ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — If you needed any evidence that Bills Mafia is ready for a Super Bowl expectation season look no further than the red-and-blue scrimmage at Highmark Stadium.
Just under 36,000 people came out for a day of practice, scrimmaging and development. The team officially said 35,911 people were in attendance.
With a two-decade-long window of mostly losing seasons, and COVID dipping into their success in Orchard Park the last two seasons, clearly the fan base is ready to be in full force this season.
While rookie wide out Khalil Shakir stood out on the field, the energy of the crowd stole the show, it felt more like a regular season game than red vs. blue scrimmage.
Bills prized passed rusher Von Miller praised the fan base after the scrimmage saying "Buffalo is different." He went on to add that the fan base is making him easily fall in love with the city.
Dion Dawkins said he was impressed by the fan base but expected them to show up like they did.
"Ever since the young guys that got here, Von, well, Von isn't a young guy. But the older guys, the rookies, I said, 'You have no idea.' They say, 'Alright, alright.' Now they see it and say, 'Dog, we understand now.' The fans continue to show out and show up. This place is epic, and it is electric here, and I am happy to be part to get these people some hope to play ball, so it's a beautiful feeling," Dawkins said.
Wideout Khalil Shakir is getting a taste of his first NFL camp and said there were more fans at the scrimmage than any of other game he ever played in his college career at Boise State.
Next up, the Bills get a day of rest on Saturday before hitting the practice field once again on Sunday morning at St. John Fisher University.
Believe it or not, the first preseason game is a week from Saturday at home against the Colts.