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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass during practice at the NFL Football Team’s training camp in Pittsford, NY on Sunday, July 24, 2022. (AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes)

PA

Try as the Buffalo Bills might in looking to start fresh for a new season, the sting of that infamous 13 seconds still lingers some six months later.

Opening training camp Sunday to a sold-out crowd of around 6,000 fans serving as a raucous, boisterous backdrop to the giddy Super Bowl expectations around the team, the Bills couldn’t finish the day without think about how their previous season ended abruptly in January.

The disappointment of losing a three-point lead in the final 13 seconds of regulation of an eventual 42-36 overtime loss to Kansas City in an AFC Divisional playoff game remains hard to shake.

Quarterback Josh Allen said, “We have a new mindset,” adding, “We’re a team that has to find a way.

Without specifically mentioning the playoff loss, coach Sean McDermott responded to a question about expectations by noting, “The experience we had last season should help us this season.”

And safety Jordan Poyer shook his head as he recalled how ticked off he became after being asked about what happened in those final moments as he appeared on former Chiefs receiver Tyreek’s podcast Hill this spring.

“That stuff definitely motivates you in the offseason. But obviously it’s a new year,” Poyer said. “You don’t want to dread the past, because then you can’t look forward.”

For all the success the Bills enjoyed winning back-to-back AFC East titles for the first time since a four-year run during their Jim Kelly-led heyday from 1988-91, the players have unfinished business to settle, whatever the odds. the makers suggest ranking them as Super Bowl favorites at plus-650.

“I’m glad people like us. I appreciate that. But that doesn’t mean anything,” said general manager Brandon Beane. “The AFC is stacked. I mean, whoever comes out of the AFC (will) have had a hell of a year this year just looking at that glove. I’m not even worried about the other half of the league.

On paper, at least, the Bills are right to be among the NFL’s elite.

At 26 and entering his fifth season, Allen has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The NFL’s top-ranked defense a year ago, meanwhile, improved on a lackluster passing rush with the free-agent addition of Von Miller, the league’s active sack leader, who just won his second career title with the Los Angeles Rams.

“Yeah, those are high expectations. Expectations have been high for some time,” Miller said. “Expectations are a privilege. Pressure is a privilege. There’s a lot of pressure here in Buffalo and we just want to keep taking it one day at a time and see where we can go.

POYER TALKS

Poyer expressed hope that he and the Bills can secure a contract extension, with his new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, attending the camp. Poyer, 31, is entering the final season of his contract and skipped all of the team’s voluntary spring training before attending the team’s two mandatory sessions last month.

“Drew is here today talking to Brandon and I know they’re both working things out on either side,” Poyer said. “I’m just really excited to be here with my teammates and seeing the guys again and starting this journey and trying to get better every day.”

Beane cited his policy of not discussing contract talks when declining to comment.

DOWN THE PATH

The Bills are back on the road for camp for the first time since 2019 after COVID-19 limited the team to spending the past two years at their headquarters in Orchard Park, New York.

Much has changed since the Bills last made the 90-minute drive east on the New York State Highway to the St. John Fisher campus in suburban Rochester, where they’ve been running training camp since 2000. himself a college graduate, of the Bills’ roster of 90 players, only 26 attended Fisher’s camp.

Each of the 14 scheduled practices is sold out.

FANDEMONIUM

Allen was a few feet from the interview tent when someone in the stands shouted, “Josh Allen, you’re my dad!”

A smiling Miller couldn’t pass his press conference without being interrupted by a nearby fan, chanting “Von Mil-ler!”

“The energy is so great. It’s hard trying to come here and do this interview with you guys,” Miller said. “You just want to shake hands and kiss babies and sign autographs and do all that.”

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