Though training camp has come to a close at St. John Fisher the preparations will continue at One Bills Drive over the next couple of weeks leading up to the season opener at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 9th against the Jets. The close of camp however, marks the presentation of the seventh annual Training Camp Awards.
Most Valuable Player – Scott Chandler – No other player on the roster turned in more plays on a daily basis than Chandler. A frequent target of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the other QBs, Chandler was beyond reliable and a matchup nightmare in the red zone throughout training camp. The starting tight end has raised his game to new heights.
Most Improved Player – Arthur Moats – The college pass rusher turned linebacker has proven to be a quick study handling multiple roles in the base defense and subpackages. He may not have reached his full potential yet, but his performance thus far has him in good position to land the starting strong side linebacker job.
Most Consistent Player – George Wilson – No one knows the ins and outs of the defense better than the Bills strong safety, and it’s a major reason why Wilson seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Wilson had his share of takeaways in camp, but his consistent play is what sets an important example for the younger players in Buffalo’s secondary.
Most Valuable Newcomer – Mario Williams – This is a bit of a no brainer. Williams talent is obvious and the impact he’ll have on opposing offensive lines in terms of game plans will make everyone else on the front line with him better. Williams will get his own, but his mere presence will help his teammates get theirs as well.
Most Encouraging Comeback – Kyle Williams – There are a lot of Bills players working their tails off to come back from offseason surgery, but Williams is the player who most resembles his old self. Firing off the ball with that trademark burst and making plays in the offensive backfield on a daily basis, fans can rest assured that Williams is back.
Most Impressive Rookie – Stephon Gilmore – He’s looked the part since day one. Fans can mark him down in pen at the starting right cornerback spot. Few rookies have come into their first training camp and displayed the confidence, consistency and maturity that Gilmore has shown this summer.
Most Surprising Player – T.J. Graham – Everyone knew that Graham had elite speed, but whether he’d be able to make use of it effectively in the passing game as a rookie was the question. Graham to this point has delivered, turning in plays in the pass game every day and showing an ability to get behind the defense. The regular season games are the final test, but it looks as though Graham will be able to contribute more than originally thought.
Most Inspirational Player – Eric Wood – With all due respect to Terrence McGee and Torell Troup, who are gutting it out in practice every day, Wood is coming back from major offseason surgery for the second time in his young career. Coming back from a torn ACL, Wood has steadily increased his rep count through camp only reinforcing the effect his work ethic has on the other linemen he’s in charge of motivating.
Most Promising Player – Donald Jones – Jones has maintained his lead in the race for the #2 receiver job primarily because he raised his game a notch. Looking stronger physically and faster in and out of his breaks, Jones has demonstrated an enhanced ability to gain separation while also improving his ball skills. If team key on Stevie Johnson or Scott Chandler, Jones looks ready to make defenses pay.
Best Hustle Player – Dwan Edwards – He had to accept a rotational role and kick inside to defensive tackle in Buffalo’s 4-3 scheme, but it hasn’t affected Edwards approach to the game one bit. A frequent menace to Buffalo’s interior offensive linemen, Edwards has quietly made play after play in the practice setting and always has it turned up to full throttle.