OPINION: Hello from Bills training camp

The regular season can't get here soon enough for Bills fans

Pittsford, N.Y. (WGR 550) - A little over a week into Buffalo Bills training camp, I figured it was time to share some thoughts from Pittsford:

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Isaiah McKenzie
Photo credit Shawn Dowd - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

Slot receiver battle that wasn't?

I went into this camp thinking the competition at the slot receiver position would be one of the top stories to follow. But the competition might be over before the Bills leave St. John Fisher University next week and head back to Orchard Park.

That would partly be due to Jamison Crowder missing time with general soreness, but it is mostly due to the work Isaiah McKenzie is putting in.

McKenzie has been one of the best-looking players so far, and is taking advantage of all the reps with the ones. He is showing the ability to run a variety of routes, is catching everything thrown his way, and is making plays at all levels of the field.

When offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was on with on Monday and we asked if he had any input on the re-signing of McKenzie, Dorsey said the fifth-year Bills receiver would be an integral part of the offense this season. McKenzie has elevated himself from gadget guy to receiver.

Spencer Brown and David Quessenbery
Photo credit Shawn Dowd - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

Concerns on the offensive front?

I'm a little nervous about the state of the Bills' offensive line, but I feel like we have gone through this in previous camps. I'm not panicking, yet.

It is far from ideal that the five players we think will/should be the starting group come opening night against the Los Angeles Rams have yet to practice together:

- Rodger Saffold remains on the Non-Football Injury list.
- Ryan Bates has been sidelined by general soreness.
- Spencer Brown has been at practice, but not taking part in team drills, as he works his way back from offseason surgery on his back.
- Dion Dawkins missed a couple of practices for personal reasons, but returned this week.

Center Mitch Morse is the only player to participate fully, at this point.

Kaiir Elam
Photo credit Rich Barnes - USA TODAY Sports

Battling corners without Tre'Davious White

It would be better if White was practicing, but the silver lining is a ton of reps for Dane Jackson and rookie Kaiir Elam at cornerback with the ones instead of rotating in a battle for the second cornerback position.

Josh Allen
Photo credit Shawn Dowd - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

For the love of God, please don't play Josh Allen this preseason

Allen was playing around last Friday when he was down on the turf face-first after a collision. He laid there for a second or two without moving, and it absolutely freaked me out. In that split second, the Bills' season flashed before my eyes.

If it were up to me, I wouldn't play him a single snap in the preseason.

Khalil Shakir
Photo credit Rich Barnes - USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the show, Khalil Shakir

Super early observations on the fourth-round rookie wide receiver are good hands and good route running capabilities.

James Cook
Photo credit Mark Konezny - USA TODAY Sports

Let Cook cook

Second-round rookie running back James Cook will be a factor in the Bills' passing game this season. He and McKenzie should really help the Bills, as they attempt to use the middle of the field more in search of yards-after-catch.

Ed Oliver and Boogie Basham
Photo credit Shawn Dowd - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

A force up front defensively

The defensive line is going to be really good this season. It will easily be the best group in the Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott era in Buffalo.

Matt Araiza
Photo credit Joshua Bessex - Getty Images

All Hail Punt God

So far, so good for rookie punter Matt Araiza. The properly dubbed "Punt God" has looked good not only in terms of booting the ball, but also holding the ball for Tyler Bass on field goal attempts.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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