1 - Listenbee hoping to be cleared for start of campHe missed most of the spring practice sessions at One Bills Drive due to pelvic inflammation on the heels of his double sports hernia surgery in March. Eager to get back on the field Bills rookie wide receiver Kolby Listenbee chose to remain in Buffalo after most of his teammates headed home for the six-week break before training camp.
"I've been here the whole summer," said Listenbee in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. "So I've stayed here the whole time during rehab. I had sports hernia surgery and I've been trying to get better since then. I feel like I'm set back a little bit so I want to get back on board and get ready for the season."
Listenbee's participation in spring practices was limited to individual position drills and walk through practices as he tried his best to mentally grasp the offensive concepts without physically running them in team periods.
With less than two weeks before the start of training camp, the Bills athletic training staff is taking a wait and see approach with Listenbee before determining when the receiver will be able to practice at St. John Fisher.
"Rehab is going pretty good," said Listenbee. "We're playing it by ear so every day is a different day. Hopefully I get better soon and I can practice the first day, but we'll see how it goes. I'm just staying positive in rehab and just try to get better. We'll see, if it's God's will then I'll be practicing the first day."
Listenbee brings deep speed to Buffalo's receiving corps. How soon it will be on display is in the hands of the team's medical and athletic training staff.
2 - Bills secondary ranked as their strongest position groupThe 2016 season previews have already begun and ProFootballFocus put theirs together by breaking down Buffalo's position group rankings. The Bills' quarterback position ranked 14th, running back eighth, wide receivers 26th, offensive line 10th and the defensive front seven was ranked 16th. The highest-ranked position group for Buffalo was their secondary thanks in large part to their starting cornerback tandem of Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby.
Here's what was written about that position group specifically.
On the outside, Buffalo has one of the best – if not the best – cornerback tandem in all of football. Ronald Darby took home our Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season after finishing the season as our ninth-ranked cornerback in terms of both overall grade and pass coverage. Stephon Gilmore has had a top-25 coverage grade (out of over 100 qualified CBs) in each of the past two seasons, as well.
In the slot, the Bills will enter the season with Nickell Robey's name penciled in but don't be surprised if newcomer Sterling Moore takes that job from him at some point. Robey has been a disappointment since an impressive rookie season in 2013 and Moore has shown some ability to play in the slot. If Robey is able to maintain his SCB job, Moore should provide nice depth should any of the first three CBs face an injury. Corey Graham was one of the best safeties against the run last season and his 35.7 tackle efficiency rating was nearly double the second-best safety's. Buffalo also welcomes back Aaron Williams who missed most of 2015 with an injury.
3 - Wood not worried about new false start emphasis for officialsEach year the NFL's officiating department submits new points of emphasis for their game officials. Among the points of emphasis this fall will be assessing false start penalties for centers who abruptly move the football after the offensive line is down and set. That according to NFL Vice President of Officiating, Dean Blandino, who appeared on PFT Live. Apparently defensive players feel they're being unfairly deceived by pre-snap ball movement by some of the league's pivot men.
Officials will be paying close attention for pre-snap ball movement by centers. Bills center Eric Wood is not concerned about the new point of emphasis.
"I don't see it affecting me at all," Wood told Buffalobills.com. "To my knowledge I don't move the ball abruptly at all before the snap, but I will pay more attention when camp starts to make sure I'm not."