The famous line “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” is usually referred to Christmas. Now it is a special holiday, but to NFL fans, football season is right around the corner with teams either entering training camp very soon or already in sessions. The Buffalo Bills will begin training camp this Thursday, July 26th and there are plenty of questions that need an answer before Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Most starting jobs are up for grabs to the players. With the culture Sean McDermott is building, you have to have the mindset that any job can be taken from anyone. Both sides of the ball are going to be completely different. The offense looks like it will regress while the defense looks to dig itself out of the hole they went into last season.
With training camp going into effect this week and the team’s first preseason game in two weeks, here are the position battles to keep a close eye on:
Without a doubt the biggest question for Bills fans. Who will start in Week 1? No matter how you look at it, it is a three-man race for the starting job. Josh Allen may not see the field at all because he is part of the hopeful long-term future for the franchise. I would expect Allen to develop into the team’s franchise guy in the next two to three years. The two quarterbacks to watch closely are A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman.
The biggest factor to realize about all three is their age. McCarron is 27, Peterman is 24 and Allen is 22. What looks to be the plan is have Allen develop into the hopeful franchise guy that Bills fans have missed since Jim Kelly. Although, McCarron or Peterman could take over for the Bills if they perform well. All three will have their chances to show what they have, and this is certainly the biggest battle to watch for the Bills.
#2 Wide Receiver
Kelvin Benjamin will be the team’s X-man on the outside. The #1 receiver, who is going into a contract year and will be looking to get the big bucks like this classmates from the draft class of 2014. After Benjamin, the Bills receiving core is thin. Second year receiver Zay Jones had a disappointing rookie campaign. Andre Holmes and Charles Clay were rarely used in the passing game which limited the offense. Now that could easily change with a new coordinator taking over. An eye to keep out for is Jeremy Kerley who was brought onto the team this offseason.
Hope for the best, but expect the worse when it comes to the Bills receiving game.
The only guaranteed position that is locked up is the left tackle position with Dion Dawkins. No more Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito or Eric Wood. Or should I say the left side of the trenches. From left guard to right tackle, all positions are open for battles. The biggest position battle is at center between Ryan Groy and Russell Bodine. Remember John Miller? Offensive guard who had an outstanding rookie season before injuries? He’ll be in the mix for his guard spot, more than likely on the right side.
Football season is right around the corner. Training camp starts this week for the Bills. Buckle your seatbelts Bills fans, it’s almost time for takeoff on the new season.