Buffalo Bills LB Shaq Lawson
Q: Congratulations and this seems like something you were very excited about?
A: Oh yes sir man. It is a blessing man, I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. Having the chance to come to Buffalo is great. A guy, I met Coach Rex Ryan, met him a few years ago since his son came up there and we share the same major, so used to talk about what if I could play in Buffalo.
Q: Did you get to know him much, I know he came around the team a lot?
A: Oh yes sir. I had conversations with him a lot when he came down.
Q: Talk about your versatility and what you are going to be able to bring to the NFL?
A: I can bring anything to the table. I am a guy that has played both, a guy, whatever the team needs me to do I am going to be able to do it. That is why I can show versatility for us.
Q: Doug Whaley said you are going to come in and start at outside linebacker, how much experience to you have as a standup guy on the edge?
A: I got a lot of experience as a standup guy. I played standup linebacker in high school, played standup at Clemson. Man I am comfortable with it, I am going to be ready to go.
Q: You don’t prefer one to the other?
A: Oh no sir, I don’t. I will do whatever the team needs me to do.
Q: Is Shaq short for Shaquille?
A: Yes sir.
Q: So you are named after the one and only (Shaquille O’Neal)?
A: Yes sir.
Q: Health wise how do you feel?
A: I feel great. I feel one hundred percent.
Q: Which shoulder is it?
A: The right shoulder.
Q: When did you do it?
A: It is something I have had since my freshman year and it hasn’t given me a problem, and I really didn’t know anything about it.
Q: Did you have a good indication you were going to go to Buffalo?
A: Yeah, I knew at the time. I knew that Buffalo loved Clemson and I knew still sitting there that they would have the chance to take me.
Q: What was it like to be in pre-draft meetings with Rex Ryan?
A: Man, they drafted me so it was the best pre-draft meeting I had. Everybody else meeting was up tight, asking you who the fourth president was. When I went into that meeting room I just felt laid back. Talking to me about football and things like that.
Q: Did it help that you had a previous relationship with Rex?
A: Oh yes, yes sir. I knew James Trapp up there. So I was very comfortable when I went into that meeting room.
Q: How much did your personal life force you to grow up quicker than normal?
A: I knew, I knew, I mean at the time my younger brothers where young, and when my Dad got killed in a car accident they were very young. I knew what I had to do. They needed a father figure in their life. So I was going to be that man to do it. At the time I was 16, I didn’t care what I had to do I was going to be that man and lead by example and lead the right way for those guys.
Q: You are basically replacing Mario Williams. Does that give you any more responsibility?
A: No sir, I don’t feel any responsibility. I am just going to come in there every day and do my job. And do what I have been doing and continue to get better every day.
Q: Did you know Seth at all, Rex’s son?
A: Yes sir man. Seth and I were in the same major. We had classes together.
Q: Did you know Rob’s son is also walking on at Clemson. Did you know him at all?
A: At the time he had just committed to Clemson when I had this draft, so I never met him.
Q: What do you think about the Buffalo Clemson connection?
A: Man Buffalo feels like home to me, everything that Clemson did. So I am glad that Buffalo picked me. I just feel like I at home with them. They use the same term all in like we did at Clemson, same meaning and everything, so just happy.
Q: How much have you stayed in touch with Sammy Watkins?
A: I talk to Sammy [Watkins] a lot. Me and Sammy actually have the same agent, so we have conversations a lot. I mean I talk to Sammy a lot, him and [Jonathan] Meeks both.
Q: Adam Schefter reported you would go under surgery after this season, any truth to that?
A: No there is truth to Adam Schefter’s report. The report about me having surgery I don’t know where that comes from. I guess he just wanted to put something out there. If I didn’t have surgery my freshman year why would I need surgery now? I can still play ball.
Q: Did you have surgery before?
A: No, I never had surgery on it. I never had surgery on it.
Q: You said there is no truth to future surgery?
A: No, there is no truth about me having surgery. I don’t know why it is coming up in question I am ready to play football. Having surgery is not in my question right now.
Q: You much of a NBA fan?
A: A NBA fan, yes sir I am a NBA fan.
Q: What is the story behind the Shaq name?
A: That story was crazy because it took me like two or three days to get my name. And then my Dad played basketball in college, and I just grew up around a basketball family, so I came out a long baby, so they were like I am going to name him Shaq. It was just crazy. I just talked to Shaq last week on the phone.
Q: You talked to Shaq?
A: Yes sir, I had a radio call on the phone with him.
Q: What did he say?
A: He just told me, he knew my story about how my Dad got killed in an accident and things like that. He was just telling me the things I am going to look forward to as a professional athlete.