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Buffalo Bills begin OTAs this week in Orchard Park, NY

On the road toward a return to meaningful football

Buffalo Bills Training Camp Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

We’re nearing the official start of summer in the northern hemisphere, but before we get there and enjoy the fruits of summer — the Buffalo Bills will convene for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) at One Bills Drive this week.

That means the Bills will gather in Orchard Park, NY this week for team meetings, classroom instruction, and practices void of content over the next three weeks. Each week during OTAs, practice sessions will be open for the media to attend and cover.

As with any NFL offseason, there’s much to digest and plenty of questions to be answered before games begin to matter in the standings. Key among those are whether the team will have put the numbing sting of January’s home playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals behind them. That may be too large a bite to digest at this early juncture, but we may find some answers based around the tone of the team and the bonding that typically occurs during the heat of summer.

While much of the starting defense remains intact from the team’s last game, enough changes are set to take place on offense that a fair share of the positional groups could look vastly different come the end of July.

We’ve spent considerable time and space here at Buffalo Rumblings this spring analyzing college prospects, and also the issues that plagued a still widely successful 2022 NFL campaign for the Bills. We have much left to ponder as it relates to the team’s roster of 88 players, as well the most meaningful things we can take away from last season. But time moves in one direction, and fast — towards an unknown future. As Bills fans, we’re all on the same road trip and waiting to discover all that’s in store for the 2023 edition of the Buffalo Bills — and those players both new and old to the organization.

The road trip to it all begins this week in OTAs. When baking a cake, you don’t throw every ingredient into the oven separately. You must combine each in the most precise and exacting of ways so that when you open the oven door to remove that cake, nothing but perfection remains. So, too, is the case with the Bills. We can’t expect a final product before they’ve put in meaningful work behind the scenes in person, discovering the right formulas for each and every position — from starter to priority reserve, and so on.

These next few weeks won’t bring answers about a replacement for departed linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. We won’t have a full grasp on the pecking order at WR2 and back, running back, the bulk of the interior offensive line, or even how the team plans to feature the potent duo of Dawson Knox and rookie first-round pick Dalton Kincaid. Furthermore, it’s going to take some time to see how the once-vaunted defensive backfield of Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde respond to adversity and injury they each endured during the 2022 season and prior. (I’d place my bets that each man finds his footing quickly and soundly.)

So remember, while the start of OTAs warms our football blood back up well beyond a simmer, we’re going to have to exercise patience as we await our just desserts at the end of this summer road trip.