The "fastest man" at Day One of training camp wasn't Lee Evans or Donte Whitner. It was NASCAR star Kevin Harvick, winner of this year's Daytona 500 and defending champion at Watkins Glen. Harvick was promoting the Nextel Cup Series race at the Glen on Aug. 9-12. He gave an autographed racing jersey to big NASCAR fan Tim Anderson and got an autographed helmet from the Bills defensive tackle."Your autograph will be worth something; mine actually is going to hurt the value of this helmet," Anderson quipped.Anderson already has a framed poster signed by Harvick."I bought it at a celebrity auction for $350," Anderson said. "I figured it would go for a lot more." "It's cool to see how somebody else prepares for their sport," said Harvick, a California native and 49ers fan growing up. "The size of the guys is the biggest thing. These guys are huge."
First-round draft pick Marshawn Lynch joined a crowd when he signed a contract. Eight more NFL first-rounders signed Thursday, bringing the total to 12 out of 32. The Nos. 4 and 8 overall picks signed. Lynch was 12th. Defensive tackle Darwin Walker, as expected, was a no-show, awaiting his likely return to Philadelphia on Aug. 5.
The offense wasn't exactly humming without J.P. Losman at the helm during the first workouts of the summer. Craig Nall and rookie Trent Edwards shared snaps at quarterback. Linebacker Keith Ellison picked off Nall twice on the same play call - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Ellison read a pass to the left sideline for Evans, easily stepped in front of it and returned it for what would have been a touchdown. ... Duke Preston took the first-team snaps at left guard. Jason Webster opened as the starter at right cornerback. ... The special teams units worked on downing punts inside the 10. ... Josh Reed made two good grabs along the sideline.
The one essential dorm-room accessory for Bills players at training camp is an improved mattress. The beds at St. John Fisher are fine by dorm standards but are not made for men 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds or more. Most of the players bring an inflatable air mattress or a "memoryfoam" mattress pad.
"You come from your bed at home and you've got to get a little better sleep than you get on the dorm mattresses," said punter Brian Morman. "I'm only 6 feet, and my feet are off the end of the bed. The pads work great."
Out: QB J.P. Losman (strained back). Everyone else was participating.
From Buffalo take the Thruway to Exit 47. Take Route 490 East for 25 miles to Exit 25 (Fairport Road - 31F). Turn right or left and follow signs to fan parking. Shuttle buses take fans from the nearby lots to the practice fields. The lots are at Pittsford- Mendon High School this week. Starting on Monday, the closest lot is at East Rochester High School, south of the campus on Fairport Road.
There are two practices today and Saturday - 8:30 to 10:20 a.m. and 2:15 to 4:05 p.m. Sunday's walk-through workout is closed to the public. The team practices from 11 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. Monday. Free tickets are required for the night workout at 7 p.m. Tuesday. They're available at www.buffalobills.com and www.ticketmaster.com. On the Web Check out the Bills daily blog at www.buffalonews.com. To post your comments, go to buffalonews.typepad. com/billboard
Quote of the Day
"We know we're a better team. You're just never certain what that means until you start playing because you've got to show it on the field."
- Bills coach Dick Jauron.
- Compiled by Mark Gaughan