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Battle Lines Being Drawn At Bills Training Camp

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Day one of 2010 Buffalo Bills training camp is in the books, and many of the major positional battles have been addressed repeatedly since yesterday's practice came to a close. Trent Edwards is the top dog in the QB pecking order for the time being, though it's still an open competition. Same goes for Steve Johnson with the second receiver role. Those are perhaps the two most open competitions on the roster, but there are more closely contested battles elsewhere that should be receiving a lot of attention as well. Three stick out to me in particular.

Reserve Offensive Line
Demetrius Bell was first through the rotation at left tackle during walk-through, but Jamon Meredith took those reps during team work, as Bell is still not quite 100% recovered from last year's knee injury. While Bell was in, Meredith got reps on the right side with the second team (opposite Ed Wang). For the immediate future, that's how the tackle situation should play out; far more interesting at the moment, however, is what's happening with the rest of the second unit offensive line.

Buffalo has very little in the way of proven depth on the interior offensive line, with only Kirk Chambers - currently the second-team right guard - having considerable NFL experience. It's therefore worth noting (as reported by BuffaloBills.com) that the second-team left guard, undrafted rookie free agent Cordaro Howard, and center, undrafted rookie free agent Sean Allen, started camp out with the same leg up that Edwards, Johnson and others got. Other reserves, such as seventh-round pick Kyle Calloway, veteran Christian Gaddis, and converted tackles Jason Watkins and Andre Ramsey apparently have an uphill climb.

Weak-Side OLB: Torbor v. Maybin
Second-year pro Aaron Maybin ran with the ones in the very early portions of the walk-through, according to our own MattRichWarren, but BuffaloBills.com reports that Reggie Torbor got most of the significant first-team reps during team work, with Maybin sprinkled in occasionally. Most fans expected Maybin, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, to be a shoo-in as a starter, but the more 3-4 savvy Torbor appears set to give Maybin stiff competition for the starting role.

That is, of course, unless Aaron Schobel decides he'd like to play in 2010, in which case both Torbor and Maybin would become rotational players, likely giving way for Schobel - the only proven pass-rusher the team employs - to quickly re-claim the starting role he'd been penciled in for on the weak side.

Starting CB: Florence v. McKelvin
Most outlets expected third-year pro Leodis McKelvin to re-claim his starting corner role opposite Terrence McGee, but he'll have to beat out veteran Drayton Florence for that gig. Both players saw significant reps with the first-team defense on Thursday, but Florence lined up opposite McGee when the team only had two corners on the field. In nickel sets, McKelvin took the field on the outside, allowing Florence to slide into the nickel role the team signed him to play last March.

You're all aware that Buffalo is particularly deep in the defensive backfield, and this is one benefit - the team is likely to play both of these players so frequently that naming a "starter" really might be a moot point. Still, Chan Gailey wants competition to exist to get the best out of his players, and it'll be interesting to see these two solid players jockey for playing time during the course of training camp. McKelvin, for the record, already has one interception under his belt.

The Bills have two practices today, but only one - the team's first night practice, which starts at 7PM - is open to the public. I'll be there tweeting updates, so if you're not following me on Twitter, now's the time to do so - particularly if you can't attend tonight's practice.