We head up to Buffalo to take a look at the Bills training camp battles. We're about 25 per cent of the way through as we break down every team that will have some key battles in training camp.
We're going down the list based off my way too early power rankings.
If you listen to the talk up in Buffalo, the majority honestly feel they can take the next step and make their first playoff trip since 1999. The offense should be explosive with the two headed rushing attack of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, although they gave up a lot to trade up in the draft and get Sammy Watkins.
E.J. Manuel enters his second season, and will be the key to success, which can be said for any starting quarterback in the NFL, but more so in Buffalo. The Bills did lose some key pieces on defense as pro-bowl safety Jarius Byrd left for New Orleans and Kiko Alonso is lost for the season after injuring his knee in offseason workouts. Not to mention the Browns basically taking pretty much their entire defensive coaching staff. But outside of New England, they play in a pretty soft division.
Position battles to watch in training camp: LT, RT, LB, FS, WR
Left Tackle: Cordy Glenn vs Sentreal Henderson vs Erik Pears
This position is Glenn's if he's healthy entering the season, but that's a big if. If Henderson can start day one, he'll be one of the steals of the draft, taken in the seventh round due to character issues. Pears struggled in run blocking last season, but will have a shot at both tackle positions.
Right Tackle: Cyrus Kuandijo vs Chris Hairston vs Erik Pears
Kuandijo surprisingly fell to the second round as many thought he would go in the first. Hairston missed the entire 2013 season due to an illness, so this competition is pretty much on a level playing field. Pears was the starter here last year.
Weak Side Linebacker: Nigel Bradham vs Preston Brown vs Ty Powell
With the crushing loss of Kiko Alonso, Brandon Spikes takes over in the middle and Keith Rivers will most likely play the strong side. This opens up a three man battle for the weakside spot. Bradham probably has the leg up due to experience, but dont sleep on Preston Brown, he can hit hard. Powell played in spot duty in his rookie season.
Free Safety: Da'Norris Searcy vs Duke Williams
Another hole on defense that needs to be filled via Byrd's departure. Searcy has the leg up due to playing a lot last season, but Williams has a lot of promise in his second season.
Wide Receiver: Robert Woods vs Mike Williams
Woods showed glimpses in his rookie season, but only caught 40 of his 86 targets. Williams comes via trade from Tampa Bay, and reunites with college coach Doug Marrone. Williams returns to his hometown, so may have extra motivation and had caught at least 63 balls the previous three seasons prior to last year, when he was injured for the season in the sixth game.
Next up, the Tennessee Titans.