GM Doug Whaley
Opening Statement: …last year for offense, we improved it. This year we made a concerted effort for defense and we’re looking for improvement. This guy brings pass rush ability to us. We thought he was one of the top interior pass rush defensive linemen in the draft. We didn’t expect him to be around in the third, very excited to have him. He’s got some stuff he’s got to improve on. We feel against solo blocks, he’s fine. He’s got to get technique sound more on side blocks and take it on double teams. I’ll leave it up to you guys.
Q: Adolphus just said to us that Rex told him he wants him to play right away. Does that mean he’s in line for a starting position?
A: He’s going to come in and compete to start, for sure. If you look at it, we got some holes and we got some guys that need to be pushed or asked to push other people, and that’s what we’re getting this collection of guys to do, and Adolphus is going to be one of those guys. Throw him in there and see who wins the job.
Q: With him likely being a five-technique in your scheme I’m assuming, right?
A: Well he might play five, he might play nose. I think there’s some versatility. I think it all depends on the package. Again, I think you’re going to have to talk to coach on this but briefly what we thought was you can write him in at end, but he’s going to switch and do some nose. Maybe game plan specific type things.
Q: So the way you’re setting it up, Marcell (Dareus) would most likely be the nose more often than not?
A: I think it’s going to be game plan specific I would say. I can’t tell you for sure, we haven’t broke it down, what we’re going to do, but I think the versatility of all three of these guys, between Kyle (Williams), Washington and Marcell, I think they’re just going to be rotating and trying to find the best matchup.
Q: Doug, with all these changes, what challenges does Rex and his defense face in getting these guys up to speed on the system and getting them to gel in time for the start of the season?
A: Well I think they’re starting that now with the classroom and with the offseason working rules. Phase one they get them in the classroom, so they’re starting to gel, the guys who are here. We’ll have the rookies come in next week, this weekend coming up and then they’ll start in and just time together. The spring together. Luckily with Ragland, he’s going to be able to walk right in and have a great familiarity with the defense. The other two young guys, they’re going to have to get up to speed but they’re going to be surrounded by some guys that have been in this system for their second year, so that helps everybody.
Q: You have to admit, I’m not sure if drastic is the right word, but it’s a significant makeover to a front-seven.
A: Well we had some holes. We had to have a makeover. If we didn’t, we’d be going into the season with nobody so we were in that situation and we’re very excited with how we filled those holes. We filled those holes better than we thought we’d be able to so we’re excited about it.
Q: Doug, how much consideration was there given to taking a quarterback at 80?
A: Always a consideration. Again, I’ve told you guys all the time, when ability meets value, that’s when we take the pick. And it just didn’t come to fruition at that pick.
Q: Doug, you’ve come in here three times and said, “I didn’t think this guy would be there.” How great do you have to feel now through two days to say you’ve gotten better value than you thought you’d ever anticipated?
A: It’s one of those things where you envision it and you write the script the night before the draft and you’re laying there and you’re saying, “this guy, this guy, that guy.” It never happens. And I say this time it was one of those times to get two guys that we were going to take in the first round and another guy that we should have taken in the second round because I didn’t think he’d be there in the third round and to get him in the third round, it’s just one of those things where again, I give all credit to the scouting staff, how they set the board up and the vision they had coupled with the information the coaches had, and it’s a Buffalo Bills pick, it’s a Buffalo Bills draft, and we’re excited about it.
Q: What does this say about your confidence in the offense, especially with Tyrod (Taylor) and Robert Woods?
A: I think if you look at our offense, they made a nice leap last year. We were the number one rushing team and the number one rushing per average team. Tyrod’s going to have a whole offseason now as the No. 1 guy, so not splitting reps and taking a third of the reps. He’s going to be with the ones the whole offseason, the whole preseason, so we think they’re going to continue to get better. And obviously our defense wasn’t up to snuff so we made a concerted effort like we did the year before with offense to improve the defense.
Q: He has an arrest on his record. I think the charges were dropped but he missed a bowl game because of it. What did he tell you about that situation that made you feel comfortable with selecting him from a character standpoint?
A: Unfortunate mistake. He admitted it, he owned up to it, he didn’t make any excuses and he knew why it was wrong and why he shouldn’t have done it. And he has a plan in place and he has a support system that we felt comfortable with and we were again, well aware of everything. We did the research and figured that this guy’s a guy with the support system we’ve had around in this building and the guys that we brought in, to know that he’ll be surrounded by some guys to lead him in the right way.
Q: Doug, you go Alabama, Clemson and now Ohio State. Those programs are obviously powerhouses. Is it easier getting a guy as a rookie who’s played against that kind of caliber competition to translate to the NFL?
A: There’s always going to be that transition. Would you say easier? Maybe they’re around the magnitude of what they’re about to step into maybe more than a small-school guy but what intrigues us most is they’re from intriguing programs so they know how to win. They expect to win. And that’s the type of attitude and type of belief we want players coming into Buffalo. Hey, those 16 years, that has nothing to do with us. I’ve come from winning programs that have won national championships. I know how to win, I know what it takes to win. So we want to infuse that feeling and that energy into this building.
Q: Doug, I know we’ve asked this before with guys with those off-field issues. Is there certain issues that you draw the line on?
A: Case-by-case basis. I’ll tell you this much, you just have to do the work. It comes down to you have to do the work and you have to look these people in the eye and see if they’re being truthful with you. But more importantly, do they see the error in their ways and do they have a plan in place to not make the same mistake again?
Q: Without getting into specifics, are there any players in this draft off your board because of that?
A: There are a few. There are.
Q: So how was that meeting with him when you talked face-to-face and looked him in the eye? Did you truly see anything…
A: I saw a guy that was truly remorseful, truly embarrassed and truly hurt for not only him but for how it affected his teammates and the significant people in his life.
Q: What traits did you see in him that suggest that he can help you out?
A: The combination of quickness and pass-rush moves. He’s got a compliment of moves which is rare for an inside rusher, so that’s the type of guy that once we go sub, with his quickness, is going to get those interior offensive linemen some trouble. I think that what we’ve done with the front-seven, it should be an immediate increase in production against the pass.
Q: How do you get a lot of young guys help in Rex’s system when a lot of veterans resisted it last year?
A: I would say they’re green, they’re ready to be molded. So they don’t know any better and I think that’s true with anybody, any young guy. Hey, this is the NFL, I don’t know what’s supposed to be asked of me, what I’m supposed to do, so whatever coach asks, I’m going to do it. And I would disagree with you a little bit about the resistance. I would say it was more not being our slogan, ‘all-in.’ So, you can say resistance, I would say, you know what? Not ‘all-in.’ But we are this year.
Q: What are you expecting going forward with the draft?
A: I think once you start getting through the 4-7 rounds, you start getting at, alright, let’s start looking at where are the other holes that we need to fill and we may diverge from the board just a little bit because we may need to fill this position or that position with depth.
Q: Would that apply to quarterbacks that you might be interested in?
A: Yeah. Every position.
Q: So it’s still fair to say, you said it was a very, very fair to say you might draft a quarterback. Is that that still fair to say?
A: Very fair to say.
Q: You’re done for the night, right?
A: Done for the night. Now, let me say this, like I say, I never back myself into a corner, we still might acquire trades so there’s more than one way to draft, but right now I’d be leaning toward draft but like I always told you guys, I’ll never say never.
Q: There’s a report that when you guys brought in those Ohio State guys you brought them in as a group. What did that do for you guys when you saw how those guys acted and interacted with their teammates as well?
A: That’s exactly right. We wanted to see which person in that group had their role and what their role was in that group. And Adolphus was one of those guys that when he spoke, a lot of people listened. He didn’t dominate the conversation but when he spoke, everyone payed attention. So it taught us, it showed us, that he has the respect of his teammates.
Q: How much better is your defense today than it was three days ago?
A: On paper, we think it’s improved tremendously. But paper doesn’t win you games we got to put it on the field and show it.
Provided by the Buffalo Bills.