July 29, 2013; Rochester, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) looks to throw a pass during training camp practice at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
It’s less than 24 hours to Colts kickoff. Are you excited yet?!
NFL football is back, and it’s been a tough wait to see the Colts play with all of these other games going on, but the wait is nearly over. In preparations for the game, I was able to get the expert opinions and analysis of FanSided’s own Buffalo Bills editor over at Buffalo Low Down, Dennis Amo.
Here’s my Q&A with the Bills guru.
1. What Bills player is having the best offseason/training camp so far?
Alex Carrington is on pace to have a breakout season based on his training camp so far. He has been on point and is pushing both Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus for the DT spot. With Mario as a DE and the two DT there is little room for movement but Carrington is throwing his name into the ring to play for Mike Pettine and his Defensive Line.
2. What position battle other than QB is the most interesting on the team?
The WR spot is the next battle, besides QB, that has everyone paying attention. With Stevie Johnson in the #1 spot, there is not a clear #2. With David Nelson and Donald Jones released, the three WR the Bills drafted, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin (the track star) and Da’Rick Rogers are all possibles. The Bills also have Brad Smith, DaMarco Sampson, and Marcus Easley as well. They have a total of 13 listed on the roster so there is depth but they will only keep 6. Woods, Goodwin, and Rogers should make the team as well as Brad Smith but he will be the 6th receiver to make the team.
3. What is the status of the QB battle? Does EJ Manuel have a chance to be the week one starter?
With Kolb slipping on the wet rubber mat when switching practices fields, Manuel has been the man for the past week. Although before this, Kolb was getting the majority of the reps but it wasn’t by much. The coaching staff is giving Both Kolb and Manuel a fair opportunity and have stated that they will not be making a decision until 10 days out from game 1. I believe that Manuel does have an opportunity to be the week 1 starter and it is really his to lose at this point.
4. What is the general consensus of undrafted WR Da’Rick Rogers? I had a 2nd round grade on him and was shocked–even with character flaws–that he wasn’t picked.
In the beginning, there was a positive feeling that a player actually courted by 14 other teams chose to come to Buffalo. Rogers has the talent to make the team, and his off-field issues are a shadow to him, but things have turned around for him and the Buffalo fans feel that he can be an asset to the team in couple of different ways with his talent.
5. What player or players are ready to have a breakout season?
Marcel Dareus needs to have a breakout season. With an up and coming rookie season and last year with his brother being murdered, Dareus needs to be focused and prove to the NFL and Bills fans that the organization brought him in for the right reasons. Another Bill that is ready to have one and also is in that need category is CJ Spiller. I am excited to see him play this year and I think that Spiller needs this more than anyone to prove that he can be a starting back and be the back that can carry this team both in the run came and passing game. His explosiveness has been seen but can it be maintained throughout the season? That is the question right now for Spiller.
6. Which player to you think has the most to gain from the pre-season that hasn’t already been touched on?
Kiko Alonso was drafted by the Bills this year and is slated to be the starting middle linebacker right now. He needs the experience and playing time to get to where he needs to be to lead the struggle defense that has been in years past. Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes will be there to help, but an already younger LBing crew is going to be something to watch and see if Alonso is able to do what he is capable of doing and lead.