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OTAs - CB's Day One Notes

In case you missed it, the Bills started what is expected to be three weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) up at One Bills Drive yesterday. As usual, CB has taken notes from the practice, and here are the highlights:

Day one had almost perfect attendance by the Bills. Top draft pick Marshawn Lynch and fellow running back Dwayne Wright were in town today as their schools' final exam schedule and graduation dates came and went last week allowing them to return and participate.

The only players not in attendance were veterans Aaron Schobel, Anthony Thomas and Darwin Walker and undrafted free agent receiver Scott Mayle who is still waiting on his school (Ohio) to wrap up their exam schedule.

This was great to hear. We all know why the money-hungry Walker is missing from these practices. The absence of Schobel is a bit unexpected; perhaps he's miffed at the new deal Chris Kelsay got in the off-season and is trying to send a message there? Methinks the A-Train sees the writing on the wall in terms of his playing time - this is Lynch's backfield already, and it's likely that Dwayne Wright will steal touches from Thomas as the season wears on as well. We'll see the A-Train early, but I think he realizes (as well as the rest of us) that his time in Buffalo grows short.

On the defensive side of the ball the linebacking corps figured to see some changes with the departures of a couple of veterans. The top linebacking trio Monday featured Angelo Crowell on the strong side, second-year man John DiGiorgio in the middle and Keith Ellison on the weak side.

Paul Posluszny also lined up at the middle linebacker spot with the second unit and was flanked by Coy Wire and Mario Haggan.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the six linebackers we'll keep. The only swap will be, obviously, Posluszny to the first unit as time wears on. I really like DiGiorgio, however - I think he's a guy who flies under the radar a little bit, but he's a real good athlete and has the skills to not only hold his own but excel in this defense.

Speaking of DiGiorgio, he had a great day:

On defense John DiGiorgio had a strong first day with a pair of interceptions off Losman in 7-on-7 work. The first pick came over the middle on a pass intended for Everett. DiGiorgio leaped and reached high over his head to snare the pass and take it the other way. His second INT came a couple of series later when Donte Whitner tipped a pass intended for Shaud Williams that DiGiorgio came down with and also tried to return.

Like I said - DiGiorgio just strikes me as a playmaker. I think he is an excellent option as a backup middle linebacker, and he has great special teams promise as well. He's a guy who fits this team perfectly, and I'm glad we have him.

Dockery looked fit and trim as he and left tackle Jason Peters worked together on the left side of the line.

Melvin Fowler was back at his familiar center spot and to his right was Duke Preston, who finished the last eight games last season at right guard. He will be pushed at that spot this spring and summer, however, by the likes of Brad Butler, Aaron Merz and Jason Whittle for the starting role. Butler seems to be the early competition as he ran with the second team at right guard today.

The second offensive line unit had Terrance Pennington at left tackle, Merz at left guard, Whittle in the pivot, Butler and then Randy Hand and Kirk Chambers were platooned at right tackle throughout the practice session.

No surprises along the offensive line. Keeping Preston at RG is obviously the most questionable decision thus far, but I think he has what it takes to maintain his starting slot, even with a lot of pressure at the position. I know we paid Langston Walker a lot of money to play RT, but I still see Terrance Pennington giving him a serious push at that position. It will be interesting to see how the rest of these guys are rotated; I'm sure CB will keep us posted as we head into Day Two's practices today.