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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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No show for Bills' Lawson, Branch during any offseason work

On their first day of the voluntary offseason workout session, head coach Doug Marrone said that he believes the attendance to those were in the "high 90s" of the percent of players showing up. Wednesday morning the Bills entered the next section of their offseason work with the start of Organized Team Activites, and once again were in the high 90s.

The only thing is that the Bills have seen the same two absences throughout every step of the way of their 2014 preparations: defensive end Manny Lawson and defensive tackle Alan Branch.

"I haven't seen either of those guys. I have no idea," Marrone said, appearing to be a bit befuddled. "There's a lot of other guys here that I need to be concentrating on."

Just like the workouts the OTAs are voluntary for players, so it's totally within the rights of both Lawson and Branch to stay away from the activities during this portion of the offseason. Both even missed some time last offseason during OTAs.

The difference between the two years is that it seemed like Marrone and the team were at least in contact with those players. Based off his answer, it doesn't appear that the head coach is in the know as to their whereabouts.

There isn't really a rule against players neglecting to detail their whereabouts, or even one that says they have to check in with teams during the offseason workouts. However, it can be construed as a tad disconcerting from the team's perspective.

Marrone went on to say that he can't be concerned with any of that.

"My expectation is it's voluntary. Any guy that shows up, I'm happy," he said. "If you don't show up? You don't have to. Otherwise it's very difficult for me. So, for me, hey, I'm fine."

There are still nine more days of OTAs for Branch and/or Lawson to show up and start their work. Otherwise, they only have to be in Orchard Park for the three-day mandatory minicamp starting on June 17.


**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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