Bills Notebook: Forgotten man shines
Xavier Omon (Getty Images)
Xavier Omon (Getty Images)

Posted Aug 12, 2009
scout.com


Xavier Omon finds some holes against Titans' defense, legends provide knockout speeches, Reggie Corner has a reunion and much more...

-- With all this talk about Buffalo’s trinity of backs, it’s easy to forget about Xavier Omon. While Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes figure to lead a triple-headed rushing attack, Omon was the lone offensive stud for Buffalo against Tennessee last weekend.

Omon rushed for 36 yards on 11 carries against a brutal Titans defense. He was the only back to find a sliver of running room all night. A big key for Omon was dropping 11 pounds since the end of last season. He showed up to camp in great shape and it’s showing.

Head coach Dick Jauron saw the dividends in Canton, Ohio.

"I thought Xavier played well. Xavier, to me, ran tonight like he has been running all year, in our OTA's and in our preseason," said Jauron after the game. "He ran well, he found the holes, he stayed low, he showed power, he moved some people, he had made some people miss. I was really pleased with Xavier Omon tonight."

Omon missed Buffalo’s practice Wednesday with an ankle injury, though it appears the injury is minor. He's on the bubble, of course. With the Bills' loaded backfield, it'll be difficult for the scat back to crack the roster. Saturday was a quiet, productive start."

--Team owner Ralph Wilson, who founded the Bills in 1959, and Bruce Smith, the Bills all-time sack leader who played 15 seasons for them, became the eighth and ninth members of the team to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last Saturday.

Wilson, 90, was a pioneer member of the American Football League that would merge with the NFL and grow the game to what it is today.

"I'm proud of being a part of football for 50 years," he said. "I've had a lot of fun, met a lot of great people. I've just had a lot of fun. It's not a good investment, you know, but if you're having fun -- winning or losing -- I think it's all worth it."

Smith played 19 NFL seasons in all, enduring 11 knee surgeries on way to a league-record 200 sacks. His proudest achievement?

"The relationships I've built over the years," said Smith, 46, a real estate developer in Virginia Beach. "I can depend on every one of these guys I played with at the drop of dime. We are family. And now to be welcomed into a fraternity like no other, well ... it's better than any frat house or organization you can belong to. This is the elite of the elite. What a privilege to belong to the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

--With two weeks of training camp behind them and a long offseason of lining up against the same faces, the Bills were anxious to kick off the exhibition schedule Sunday against Tennessee. Tempers were flaring earlier in the week with some pushing and shoving matches.

"It's about that time of camp where everybody's hormones are a little off whack. The heat starts to bear down on you ... It is just what happens," said offensive tackle Langston Walker who mixed it up with linebacker Alvin Bowen. "It sort of breaks the monotony and the groundhog day of camp. I am sure there are no hard feelings as soon as we step off the field. Nothing comes of it."

--Quarterback Trent Edwards is becoming polished answering questions on how he intends to avoid problems volatile wideout Terrell Owens.

"You avoid that by winning," Edwards said. "I think that's a matter of winning football games and that solves everything, regardless of who it is -- a quarterback, wide receiver, offensive lineman. You handle the situation maturely, that's the bottom line."

--Buffalo's defensive linemen, who had a horrible time getting to the quarterback last season, especially with Pro Bowler Aaron Schobel injured, have been working diligently on learning new block-shedding techniques under new coach Bob Sanders.

A martial arts expert, Joe Kim, who teaches linemen effective use of their hands, was also brought in to help.

"Different coaches have brought in martial arts guys but I think Joe's got the most complete program," veteran Ryan Denney said. "None of us are Tae Kwon Do masters, so it's new to us. You have to incorporate it while you're moving your feet and trying to rush the passer. He's been really good for us."

--Cornerback Reggie Corner was perhaps more excited about going to Canton, Ohio for Hall of Fame ceremonies than owner Ralph Wilson, who was being inducted.

Corner is from Canton and played his high school ball at Fawcett Stadium for Canton McKinley High, site of the induction ceremony and the Hall of Fame game where the Bills were set to take on Tennessee. "I'm just blessed I get an opportunity to walk in that locker room again, it's going to be fun," Corner said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Luck prevails. In closing in on 91, I still feel that I have youth on my side. And I want to thank all of you very much for this honor." -- Team owner Ralph Wilson, commenting on his induction speech into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



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