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NFL Preseason Preview Capsules: AFC

AFC East: Buffalo Bills

OPEN CAMP: July 20, St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, New York.

LAST YEAR: Top to bottom offseason overhaul, addition of rookie quarterback (EJ Manuel) and series of injuries, Manuel, included, contributed to ninth straight losing record. Team extended NFL's longest active playoff drought to 14 seasons. Manuel's development was hampered by three separate knee injuries, missed six regular-season games. Buffalo finished 19th in yards gained and 29th in yards passing. Defense improved under coordinator Mike Pettine's attacking philosophy, but struggled against run.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: WRs Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins; LBs Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers; DB Corey Graham; RB Bryce Brown; RT Cyrus Kouandjio; defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: Owner Ralph Wilson; S Jairus Byrd; WR Stevie Johnson; defensive coordinator Pettine; LB Kiko Alonso.

CAMP NEEDS: Manuel to stay healthy and show signs of taking command of offense. Find capable replacement for OLB with Alonso expected to miss season (torn ACL). Watkins, Williams and second-year WRs Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin to establish chemistry with Manuel. Da'Norris Searcy or Duke Williams to secure safety spot left open following Byrd's departure. DT Marcell Dareus to stay out of trouble after facing drug possession and reckless endangerment driving charges.

EXPECTATIONS: Bills are up for sale following Wilson's death. Could this be year they finally are playoff contenders? GM Doug Whaley emphasized win-now approach at draft by giving up 2015 first-round pick to move and select Watkins at No. 4. Much of defense returns intact, as does Bills' strength on offense - its running game. (AP Photo/David Duprey)



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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