1. In a true red white and blue moment, the NFL lockout comes to an end on the Thursday prior to July 4th weekend. Bills players report to St. John Fisher mid-July on schedule with Fitzy's beard abloom.
2. Competition at camp is heated with the Bills linebacking corps commanding the lion's share of the fans' attention. Effective rookie Danny Batten and fellow draft class member, 2010 comer Arthur Moats set the tone for positional battles at outside 'backer. As camp comes to a close, Shawne Merriman is skating on thin ice, overshadowed by Batten and Moats and lacking the requisite veteran leadership skills to compensate for his underperformance.
3. The Bills scoop up undrafted rookie free agent QB Pat Devlin out of Delaware. By the end of camp, Brohm is gone, Levi Brown is a third stringer and Devlin becomes the apple of the Bills coaching staff's eye as an unexpected heir apparent to "The Amish Rifle."
4. Leslie Michael Jasper reports to camp a spry 366 pounds and refuses to be outworked. He makes the 53 man roster and sees playing time as a rookie. He is more frequently, (if sparingly), utilized at left guard than at nose tackle. Fans coin the term "Strong Shadow" to describe the Bills' goal line formation featuring LMJ rotating in for Levitre at LG with 2 options in McIntyre and Spiller lined up in an I behind Eric Wood at center. In 12 snaps using the formation, the Bills see 10 TDs and LMJ records 6 pancakes.
5. David Nelson impresses early in situational action and, in week 3 at home against New England, relieves an injured Lee Evans to go for 128 yards including a diving 65 yard touchdown grab with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter. The Bills go on to win the game with Nelson receiving game MVP honors. Evans recovers from his high ankle sprain within 3 weeks by which time Nelson has solidified himself as a starter, supplanting the 8th year veteran out of Wisconsin. The Bills have their first WR pro bowler since Eric moulds and it's not Stevie Johnson.
6. Bill Belichick is caught on a reporter's voice recorder making profane and disparaging comments against Bills aging Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson Jr. after the Patriots' week 3 loss. Belichick is forced to deliver a characteristically uninspired apology to the media which he reads from a crumpled piece of paper in monotone. Ralph graciously accepts the half assed apology in a publicly issued written statement, lauding the Patriots organization while misspelling Belichick's name in a move Buffalo fans attribute to their patriarch's keen wit.
7. Freddy Jackson shows the best stuff of his career, chalking up 1201 rushing yards. CJ Spiller adds 723 rushing yards in his sophomore coming out party as Buffalo becomes the most feared rushing attack in the AFC East, taking the claim from Miami.
8. Buffalo Bills fans are heralded by ESPN as the most loyal fan base in America. "The network" produces what turns out to be a critically acclaimed documentary that features multiple interviews with Buffalo Rumblings Editor, Brian Galliford.
9. Punter Brian Moorman returns to pro bowl form, joining teammates David Nelson and Kyle Williams in Hawaii after averaging a 43.8 yard net punting average and a whopping 45 punts inside the 20.
10. The Bills finish the 2011 season 9-6-1, shocking a loyal but pessimistic Buffalo fan base, but fail to make the playoffs as a wild card beneath the 14-2 Patriots in the AFC East. The tie comes in 6 point total at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Jets in early November. Rex Ryan has an outburst in the post game press conference that rivals Jim Mora's "Playoffs?!" moment.