Better than 40 players on the Bills roster turned out for day one of the voluntary offseason conditioning program at One Bills Drive Monday. Headline names like Trent Edwards, Terrence McGee, Kawika Mitchell, Paul Posluszny and Josh Reed were on hand to begin ramping up for spring OTAs in about six weeks.
"It's great to see the guys back," said Bills strength and conditioning coordinator J.T. Allaire. "A lot of excitement in the weight room and we're getting after it. It's a good day."
Almost all of the players returned in good physical shape, but the strength and conditioning staff still does a workup on each individual player before they get started.
"When we get them here we put them through a little screening process to see how their movements are," said Allaire. "We also put them in the bod pod and get a body fat assessment and see where we're at and how much work they need to do."
Some of Buffalo's newest additions were on hand for the start of workouts including center Geoff Hangartner and backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who met a lot of their new teammates in addition to hitting the weights.
"I'm really excited to be here just to meet and bond with the guys," said Fitzpatrick. "So far, so good. I just had the first weight room workout. It seems like a good group of guys that are here right now. It seems like a very close team."
Terrell Owens was not in attendance for the voluntary workouts, but there were a handful of other veteran players that were not on hand for the first day of conditioning activities.
Knowing the excellent physical condition that Owens maintains year round, Buffalo's strength and conditioning staff is not concerned about the veteran receiver being fit for the upcoming OTAs and minicamps later this spring.
"No, we're not," said Allaire. "He has a very good history of being in shape and ready to go, so we're not anticipating anything different this year."
The Bills conditioning program runs four days a week, with most players usually working Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, while taking Wednesdays off. But the schedule is flexible for players to move workout days up a day or back a day depending on other offseason obligations.
Most players appeared to be in good spirits Monday as the reunited to begin their preparations for the 2009 campaign. And according to their offensive leader they're focused on not repeating the shortcomings of the past.
"That's what the offseason is for," said Edwards. "We're going to move on and learn from those things we did last year and we're also going to be excited and capitalize on our opportunity to get better here on the practice field and in the offseason and we're going to fix those things and do everything we can every day of the week to not make those mistakes that we did last year."