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Web Rumblings: Buffalo Bills News, 7/31

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Bills Roundup: First Training Camp Practice -
"Check out the highlights from the first training camp practice at St. John Fisher and hear from Tyler Thigpen, Eric Wood, Brad Smith, and Aaron Williams."

A stronger Wood gets a leg up - The Buffalo News
"I'm just excited to be healthy," Wood said on the first day of Buffalo Bills practice Saturday. "That's my main thing now. Guard or center, just to get back out here and actually feel like myself is pretty good."

Free agent LB Barnett visits Bills -
"Barnett has some familiarity with Buffalo’s coaching staff. Outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders served as his defensive coordinator in Green Bay from 2006-2008. He was also a former college teammate of Bills defensive lineman Dwan Edwards at Oregon State."

Training Camp News
Wood ready to go at center -

"I’m just looking forward to it," he said. "I like having the opportunity to play center. Me and Geoff (Hangartner) are going to work hard. The best five guys are going to play. That pretty much happens every year, so we’re all going to come out and compete and trust that the coaches will put the right people in the right spots."

Practice Notes - Day 1 -
Chris Brown recaps day 1 of Bills training camp.

Training Camp Day 2 -
Photos from the first open Bills practice.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Press Conference -
"Buffalo's QB talks about hitting the practice field for the first time at training camp and what difference he saw in the players on the field."

Chan Gailey Press Conference -
"Buffalo's Head Coach tells you what he thought of the first practice and how he'll handle reps early in camp."

Bills notebook: Players vote to recertify - The Buffalo News
"Buffalo Bills players conducted some union business Friday night when they unanimously voted to recertify their union."

Buffalo Bills' Shawne Merriman battles back | Democrat and Chronicle
"Merriman is healthy again and the Bills are counting on him to upgrade their pass defense. From his spot on the right side, they expect him to find a way past some of the best left tackles in the league and get to the quarterback."

Buffalo Bills first practice day 'ragged,' as expected | Democrat and Chronicle
"You don't expect to hear a perfectly performed Beethoven's 5th at the first day of rehearsal for a symphony orchestra. Thus, Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey didn't expect to see greatness on Saturday at the first practice of training camp."

Buffalo Bills fans elated team's back | Democrat and Chronicle
"I was walking in and (Bills safety) George Wilson stopped to take a picture and sign my tattoo," said Conaway, a Lyons resident who sports ink of the team logo that says "Die Hard Bills Fan" on his calf and painted his face red, white and blue. "He was really cool with everybody standing there. It's a nice start to camp in the first five minutes we were here."

Inside The Bills | Merriman’s goal
"There are a lot of guys who haven’t done anything in six or seven months. It’s a level playing field. I have been out of the game a little while and I’m trying to get back on the same page."

Inside The Bills | Williams size evident on field
"I think my size is an advantage," he said. "Two-hundred-three pounds is a pretty good weight. I feel I should be in the 198-200 area. I felt I did well playing at 203, but I could lose some pounds. My size definitely helps me out against the big receivers and playing against the run."

Bills Finally Hit The Field For Practice - WGR 550
As far as Chan Gailey he said, "There were some things I thought were better. I thought our run fit defensively was ahead of the first practice last year even without OTAs and minicamp. Guys understood where to go. I thought our timing in the passing game, especially on the deep balls was not where it needed to be. We've got a long way to go there. Other than that, it was probably a typical ragged first practice."

Training camp billboard - The Buffalo News
"Top 10 list: Wide receiver David Nelson Tweeted 10 insightful things he learned during training camp as a rookie last season. Here’s the list."

More Bills Links
Bills apparently jump into the Nick Barnett derby | ProFootballTalk

"The Bills need an inside linebacker, given the decision of Paul Posluszny to sign with the Jaguars. For those inclined to make educated guesses, the Bills also could pursue Channing Crowder, given that defensive coordinator George Edwards previously served as an assistant in Miami."

Inside The Bills | Thigpen’s developers
"When I got to Miami, QB coach David Lee did a really good job of helping me understand the game. I give a lot of credit to Pennington and Henne, too. Those guys helped me out a lot."

Bills making right moves to erase decade of blunders - The Buffalo News
"Never has Bills' news arrived in such a jam-packed bundle. It's a challenge to digest it all in one gulp as the lockout became unlocked. It is impossible to erase a decade's worth of fumbles in one sweep so the Bills wisely concentrated on defense for its fix-it-up season. That all started with the college draft but the last few days may have allowed management to make a semi-quantum leap toward improving the product/"

Dareus set to carry big load - The Buffalo News
Bob DiCesare profiles Marcell Dareus and the sequence of events that led to Buffalo's selection of the DE.

Brad Smith Meets the Media -
"The Bills newest quarterback/wide receiver talks about how he can help the team, what convinced him to sign with Buffalo, and the challenge of learning several positions."

QB Smith will be more than that for Bills -
"It is an advantage with a guy like Brad Smith," said Gailey. "He can come in and out. He can go in and play, and come out. You don’t have to re-designate someone else. In my opinion, it is good for teams to have a guy like that."

Draft class is complete as Sheppard signs -
"It took a little longer than expected, but Bills third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard signed his rookie contract early Saturday evening at One Bills Drive and was headed to training camp shortly thereafter. Sheppard was the emotional leader of the LSU defense in college and was the team’s leading tackler each of his last two seasons with the Tigers."