first preseason game. It now looks like Tuel has the inside track on the Bills’ backup QB job.

9. The Bills Have a Very Good Rookie Class

Preston Brown Buffalo Bills Rookie Minicamp
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9. The Bills Have a Very Good Rookie Class

Preston Brown Buffalo Bills Rookie Minicamp
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Everybody knows about Sammy Watkins and with good reason. But the rest of the Bills’ 2014 draft class could each make a significant impact this year. Cyrus Kouandjio is raw, but very talented. Preston Brown will likely start the opener in lieu of Nigel Bradham’s one-game suspension. And even seventh-rounder Seantrel Henderson has looked very good filling in for the injured Cordy Glenn.

8. The Offensive Line Has Some Issues

Cordy Glenn Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

8. The Offensive Line Has Some Issues

Cordy Glenn Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

There aren’t too many major concerns on the Bills’ roster, but the offensive line is one of them. Eric Wood is the anchor at center and one of the best around. But with Cordy Glenn injured and the other spots seemingly up for grabs, the Bills have a lot of work to do in the trenches if they are to make the jump in 2014.

7. Injuries Are Already Taking Their Toll

Kiko Alonso Buffalo Bills v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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7. Injuries Are Already Taking Their Toll

Kiko Alonso Buffalo Bills v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Even before training camp, the injury bug hit the Bills big time when rookie sensation Kiko Alonso was lost for the season to a torn ACL. Other injuries have kept several key names out of much of training camp, including Cordy Glenn, Scott Chandler and Leodis McKelvin. The Bills need to be healthier than they were last year if they hope to make a playoff run.

6. Fred Jackson is Far From Done

Fred Jackson Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars
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6. Fred Jackson is Far From Done

Fred Jackson Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars
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As the oldest running back currently playing in the NFL, you might think Fred Jackson didn’t have much in the tank. The Bills clearly thought otherwise as they signed the veteran to an extension this offseason, ensuring that he will stay in Buffalo for at least a couple more seasons. Jackson has been the Bills’ most consistent player for the last few seasons, and that doesn’t figure to change.

5. There Won't Be Much Regression on Defense

Jim Schwartz Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

5. There Won't Be Much Regression on Defense

Jim Schwartz Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Even though former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has left for Cleveland, the Bills’ defense shouldn’t see much of a drop-off under new coordinator Jim Schwartz. The Bills still have one of the best defensive lines in the league, they brought in veteran linebackers Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers and they are extremely deep at cornerback. Even with no Jairus Byrd or Kiko Alonso, expect Buffalo’s defense to be stingy once again.

4. Bills Fans Don't Like Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi Buffalo Bills
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. Bills Fans Don't Like Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi Buffalo Bills
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Usually when you think of the most hated person by Bills fans, you think of Tom Brady, Bill Belicheck or someone from the Dolphins. But for 2014, Jon Bon Jovi is the least welcome person in Buffalo. The rumors that Bon Jovi’s Toronto-based group plans to move the team to Canada should they purchase the team has led to a firestorm of anger towards anything and everything Bon Jovi.

3. Sammy Watkins is Really Good

Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills Rookie Minicamp
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3. Sammy Watkins is Really Good

Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills Rookie Minicamp
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Going into the 2014 NFL Draft, Watkins was considered one of the elite talents and draft class, and the Bills stunned the league by trading up to select the young phenomenon. Watkins has not disappointed so far, as he has arguably been one of the Bills’ best players through training camp. Even though he was kept quiet in the team’s preseason opener, expect Watkins to have a big rookie season.

2. Terry Pegula is the Front-Runner to be the Next Owner

Terry Pegula Winnipeg Jets at Buffalo Sabres
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

2. Terry Pegula is the Front-Runner to be the Next Owner

Terry Pegula Winnipeg Jets at Buffalo Sabres
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

While Jon Bon Jovi and Donald Trump are the bigger names when it comes to potential owners of the Buffalo Bills, it is Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula who has emerged as the front-runner. Already a strong, positive presence in Western New York, Pegula reportedly had the largest opening bid for the team and looks like he could soon be the boss of both of Buffalo’s professional sports teams.

1. The Bills Are Ready to Make a Playoff Run

Doug Marrone Buffalo Bills-Minicamp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Bills Are Ready to Make a Playoff Run

Doug Marrone Buffalo Bills-Minicamp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Bills went 6-10 last season, they often looked much better than their record would indicate. They have lost several key players, but also added some key ones as well. They have an abundance of playmakers on offense and a very stout defense. If quarterback E.J. Manuel can show he is a legitimate NFL starter, the Bills could surprise a lot of people in 2014.