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Web Rumblings: Buffalo Bills News, 8/1

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 land veteran LB Barnett -
"He’s more of an inside linebacker, good coverage guy," said Gailey. "He has called a defense before. He’s played a couple of spots in there, and hasn’t just played one. He gives you some versatility and some coverage ability."

Practice Notes - Day 2 -
"Probably for a few days you won’t see significant improvement," he said. "There was improvement, but you won’t see it because we’re putting stuff in everyday. Actually, we put four days worth of installation in two days because we’re trying to get our base in. We’ll start to really slow it down here in the next few days and let it all catch back up. We felt like we had enough people returning that we could go a little bit faster these first couple of days and back off as time goes on."

Bills Roundup: Sunday Night Highlights -
"Check out all of the highlights from the first night practice of training camp, plus hear from the newest Bills linebacker Nick Barnett, and get injury updates from head coach Chan Gailey."

Nick Barnett Signs
Bills Focus: Nick Barnett 1-on-1 -
"Chris Brown talks with the newest Bills linebacker about signing with Buffalo, getting to play next to Shawne Merriman, and providing veteran leadership to the young players. "

Barnett becomes newest Bills 'backer - The Buffalo News
"I felt like I was out of work forever," Barnett said. "They called me up for a visit and I was skeptical because I had been here before but I have a buddy here, Dwan Edwards, who told me it was a pretty good place. The coaching staff is great, the players are great and everyone seems like a family here."

Inside The Bills | Shep all for adding Barnett
"Watching the way he produced with the Packers and for him to actually come up to me and say ‘what’s up Sheppard’ and things like that, that’s exciting," said Sheppard. "If he is an addition to our team, I think it will be great. How could you not want a guy like that on your team?"

Inside The Bills | Here’s Barnett signing
"Nick Barnett is officially a Buffalo Bill after signing his contract at training camp once it was delivered from One Bills Drive in Orchard Park, just before the team’s night practice. "

Inside The Bills | Barnett ready to tutor rooks
"Anything you can provide young guys growing up in this game is experience and giving them wisdom," Barnett told "Youth is no excuse, that’s what we’d say over in Green Bay we were a young team there. I think it’s better sometimes to have that young team their eyes are wide open and they’re ready to play, ready to go, so I look forward to getting those guys out there and start hitting people."

Inside The Bills | Merriman a help with Barnett
"Knowing he’ll be looking to his right and seeing Merriman there was a good selling point to convince Barnett that Buffalo was a good landing spot for him."

Inside The Bills | Nix tried to draft Barnett
"After Sunday night’s practice Nix revealed how while working as the Assistant GM in San Diego back in 2003 the Chargers had Nick Barnett on their radar at the bottom of round 1 in the 2033 NFL draft."

Inside The Bills | Where Barnett will help most
"Pass coverage by Buffalo’s linebackers last season was touch and go at times. Barnett was widely considered one of the better coverage linebackers in free agency and will bring instant improvement to that part of Buffalo’s defensive game."

Buffalo Bills sign veteran linebacker Nick Barnett | Democrat and Chronicle
"To be honest, I haven't given Poz much thought since he left," general manager Buddy Nix said Sunday after the Bills concluded their first night practice of the summer in front of a big crowd at St. John Fisher College. "Don't look back, they might be gaining on you, so we won't do that."

Barnett Signing A Sound Decision For Bills - WGR 550
"After the Buffalo Bills lost out on the Paul Posluszny sweepstakes, fans have been quite vocal about the need for an inside linebacker to fill the void. Just in the Nick of time (Oh come on, I just had to), the Bills come to terms with former Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett on a three-year, $12 million deal. This signing makes almost too much sense, and is just what the Bills need."

Bills Barnett Elated To Be Here - WGR 550
Barnett was supposed to leave the Bills and visit the Lions, but after a day at St. John Fisher, he cancelled his Detroit visit, "I like where this team is headed. There is a lot of potential on this defense. There are a lot of good players. The schematics are very similar to what we did in Green Bay. I think it was a perfect fit for me."

Nix tackles free agency with caution - The Buffalo News
"Teams as far away as the Bills best tread carefully in free agency. Jacksonville's crowing that it has markedly upgraded its defense by signing a trio of linebackers, one of whom (Paul Posluszny) was generally regarded as no better than average during his time with the Bills. Was that $45 million -- $45 million! -- well-spent or wishful? Aren't the Bills better off with Nick Barnett, Sunday's signing, at $12 million over three?"

More Training Camp Links
Inside The Bills | Shep suffers muscle pull

"It was about a third of the way through practice and Kelvin Sheppard was covering a running back in 1-on-1s when he reached for his left hamstring. He did not return to practice after that. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update after the Sunday night practice."

Inside The Bills | Easley has hyperextension
"That knee is bothering him," said Gailey. "It was just one of those things. He hyperextended it, you could see it on the film, plain as day. It could’ve happened to anybody."

Kelvin Sheppard talks about joining the team -
"Buffalo's rookie LB talks with the media about signing his contract , getting out on the field, and his expectations for his rookie season."

Chan Gailey Meets the Media -
"The Bills head coach talks about the rust at practice, the signing of linebacker Nick Barnett, and the injuries to the top three draft picks."

Sheppard under Davis' wing - The Buffalo News
Rookie linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, who practiced with the team for the first time on Sunday but didn't finish after suffering a hamstring injury, is in competition with veterans like Andra Davis and Reggie Torbor for the starting job at inside linebacker in the Bills' 3-4 defense. But Davis, Sheppard said, also has taken him under his wing.

Thigpen thrilled to reunite with Gailey - The Buffalo News
"Soon after the NFL lockout was lifted, one of the first persons quarterback Tyler Thigpen spoke with was Bills coach Chan Gailey. Thigpen's relationship with Gailey -- which goes back to their days with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 -- is one of the main reasons why the free agent quarterback signed with Buffalo."

Bills camp, July 31, 2011 | Rochester Buffalo Bills Photo | Democrat and Chronicle
Photos from Sunday's practices.

Notes From Bills Practice - July 31, 2011 - WGR 550
Joe Buscaglia is impressed with Aaron Williams, Marcells Dareus, and Shawne Merriman. Chris Hairston and Levi Bron didn't have a great day. See why here.

Batten, Easley return to field after losing rookie years to injuries - MPNnow
Both were understandably frustrated after losing their rookie seasons to injuries.

Gleason: Brad Smith deserved better offer from Jets |
"I'm not saying the Jets should have backed up the Brinks truck, but they sure owed Brad Smith a better offer than the one they gave him, which was nothing."

The New-Look Buffalo Bills Defense - Man Meets Football
"The Bills defense has a long way to go, but there is no question that the moves made this offseason are significant steps in the right direction. Remember, these four changes are simply the changes that have happened so far. There is certainly time for further changes to occur throughout training camp and the season."

Bills coach Chan Gailey hopes bigger means better - Yahoo! Sports
John Wawrow of the Associated Press breaks down the size increase on the roster from last year to this year.