Bills open OTA’s with youth, confidence

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Organized Team Activities are underway at One Bills Drive, with the first of ten practices over the next three weeks already in the books.

Much of the focus was on quarterback E.J. Manuel and his stable of new weapons, headlined by first-round pick Sammy Watkins and off-season pick-up Mike Williams.

“Mr. Whaley’s building around myself, as far as getting me more weapons outside to throw the ball to, then obviously drafting guys on the interior. Three big linemen, and those guys are hard workers, just like Sammy,” said Manuel. “The young guys are looking great right now.”

Much of the focus over the next few weeks, will involve getting the passing game in order, with so many new faces.

“It’s coming along. We have a lot to work on,” said Watkins. “A lot of different routes and schemes we have to clean up a little bit. It’s a process with this offense with me and other guys learning, we’re not running at full speed so the timing is not there. It’s going to be a time where everything is clicking and EJ is making the right passes and I’m running the right routes.”

No matter who is catching the ball, though, fans will be watching Manuel’s development going into his second year.

“From the footwork to shorten the stroke, to the consistency, to the leadership. He’s going to be the spotlight and people are going to be watching him,” said head coach Doug Marrone.

The Bills have two more sessions this week, although Watkins will not be on-hand. He is excused to take part in the NFLPA’s Rookie Premiere in California, where fans get a chance to meet some of the NFL’s top draft picks. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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