Buffalo Bills capsule
BUFFALO BILLS (8-8)
OPEN CAMP: July 28, Pittsford, New York
LAST YEAR: Rex Ryan acknowledges he made mistake in attempting to mesh defensive philosophies in first year as coach. Led by Mario Williams, several players went public with complaints about Ryan's scheme, and defense managed 21 sacks, franchise low for 16-game season, in extending Buffalo's playoff drought to 16 years – NFL's longest active streak. On bright side, QB Tyrod Taylor showed promise in going 8-6 as first-time starter, while overseeing offense that led league in rushing and in scoring 24 touchdowns of 20 yards or longer.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LB Zack Brown, rookie DE Shaq Lawson, rookie LB Reggie Ragland, assistant head coach/defense Rob Ryan.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: DE Mario Williams, CB Leodis McKelvin, LB Nigel Bradham.
CAMP NEEDS: Bills need to stay healthy and out of trouble after unsettled offseason began with RB LeSean McCoy being investigated for role in bar fight in Philadelphia. No charges were filed against him. In matter of days earlier this month, backup RB Karlos Williams was suspended by NFL for four games for violating league's substance abuse policy, and rookie RB Jonathan Williams was arrested for DWI. Starting receiver Sammy Watkins (foot surgery) is expected to miss beginning of camp, while top draft pick Lawson is expected to miss first month of season after having shoulder surgery.
EXPECTATIONS: High hopes that followed Ryan's hiring last year have been replaced by skepticism after Bills lacked consistency and looked nothing like so-called bully coach proclaimed he would build.
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