ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Bills had a lot to tackle the last few weeks as they finished OTA's on Friday. New coaches, new playbooks, a roster filled with young players and a fresh approach to the way things are done at One Bills Drive.
"To evaluate where we are, I'm very pleased with the 10 practices that we've had," said head coach Doug Marrone. "With our goal, obviously, schematics being a big part of what we were doing, but also teaching the players at least from our standpoint how we want to practice. I think we've gotten close. It's not where it is, but it's close to it."
Much of the focus in OTA's dealt with installing the offensive and defensive systems. From the most-experienced veterans, down to fresh faced rookies, it's a tough task to take what's learned in the meeting room and bring it to the practice field in May, so it becomes second nature when game time rolls around in September.
"We got pretty much all of it in, so they'll be some tweaking here and there," said runningback Fred Jackson. "But we know what we want to do, now it's just about fine-tuning it and making sure that we have where we need it to be when we go into the season."
"Getting the plays down, we're just trying to carry it over to the field, but we've still got a long way to go," added cornerback Stephon Gilmore. "It's a great defense, we're just trying to make plays out there, but we've still got a long way to go."
The Bills now gear up for mandatory mini-camp June 11-13, and Doug Marrone wants his team to take it to the next level.
"I expect better production...now when we take the field (for mini-camp and training camp), our efficiency is at an all-time high."
Now is the time to sort out where players best fit on this team, and Dorin Dickerson is making a position change, again.
Dickerson is moving back to tight end, after the new coaching staff had him switch to wide receiver.
"Dorin Dickerson we thought would have a good opportunity to go to receiver and play for us. He came to us wanting to go back to the tight end position. So I think we have a player right now that can really do a good job of playing both positions for us," said Marrone.