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Web Rumblings: Buffalo Bills News, 4/24

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 01:  Outside linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans hits the tackling dummy during practice on the first day of training camp at Reliant Park on August 1, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 01: Outside linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans hits the tackling dummy during practice on the first day of training camp at Reliant Park on August 1, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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 upbeat in reporting for voluntary workouts -
"Defensive end Mario Williams was happy to finally begin putting faces to the names of his new Buffalo Bills teammates. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had no complaints trading in his golf clubs and 100-degree temperatures back home in Arizona for a 30-degree day in Buffalo. And Shawne Merriman was so upbeat over reporting for the first day of the Bills' voluntary conditioning program Monday that not even a freak snowstorm could put a chill into his mood."

OL Urbik, Rinehart re-sign -
"Two of Buffalo’s interior offensive linemen will be lining up for the Bills in 2012. Restricted free agents Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart signed their qualifying tender offers Monday ensuring they’ll play for the club this coming season."

Bills Roundup: Players Return for Workouts -
"Bills players returned to Orchard Park on Monday for voluntary workouts at One Bills Drive, Fred Jackson talks about his contract situation, and Coordinator of College Scouting Doug Majeski talks about wide receiver Michael Floyd."

Mario Williams Press Conference -
"The Bills defensive end talks about meeting his new teammates at the offseason workouts and his excitement about getting on the field with his new team."

Ryan Fitzpatrick Press Conference -
"The Bills QB talks about being back with the team for offseason workouts, and his expectations for the 2012 season."

Fred Jackson Press Conference -
"The Bills running back talks about getting back to work, his contract situation, and the new additions to the defense."

All signs positive for Merriman -
"Now I get a chance to have a full offseason. I had all kinds of restrictions and limitations with things I couldn’t do last year because of my Achilles," said Merriman in reference to his very curtailed workload in training camp last summer. "Now it’s a different scenario. Now by the time May comes around and runs into June I’ll be at full stride and be able to do everything and work out with my teammates. Starting today and going all the way up to the season it’s a completely different story than I’ve had the past three years."

Shawne Merriman Press Conference -
The Buffalo Bills pass rusher talks about his health and the new additions to the team's defense.

Individual game ticket sale dates announced -
"The Buffalo Bills today announced that individual game tickets are scheduled to go on-sale to the general public Tuesday, July 10."

Inside The Bills | Fitz on Bills pick at 10
"We’re players. I know we’re going to get a good guy at number 10," he said. "I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I know it’s going to be somebody that’s going to come in and play right away and hopefully be a big contributor. That’s what we’re looking forward to."

Inside The Bills | Fred update
"It’s just not the time," said Jackson when asked if there was progress on a contract extension. "This week they have the draft coming up. That’s what they’re focusing on. I’ll just continue to be patient and see what happens. It’s like I’ve said all along, I think something will get done. Buddy said that they want to get something done, so I’ll just continue to put faith in that."

Inside The Bills | No set timetable for Merriman
"Not really, it is all about how I feel like I said I will be working out every day and capable of doing everything. Coming off anything you don’t want to push yourself to the point where you back track at all," he said. "That is going to be up to the trainers, as long as I can go out and function and do everything that the team is doing I will be happy."

Inside The Bills | Fitz developing a drawl
"I don’t have any sort of accent," said the Arizona native. "Being around Buddy (Nix) and Chan (Gailey) and now Coach Lee… they’re all so southern. And Tyler (Thigpen) even I just find myself slipping into a drawl every now and then. I’m telling you it happens. I’ll say some phrase that I’ve never said before."

Inside The Bills | Online chat with Buddy Nix
"Nix will be answering fans questions beginning at 12 noon Tuesday. Here’s where you can get in on the chat to submit a question. So have those draft queries ready."

Inside The Bills | Mario clear on Bills goals
"We know what we have in front of us," said Williams. "We know what we need to do to get the job done and get to work. I don’t care if you’re a first-day guy or a guy who’s been here since Day One, there’s things that can change around here and that’s definitely what we’re going after. So this first week means a lot to everybody."

Inside The Bills | Bills scout on Kuechly
"He’s played weak and inside middle linebacker at BC and he’s also played all three spots in games over his career at BC," said Majeski. "Mentally, obviously, he’s very sharp and would be able to handle it. Athletically he can handle a lot of the attributes of each position and he’s probably best as a ‘mike’ LB, but he gives you flexibility to play the middle or outside."

Inside The Bills | Offseason roster limit increased
"Per Aiello NFL clubs gave the Management Council’s Executive Committee authorization to expand the offseason roster limit to 90 players. That committee agreed on that decision and the roster cutdown format Monday."

Fred not focused on new deal - The Buffalo News
"I'm just going to continue to show up, be with my teammates and play football. That’s what I do. This is just part of that process, showing up and trying to get ready for the 2012 season," he said.

Attendance high as Bills get back to work (with audio) - The Buffalo News
"Attendance was strong, with wide receiver Stevie Johnson one of the few known absences. (Johnson's wife just gave birth to their third child last week.)"

Bills finally meet the new guy in town - The Buffalo News
"I was in Costa Rica for a wedding, and there was only Internet access in the lobby. So the three-day ordeal that it was, every 20 minutes I was walking down to the lobby looking at my phone, looking at my phone," Fitzpatrick said Monday. "When it finally happened, obviously I was pretty excited about it. I got a lot of calls and texts. I'm really glad he's here."

WGR 550 - Bills' Scout Session #1
"On Monday, Doug Majeski (Midwest to East Coast), Brad Forsyth (Rocky Mountain and West Coast) and Shawn Heinlen (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas) spoke with reporters previewing some players from their respective areas. Here is the audio regarding each player talked about on Monday:"

WGR 550 - Bills Fitzpatrick Is Ready To Get Going
As far as the great attendance for workouts Fitzpatrick said, "It’s really important to be here. At the end of the day we’re all friends and we’re all family so to get in here and to see the people you haven’t seen since the end of the season, that’s big and that’s another moral boost and it’s what gets you going."

Eager Buffalo Bills return for workout | Democrat and Chronicle
"Just talking to a bunch of fans around town they let us know how excited they are about things," said running back Fred Jackson. "We sense that, we know that, and at the same time we feel the exact same way. We felt like the organization has done some things that give us a great opportunity to win some football games. We’re putting a lot of expectations on ourselves and hopefully we can make things happen this year."

Merriman: 'I'm going to be 100 percent' - AFC East Blog - ESPN
"Absolutely, I’m going to be 100 percent," an optimistic Merriman said. "The amount of hours in rehab to be the player my team needs me to be is going to be recognized soon. People will see it where they won’t have to keep asking me. Those are questions that hopefully I’m not asked very much this season."

Three possible Bills - AFC East Blog - ESPN
"This week the AFC East blog continues its look at three potential draft prospects for each division team. On Monday we look at the Buffalo Bills, who hold the No. 10 overall pick."

Blogger Mock Draft 2.0 analysis - AFC East Blog - ESPN
James Walker trades down to snag Reilly Reiff at No. 16 before using that extra pick to get back into the first round and take Stephen Hill.

2012 NFL Free Agency: Reviewing the Buffalo Bills - Niners Nation
"The Bills, however, spent $100 Million to sign DE Mario Williams (obvious funky contract rules in the NFL apply). This signing was in conjunction with a $27.5 Million signing of DE Mark Anderson. Going into the offseason, it was pretty obvious that pass rush was a huge area of need for the Bills. It looks like they have decided to wrap this up pretty nicely."

Shawne Merriman confident he’ll be healthy, contributing | ProFootballTalk
"Merriman started his career on a tear, with 39.5 sacks in 42 games in his first three seasons. In the last four seasons, however, he has played in just 23 games and recorded just five sacks. It’s been so long since Merriman played well that it’s easy to forget he’s only 27 years old, but Merriman says he’s finally back."

Expectations high as Bills prepare for NFL Draft | Erie Times-News
"I've said it before and it's no secret, it's time of us to take a step and be (relevant) all the way through," Nix said. "You can't put a number on it, but I certainly expect us to be competitive throughout the year."

CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - NFL - Super Mario impresses at Bills workout
"His new teammates noticed, and appreciated, that Williams arrived early for the 7:30 a.m. start of the first of two optional Monday sessions."

Excitement Runs High As Bills Workouts Begin |
Perhaps the biggest reason for such optimism is the Bills signing of the top free agent this off season, Mario Williams. Many think Williams is the key piece for the Buffalo defense. He said "once you hunker down and realize you have to focus on football things get a lot eaiser and that's my mind set right now."

SportsBlast: Bills begin off-season conditioning | WKBW News 7
"The Buffalo Bills hit the field on Monday for the start of the teams month long voluntary off-season conditioning program. The Bills enjoyed good attendance for the first session. Eyewitness Sports Director Jeff Russo has more in this edition of SportsBlast 7.0. The full transcript of player interviews is below. "

Should Bills Take WR Floyd of Notre Dame in Round One? -
"I know wide receiver is a huge position of need for the Bills and I know many fans are dying for them to take Notre Dame's Michael Floyd with the tenth pick in round one on Thursday. Listen, I am a fan of what this guy can do for a Bills offense that lacks any sort of wide receiver production past Stevie Johnson. But history shows taking a wide receiver at the Bills 2012 spot in the draft is not even close to a guarantee of success."