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What They Said: Transcript of Shaq Lawson's introductory Bills press conference

LB Shaq Lawson

Opening Statement from GM Doug Whaley:
Thanks for coming out. I’m sure you guys are tired of looking at me, so without further ado, I wanna welcome the newest member of the Buffalo Bills, Mr. Shaq Lawson.

Q: What have been your first impressions of Buffalo?
Shaq Lawson: My first impression was great. Last night when I was waiting on that call, I knew Buffalo was sitting there at 19 and I was like, “Please come get me Rex.” And when I got that call from New York, I knew I was coming to Buffalo and it’s just been a great city. I experienced a lot this morning. I’ve seen the city and places and things like that.

Q: Was the excitement driven a lot by just you knowing what Rex can do when defensive players are put in position to do the kinds of things you did at Clemson?
SL: Oh, yes sir. He puts defensive players in the right positions to make plays, so, aggressive defense. I fit great here in an aggressive defense.

Q: Can you recall when you first met Rex and just what that was like and what you may have discussed or what you may have said to him jokingly to break the ice?
SL: When I first met Rex Ryan was my freshman year at Clemson. Me and Seth were both moving into the freshman dorms and he was just talking about how he had two first-round picks that attended Hargrave and he said maybe that can be you one day and that was the first thing that he said to me when I first met Rex.

Q: Did you reflect upon that maybe last night or over the past couple of months?
SL: Oh, yes sir. Yes sir. I reflected on that last night and I remember one time, like Pro Day, he was telling me, “Are you ready to be a Buffalo Bill?” So, it’s just great.

Q: You mentioned that other teams were asking you questions like who’s the fourth president and things like that. What did Rex ask you?
SL: He didn’t ask me anything about the presidents’ history or anything like that. I felt I had a great vibe when I went into the room. I felt very comfortable when I met those guys at the combine and just talking about football and what I can bring to the table and to the team.

Q: So it was just like more relaxed?
SL: Oh, yeah. It was more relaxed, a more relaxed meeting. I went into other meetings and was just kind of nervous, uptight, you know, especially when they asked me who the fourth president was. I was like I don’t know. I had no idea who it was.

Q: Was that the weirdest question you got at the combine or were there other crazy questions?
SL: Oh I had another question like, “How would you kill somebody?”

Q: Really?
SL: Yeah it was just weird.

Q: What did you say to that?
SL: I was just like…I don’t know. I can’t remember what I said but I just sat there for a minute and was like why would I want to kill somebody?

Q: Which team asked you that?
SL: I can’t remember. I met with a lot of teams so I couldn’t remember who asked me that.

Q: Did you watch film with Rex at the combine?
SL: Oh, yes sir. We watched film of my plays, of what they do on defense and everything.

Q: Did you come in for a visit?
SL: Oh, no sir, I didn’t.

Q: How prepared do you feel to make the transition to the NFL?
SL: I’m very prepared. I’m ready to bring what I bring to the table. A guy who’s going to set the edge on the run, a guy who’s going to get after the quarterback. I’m just ready to play football.

Q: How much do you know about Rex’s scheme and how do you think you fit into that?
SL: I fit into the scheme. They’re going to do a lot of different things with me. I can play either-or, so I’m just ready to get on that field and help this team out and bring a banner back here and bring a Super Bowl back here.

Q: The questions we asked you last night about your shoulder coupled with the Adam Schefter report, I mean, obviously that’s going to linger…From your standpoint, how do you sort of see yourself managing that other than, you know, playing and going through it. Are you prepared to kind of hear a lot about that at least until nothing comes up?
SL: I’ve been hearing about that for four or five months. I know where I’m at. I’m just ready to play football at 100-percent.

Q: The follow up report from Adam Schefter said six teams were concerned at the Combine?
SL: At the time when I went to the Combine one team that had flagged me was Jacksonville, they had flagged me, everybody else had passed me. And when I went back to the recheck a lot of teams said my range of motion was great. Everything was great, I had improved. I sent the video out Monday to all 32 teams of my bench press, and the whole full show of the workout.

Q: Do you expect to need surgery at any point?
SL: No sir.

Q: You wore a brace on your shoulder during games at Clemson?
SL: Oh yeah, I wore a brace my last couple of games my junior year, other than that my sophomore year I didn’t wear one at all.

Q: When you look back on everything and changing schools, do you look at how the path brought you to this point?
SL: God had a plan for me. It was just a long journey. I had to overcome a lot of adversity at the time. Dealing with my Dad getting killed in an accident, had to attend Hargrave Military, just it was just hard on me, but I found a way to fight through it. I knew I had to be a support for my brothers and sisters, lead by example in the right way.

Q: And going to Clemson is how you met Rex Ryan?
A: Oh yes sir, so it all ended up right. Man, Rex Ryan, had classes with Seth [Ryan], we were in the same major. Came in the same year at Clemson, so it was just incredible how I met Rex Ryan.

Q: What were your thoughts and emotions as 18 guys go before you?
SL: I just kept a smile on my face. I knew God had a plan for me, where he was going to put me at. I was just waiting to hear my name called, I was just keeping a smile on my face.

Q: So what makes you different from other pass rushers, and your GM saying you are going to start day one?
SL: I am different from those guys because I feel like I went against the best competition. Guys like Ronnie Stanley, guys you are going to see every day in the NFL. A guy like Cam Robinson, going to be a top five pick next year and I have been consistent throughout my career. Even though after playing behind Vic Beasley, I still be able to do what I do, and coming in day one that was my goal anyway. Coming in day, coming in there play and make an impact and get this team back to the playoffs.

Q: Did you have any conversation with current Bills players?
SL: I talked to Sammy [Watkins] last night, I talked to Jerry [Hughes] this morning. He said he was ready to put an AFC banner up, I said “Let’s do it man, it is here.”

Q: He said that?
SL: Yes sir, he texted me this morning.

Q: You saw a player slip for off the field issues, is that something you thought of that anything you can do off the field can make you slip in the draft?
SL: Oh yes sir. I have been a guy with great character all my life. You can’t waste the opportunity you get. So I was going to make the most of my opportunity. Those guys that have off the field issues, I feel like I couldn’t have been in that situation. I can’t embarrass my name, embarrass the program, embarrass anything about me.

Q: How difficult was it to not knowing what was going on with Laremy Tunsil?
SL: It was, I mean, I seen the video during the draft, it was just crazy. How somebody linked that up about him. He handled it like a man during the draft process. I know my table was near him, and I see him handle it like a man.

Provided by the Buffalo Bills.

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