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Mini-Camp Tidbits - Day One

Football has returned to Western New York, Bills fans. CB has posted his Day One notes from the Bills' rookie mini camp, which as we all know started today. There aren't any pictures of players in their spiffy new uniforms yet; hopefully a few are posted at least by the end of camp. Regardless, here's some of the more interesting Day One developments out of One Bills Drive:

The practice began with players splitting off into specific special teams groups. Linebackers, running backs and some safeties worked with special teams coordinator Bobby April on punt formations and protection fundamentals.

Assistant coach DeMontie Cross worked on footwork with the receivers, defensive backs and players that are typically gunners or jammers on the punt teams.

This I thought was interesting - I'm not sure if the special teams emphasis out of the gate was a Levy/April production (both have huge special teams backgrounds and Jauron emphasizes the third unit heavily) or if it was a confidence-builder for the admittedly nervous group before starting work on the specific schemes that the team runs. Regardless, this is encouraging - 95% of these players are going to make this team as specialists.

Bills second-round pick Paul Posluszny was lined up at the middle linebacker position for the entire practice, and was getting quizzed a lot by linebackers coach Matt Sheldon during the walk-through instructional period. Sheldon would ask questions of other players as well, but prompted Posluszny to answer most often.

Jauron still isn't ready to commit Posluszny to the middle.

"We'll move him a little bit and he'll know more than one (position) anyway because he's very bright and very interested," Jauron said. "He may stay there through this whole minicamp and then we'll get into our OTAs in the next couple of weeks. We're just looking to get him established."

Of course he's not ready to commit to Poz as our middle linebacker. Why pigeon-hole the kid already? He's got the ability to play any linebacker position we need; I say put him where he's most effective, not where he's needed most. If he's more comfortable on the strong side, shove Crowell inside and be happy. If he acclimates well inside, that's great too. It's obvious Jauron wants Poz to play inside this season, but he's not going to force the issue.

Marshawn Lynch looked smooth catching passes out of the backfield as did fourth-round pick Dwayne Wright. Both made pass catching look natural which has to be positive sign for offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild.

This has me most excited. Willis McGahee had his moments in a Bills uniform, but the dude just wasn't cut out to be a receiver. This three-headed backfield of Lynch, A-Train and Wright that the team has assembled is decades more versatile than the stable we had last year. The results are obviously still to come, but I'm far more enthusiastic about this group than I was with McGahee at any point during his tenure here.

(WR Jemalle) Cornelius looked quick in and out of his breaks and showed good hands in the first practice. The ball is very quiet when it hits his hands. Mayle is fast as his timed speed indicates (4.38), and he made a couple of nice grabs. Quinn made a couple of good adjustments to some poorly thrown balls.

Of all the UDFA's the Bills brought in, this guy Cornelius, in my mind, has the best shot at cracking the roster. He played on a championship team at Florida, he's a smooth athlete and while he doesn't have the best numbers you'd look for in terms of freakish athletic ability, Cornelius just strikes me as a guy who will produce when he hits the gridiron. I like his chances, especially if he proves he can cover kicks and punts.

The second day of camp is sure to see a few more installations of the offensive and defensive schemes, and I'm sure the wonderful CB will keep us all informed. It's great to see the Bills starting real work, isn't it?