Transcript of comments to the media made by Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley and third-round pick John Miller, provided by the Buffalo Bills.
GM DOUG WHALEY
Q: Tell us what you like about John Miller.
A: Well he’s the type of offensive lineman Greg Roman and Rex Ryan are looking for: tough aggressive maulers that bring attitude. And this guy’s a heavy handed guy, one of the knocks is he’s only 6’ 2 ½” and the average starting guard is 6’ 3 ½”. You guys, that much (hand gesture). We’re excited about him, the thing we’re most excited about is the attitude that he brings to the game and again if you look at what’s happening in the division, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Williams, Mo Wilkerson, we’re going to have to get tougher up front and that’s what he brings to the table.
Q: Do you think you are done for the night?
A: Yes, yes we are done for the night. Again, lack of ammunition, let’s go every other ladies and gentlemen.
Q: Two of your biggest needs seem to be defensive back and offensive line, especially the interior part of the line. Were those major priorities and did you feel that you addressed some of your needs in the first three rounds?
A: We set the board based strictly on talent. And if everything is equal we will go with a need and it just happened this year, the corner we didn’t see as a perceived need as much as other people, we looked at it more as a depth. But once we got down to the third, we were actually looking up at Mr. Miller and we were holding our fingers crossed that he would slide to us. We’re excited and to have a need and to have a good player that you have at the top of the board is a double bonus.
Q: How ready do you think he is to step in right away?
A: We will find out. We think he, I mean mentally, we had him in on a visit, he’s sharp that way. And again, I was just talking to Rex [Ryan], we’re going to throw those guys in there and get them reps with the second team, the first team, and just see what combination works best for us to get out there and produce.
Q: Do you think tomorrow, some of these quarterbacks that are still left, do you expect any of them to get past the fourth round?
A: That’s going to be interesting, we thought there would be a run on them before then and we will have to wait and see but I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to go in the fourth and fifth round for sure.
Q: I’m sure there was some discussion but did you guys like any of them?
A: Right, right and again we follow our board. We place values on guys and right now we picked, Miller was the highest value guy on our board.
Q: How much do you value that he has played both left and right guard?
A: Position flexibility is always a bonus and that should tell you about his smarts as well.
Q: Again just how important is it to have another potential starter at guard and have him involved in the makeup of this team?
A: You get a young guy in and with the situation if he wins the job great, if he doesn’t he adds depth and he can learn from how these guys want to portray our offense and portray our offensive line. And if he does not start this year he can contribute if there are injuries but also down the road we expect him to take over and to take the job by the helmet and go from there.
Q: Back to [Ronald] Darby, does his position make it easier for Corey Graham to make the permanent switch over to safety?
A: We’ll have to talk to the coaches about that, right now we like him at corner. It gives you the option, and you always like to have options but I can’t sit here and say he’s definitely moving right now but again we like having as many corners as possible.
Q: You mentioned John Miller came in for a visit, [Ronald] Darby mentioned you did not bring him in for a visit. How comfortable are you with everything off the field with Darby?
A: We are, we met with him at the combine so we felt very comfortable sitting down talking to him at the combine talking to him about everything that happened off the field.
Q: Did you gather the facts as to what may have been involved?
A: Yes we do extensive background search on just about every prospect we have especially guys that we’re around or are in trouble. So, yes we feel very comfortable.
OL JOHN MILLER
Q: What’s it like being reunited or being part of an offensive line that features Eric Wood?
A: It’s awesome. I got a chance to train, not train, but workout with Eric Wood at Louisville actually so it’s a great opportunity. I know that Eric Wood’s a great pro, so I look forward to picking his brain and learning from him as we go along.
Q: Is Preston Brown blowing your phone up yet?
A: No. I don’t think I’ve gotten a call from him yet. He might’ve texted me.
Q: What’s this mean for you and knowing that with the Bills you have a chance to compete on a line that has a need at guard?
A: For me, it’s a dream come true just being drafted into the NFL, but being able to come in and compete for a starting position with the Buffalo Bills is great so that’s exactly what I wanted to do is come in, to come in and compete for a starting position and make an impact.
Q: Rex Ryan has talked a lot about having a ground and pound offense here in Buffalo. Is that music to your ears as that’s one of the strengths to your game?
A: Yes sir. Definitely one of the strengths of my game is getting out there in the run game.
Q: The GM used the words aggressive mauler. How much pride do you take in being physically dominant in that part of the run game?
A: I take a lot of pride in it just because I think if you run the ball, it opens up the passing game and just being able to move a guy from point A to point B is what learned to do and I definitely like to play physical in the run game.
Q: When they talked to you, what did they tell you about your expectations when they called you and told you they were drafting you?
A: They called me and told me that I have a chance to come in and compete for a starting job.
Q: Doug Whaley mentioned he brought you in for a visit. What was your impression of the Buffalo area and how did your meeting go with those guys?
A: Everything went well. I thought the Buffalo area was pretty nice…liked the area. I got a chance to meet with Coach Rex Ryan and he just kind of sat me down and told me, “If we pick you, we expect you to come in and compete for that starting position,” and he just told me to have fun with it so I just think that all the coaches are pretty cool and they’re all great guys. I like Buffalo.
Q: And playing a blocking role with LeSean McCoy behind you. That must be pretty intriguing.
A: Yeah, it is. It’s very exciting just because LeSean McCoy is a great back and I’m excited to have a chance to block for him.