Every team is a Super Bowl contender during training camp, at least that's what the local media in each NFL town seems to think. Puff pieces about teams/players/coaches often read something like, "[Player X] is poised to have a career year because he's getting over [ailment/personal tragedy/weight issues/immaturity]. He will have a key role in [Team Y] making [playoffs/Super Bowl] after last season's [surprise/disappointment]."
To celebrate the brimming positivity being felt by each of the NFL's 32 fanbases, this month Shutdown Corner will take a team-by-team look at the flowery and buoyant prose being written by local columnists and writers, and the hopeful quotes of players and coaches in our daily feature, Camp Sunshine. This afternoon, the Buffalo Bills.
The biggest difference is they're not the same person:
George Edwards is seen more than he's heard on the practice field. That's the biggest difference between the new Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator and his predecessor Perry Fewell.
While Fewell was far more animated, Edwards brings a more stoic approach.
"Coach Edwards is a lunch-pail guy," defensive end Marcus Stroud(notes) said Thursday after practice at St. John Fisher College. "He says what he has to say to get his point across. He's not big on doing a lot of yelling and screaming. But he knows what to do to get the job done."
Ahh, Tibor. How many times have you saved my butt?
The 29-year-old Torbor was released from his job as a backup linebacker for the Miami Dolphins on May 27. He was signed by the Bills a week later. Now Torbor has a firm grasp on a starting job as outside linebacker in Buffalo two weeks into training camp.
"It couldn't have happened better for me," Torbor said after a recent practice at St. John Fisher College. "I'm not resting at all. Nothing's guaranteed. But to have an opportunity, what more do you want?"
Stevie Johnson's talents go beyond football. When he's not catching passes for the Bills, he is honing his skills as a rapper under the stage name of Stevie Styles. [Here's a link to "Byrd Flying High."]
The party pooper:
Buddy Nix is nothing if not a straight shooter, and when the Buffalo Bills general manager looks you in the eye and answers a pointed and somewhat loaded question by saying "absolutely," you want so much to believe him.
Except when the question asked was: "Does this team have a chance to make the playoffs in 2010?"
Nope, not buying that one, Buddy. Not this team that doesn't have a true No. 1 quarterback, has a suspect offensive line, unproven depth at wide receiver, several players trying to learn new positions in an overhauled defense. Not this team that is competing in the rugged AFC East where Miami, New England and the New York Jets appear to be ahead of Buffalo in the talent department.