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Bacarri Rambo used to learning on the fly

PITTSFORD -- It might seem like signing two days before the start of training camp would be a massive disadvantage for a player, but in Bacarri Rambo's case it seems like a luxury.

The Buffalo Bills brought Rambo back last week just two days before holding their first practice of training camp at St. John Fisher College, but compared to the time he got to study a new playbook last season, he's ahead of the game.

"It's not any tougher than the situation I was in last year going to Miami in midseason," Rambo said Tuesday after the Bills wrapped up their fifth training camp practice. "No OTAs, no training camp, and learning the playbook and communication and fundamentals on that team -- I don't think it's no different than that.

"It's been a learning process. I've just been trying to absorb as much as I can to play catch up. A lot of these guys have been getting reps earlier in the summer. ... Just learn the coaches, and what they want from me."

It looks like those coaches have liked what they've seen so far, as Rambo has gotten a handful of second-team reps.

"That's why I wear a 7 5/8ths hat. I've got a big head, so I feel like I'm able to learn pretty fast," he joked.

Rambo, 27, played in four games with the Bills in 2014, earning his first career interception -- and later adding another one -- during a 21-13 upset victory over the Green Bay Packers in December. He had a career-high 62 tackles, 11 passes defensed and two forced fumbles the following season, when he appeared in 15 games and made eight starts.

Somewhat curiously, the Bills did not show any interest in bringing him back after the 2015 season. Was that a surprise to him?

"No. I mean, it's a different staff," he said. "That's all I can really say. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here now."

It's a chance he didn't know would come. Rambo admitted Tuesday "I thought I was done."

"It was really tough," he said. "I had my family around to just keep me up, keep my spirit up. My wife and kids ... helped keep my spirit up. I put it in God's hands. All the things I thought was impossible he made possible. Just playing football again, and just being here, it's a blessing."

After starting five games and appearing in nine overall, making 42 tackles, one interception and three passes defensed for Miami in 2016, Rambo had interest from just one team this offseason -- Jacksonville. That makes sense given that former Bills coach Doug Marrone is now in charge with the Jaguars.

That didn't work out, but the opportunity in Buffalo is a good one. Veteran depth at safety is in short supply on the Bills' roster.

"He obviously had skins on the wall, in terms of his experience and playing in this league and what it means, so that’s an advantage for us and for him," coach Sean McDermott said. "The system, just basically the terminology has been the biggest adjustment for Bacarri, in terms of very rarely do two places call the same thing, you know, equally. So, that’s been the biggest adjustment. He’s done a nice job with it. I know he’s been meeting with the coaches extra and that’s shown on the field."

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