The Bills are eleven days into training camp, and there have been big plays, bad plays and untimely injuries. But we all know that, so let's talk about what's important - who's helping themselves and who's hurting themselves. Here's six players who are either climbing, steadfastly holding or dropping on the depth chart:
Bull Market Bills
LB Keith Ellison: Once considered the "weakest link" of a potentially strong linebacking unit, Ellison has been the defense's biggest playmaker thus far in camp. He is using his intelligence and good coverage skills to pick off passes left and right. The weak side position in the Cover-2 defense is important from a playmaking perspective; it's looking like Ellison is on top of that department thus far. I'm expecting a pretty stellar season from this kid.
DT Kyle Williams: You'll be hard-pressed to find a harder worker on the entirety of the Bills roster. He's a lot quicker and more athletic than his fifth-round pedigree would indicate, and his motor makes him tough to block for extended periods of time. There is only one D-Tackle on the roster who has nailed down a starting job for 2007, and it's Kyle Williams. This kid could be a solid, blue-collar starter here for a very long time.
Static Market Bills
QB J.P. Losman: There has been some progress for our young and talented quarterback. He seems to be a lot more comfortable as the leader of this team, and he's still completing bomb after bomb to our quick receivers. But he's throwing a few picks as well - when you consider everything, he's probably about where he should be. He's going to have a good season, but just how good remains to be seen. His success depends on his head, not his arm.
CB Terrence McGee: There has been a ton of turnover at cornerback, but the mainstay has been Terrence McGee. His play has been so-so in camp - he's playing good coverage and getting his hands on a few passes, but the unit as a whole is giving up big plays and McGee is at the crux of it. It's obvious that McGee will be starting at cornerback from day one, but his play hasn't been much better than it was at the end of last season. Steady, but unspectacular.
Bear Market Bills
CB Ashton Youboty: If there's one player who has really, truly disappointed me through camp it's Ashton Youboty. When Jason Webster was healthy, Youboty was getting reps with the second unit defense on a rotational basis. Now, with Webster sidelined with a nagging injury, Youboty is losing reps to Jabari Greer, a player he clearly outstrips in talent. I know that Ashton is green, but he's getting outplayed by inferior players. This kid has a long way to go before he sees the field consistently.
RB Dwayne Wright: In April, after the Bills drafted Marshawn Lynch and Dwayne Wright within the first four rounds, Bills fans had visions of a "Thunder and Lightning" backfield combination to wreak havoc on opponents. Well, Wright hasn't been holding up his end of the bargain. The kid runs hard and he's tough as nails, but he's losing a lot of fumbles. For the time being, "Thunder" will be Anthony Thomas. At least until Wright can learn to better protect the football.
The Bills have a practice this evening at 7PM.