Six times during an interview that lasted less than 2 minutes Tuesday, Reggie Ragland reiterated the same phrase.
"I've got to keep getting better," the Buffalo Bills' linebacker said, over and over again, when asked about the trade rumors that have swirled around him.
"That don't bother me. God going to put me where he need me to be," Ragland said. "Right now I'm with the Buffalo Bills and I'm happy to be."
How long that is for remains to be seen. Ragland has been running with the third team at middle linebacker, leading many to suggest his time with the Bills could be short. As a second-round draft pick in 2016, it would be a surprise if the Bills simply cut Ragland – although with a new coach and general manager running the show, that possibility can't be discounted. A trade could also be a possibility – with the league's website suggesting recently that a deal to the Kansas City Chiefs might make sense. More recently, a rumor has made the rounds on the internet about Ragland being sent to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
"I'm here where I'm supposed to be right now with the Bills," Ragland said. "I can't worry about no trade talk or none of that. I'm worried about what's going on right now."
That would be fighting his way back up the depth chart.
"I'm not where I'm at, but there's a reason why I'm not where I'm at, so I've got to keep getting better, working hard," he said. "The coaches wouldn't put me there if they didn't think I needed to get better. So I need to keep getting better, and that's what I'm going to keep doing."
Ragland mentioned that he's coming off a major knee injury. Asked whether he felt like those outside the team don't understand that, he said, "People ain't going to never understand, but as long as I know what's going on, and the coaches know what's going on, that's the only thing that matters to me right now."
Ragland played in a 3-4 defense at Alabama and was drafted to fit the same scheme under Rex Ryan. The switch to the 4-3 under Sean McDermott has left many wondering whether Ragland can fit his game into a different scheme.
"I really think I can," he said. "I know I can. ... I know when my time comes, I've got to take it and run with it."