Doug Marrone had a few different goals to accomplish over the past several weeks. From teaching the new playbook, to creating a bond within the team, consider the first year head coach happy with the Bills' progress as mini-camp came to a close on Thursday.
Marrone said, "Really building a relationship, making sure that we’re all part of one team was important, that there wasn’t any separation. I think we’re able to do that. I’m very pleased with the amount of work that we’ve gotten done. We’ve reached our goal as far as what we wanted to get in."
Looking ahead to training camp, there's still the challenge of developing chemistry on offense among a cast of largely new characters, especially between the quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson said "We're building it right now. Chemistry is being built now. The way we're running our offense right now, it's so fast and we're subbing in and out so quick, I think it's going to take probably a little bit longer to get this chemistry down. I think by the end of training camp, by the middle of training camp we'll be good."
Meanwhile, the defense is still getting used to a far more aggressive system than the one the Bills employed last season.
Defensive end Mario Williams said, "The defense is allowing us to have a lot of fun. And especially when there's so many moving parts, whenever you finally learn them and you're able to digest them, you have more fun, because you know when you can kind of take a a chance, you know when you've got help."
And with training camp comes hitting, tacking and increased intensity with jobs on the line.
Marrone said, "I do think that when it comes on and the pads come on and we start playing preseason, I think that’s where people start separating themselves and that’s where the players have to understand that’s where we’re looking for them to make something happen, to make plays."
The players now have about six weeks off before reporting to St. John Fisher for training camp. But it's important they stay mentally and physically sharp, and as Mario Williams put it, "not just sit home and eat Doritos." Training camp kicks off July 28.