ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The good news for Bills fans in Rochester is that Sean McDermott said on Tuesday that holding training camp at St. John Fisher College this summer is still a possibility.
Reading between the lines, everything else might be the bad news.
McDermott called staging camp at Fisher this year likely a “heavy lift”. There are still a bevy of Covid protocols that are still scheduled to be necessary per the NFL for training camp. The Bills spent all last summer getting their home facility in Orchard Park ready to handle those protocols. They would be starting from scratch to do the same at Fisher.
The Bills have been in communication with Fisher exploring what would have to be done in order to stage camp in Rochester. The organization even sent staff members to Pittsford for a first hand look.
McDermott said the team will take “due diligence” in examining the situation, but those words might be more ominous than hopeful from the Rochester point of view. “Due diligence” is a phrase often trafficked by NFL players and coaches regarding a situation that is unlikely to happen.
All things being equal, McDermott is still very much a proponent of training camp in Rochester. Things, unfortunately, are still not equal.
“I’m a fan of going away to camp. The protocols are the protocols. It changes the complexion. It changes the weight of the operation,” McDermott said. “We have great fans… not only in the Rochester area, but people who come from all over to visit us there. It’s a chance for us to connect with our fans. We certainly recognize that. We’re tying to do our darnedest to look at all the protocols and all the layers on this thing that it would take to pull it off.”
Camp is not scheduled to begin until the very end of July. This is a decision that would likely have to happen by mid to late June.
McDermott said the team has already returned to 60-70 percent normal operations when it comes to Covid restrictions. If that number increases significantly, it could lessen the protocols necessary for camp at Fisher and open the door for a possible Bills return to Rochester this summer.
It just didn’t seem a very likely possibility after McDermott spoke on Tuesday morning.