Hope and concern: Buffalo Bills

The 2012 NFL preseason is halfway in the books as we continue our "Hope and Concern" series.

Here are reasons for hope and concern for the Buffalo Bills:

Reason for hope: Receivers are emerging

The Bills were concerned about their receivers entering training camp. But players other than No. 1 receiver Steve Johnson are emerging. Donald Jones, rookie T.J. Graham and Naaman Roosevelt are all making plays in the preseason. Bills coach Chan Gailey told me in training camp that he’s not worried about a No. 2 receiver. Gailey wants to make sure he has several receivers he can trust in Buffalo’s spread offense. If various receivers continue to play well into the regular season, that will make things much easier for the Bills.

Reason for concern: Slow starts

It's only the preseason, but the Bills are playing sluggish football. The most concerning issue is slow starts. The Bills have been outscored 23-9 in the first half thus far. The Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Christian Ponder had his way with the Bills' starting defense last week, completing 10 of 13 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo received a lot of hype this offseason. But the Bills haven't done anything. They don't have the luxury to play complacent football and assume they can flip the switch when it matters in the regular season. Buffalo needs to start building something in the preseason, starting Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.