The Bills welcomed a familiar face to training camp Tuesday as tight end Mike Titley participated in the afternoon practice after signing a free-agent contract.
Titley was in camp last summer, recording two catches for 14 yards in preseason action. He was released prior to the season.
He also has been cut by Miami, Philadelphia and Minnesota since the Dolphins drafted him in the 10th round out of the University of Iowa in the 1991.
Titley has spent the last three springs playing for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football.
"Mike impressed us and he has some of the qualities that apply to the offense that we are running this year more than last year," Levy said.
There has been no progress regarding Bruce Smith's holdout, Bills general manager John Butler said Tuesday.
The NFL's reigning defensive player of the year has been absent since the start of training camp. He is not satisfied with the Bills' five-year, $23 million offer, which includes a signing bonus of $5 million. Smith reportedly wants a bonus payment of more than $7 million.
Butler, who last spoke with Smith's representatives last Thursday, reiterated his original stance that the Bills' offer is final.
"They know the situation. They know what the offer is," Butler said. "There's really no need for a conversation. We've offered what we can do and that's where it stands."
The Bills hold all the cards in the scenario. In the unlikely event Smith sat out the entire year, he would still owe the Bills the year remaining on his contract, per league rules.
The Bills had good timing in signing Titley. Rookie tight end Pat Fitzgerald was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury. The severity is unknown.
Another tight end, Jay Riemersma, was sidelined with a slight hamstring strain. His status is day to day. Linebacker Marlo Perry is out with a pulled quadriceps, but he shouldn't miss a lot of practice time, Levy said.
Safety Kurt Schulz (hamstring) and linebacker David White (groin) will return to practice on Monday. Linebacker John Holecek was held out of the afternoon session to rest his surgically repaired knee.
Linebacker Paul Lacoste (ankle) and wide receiver Jerry Reese (hamstring) are expected back today.
The Bills received a scare when Steve Tasker went down while running a pass pattern. His right leg caught part of his left knee brace after being tripped. He limped off the field, but was back in action minutes later.
Tasker missed several games with foot and knee injuries last season.
Tuesday's practices featured several impressive catches by wide receivers Eric Moulds, Chris Brantley and Justin Armour. Fullback Tim Tindale showed a little deep speed, catching a long pass over the outstretched hands of inside linebacker Damien Covington.
Linebackers Bryce Paup and Chris Spielman showed they are not bad in pass coverage. Paup stepped in front of wideout Quinn Early to intercept a pass thrown by Billy Joe Hobert. Spielman displayed all-out hustle in diving to knock down an Alex Van Pelt pass over the middle.
And of course, training camp would not be the same without a daily wrestling report. Tuesday's combatants were rookie offensive tackle Marcus Spriggs and Juan Hammonds.
The players grabbed each other's facemasks and went to the ground before they were separated.
The Bills will practice once today and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and Friday in the morning. Levy said Friday's workout will deal with special situations (two-minute drill, onsides kick, intentional safeties, etc.).
More than 100 high school coaches from the Buffalo and Rochester areas were invited guests of the Bills on Tuesday. Among the notables were Jamestown's Wally Huckno, Lackawanna's Bill Moore, South Park's Jerry Obstein and St. Joe's Bob O'Connor.
The coaches viewed the afternoon practice from the sidelines and met with the Bills' coaching staff afterwards.
The annual gathering was arraigned by the Bills' public and community relations director Denny Lynch and player/alumni relations director Jerry Butler.
Schulz and former Bill Mark Kelso have been named to the GTE Academic All-America all-time college football team.
Kelso, a 1986 graduate of William & Mary and a safety for the Bills from 1986 to 1993, was selected to the first team. Schulz, an Eastern Washington grad, made the second team. Twenty-two players (11 each on offense and defense) were chosen for the first and second teams.
The academic All-America team has been selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) since 1952.