CB Vontae Davis
Friday, March 2, 2018
Q: Maybe if you could, just start with what made the Bills the right fit for you?
A: Well, I’m pretty familiar with Coach Leslie Frazier. He recruited me when I was coming out of college, so I’m already familiar with what type of scheme he runs. It was intriguing to play with a young, talented secondary.
Q: When you looked at the Bills secondary last year, Tre’Davious White obviously, the rookie, had a really good rookie season. What did you think you could add as a veteran presence to this secondary?
A: Well I think, as you said, I can add my veteran [presence], my leadership. I feel like I’ve played in some meaningful games in my career and I’m a professional. I know how to approach everything week in and week out. I think I can help Tre’Davious White professionally grow as a player and how you approach the game. I think highly of him, I think he’ll be a great player in this league.
Q: When you looked at teams and when you looked at what the Bills secondary had last year under a defensive minded coach, how much did that play into your decision given how much success they had given the fact that they were first timers together?
A: Yeah, it seemed like those guys played forever together. It was impressive for them to play just one year together. The production they had, and it was very intriguing because all those guys- they’re very young players and I believe it was a perfect fit for me at this point in my career. I just think I can help those guys as far as my leadership and being able to also play with a group of talented guys, young guys, that I feel are very proven in this league.
Q: Given what happened last year and the fact that you signed a one-year deal, I’m not sure if that was your choice [or] the Bills’ choice, do you think you’ve got something to prove this year?
A: Every year in the NFL [you have something to prove], it’s just the nature of the game. Every year, you’ve got something to prove. I just felt like [the] Bills was the best fit for me as a player at this point in my career. I was impressed by their young talent and also, as a veteran, they had a locker room [with players I’m familiar with]. I’m familiar with Shady [LeSean McCoy], I played with [Richie] Incognito. I just thought that was a great situation for me as a player.
Q: I’m curious [as to] what your first impressions were when you walked into the building when you met Sean McDermott and just kind of the overall feel and atmosphere in the building and how that maybe drew you to Buffalo?
A: Those guys, Mr. [Brandon] Beane, Coach McDermott, those guys made me feel welcome, [and] they made me feel at home. As I went on my visit and kind of vibed with everything, it felt like I just belonged in Buffalo because of how everybody made me feel. The organization, I just feel like they run the organization with a lot of integrity. They respect their players. I just felt like it was the place I was supposed to be and coach McDermott and those guys, they made me feel very welcome when I went on the visit. I liked the facility. Even though Buffalo was one of my first visits, as I evaluated things, it seemed like it just stuck with me throughout all of my [other] visits, Buffalo and that whole organization. It had a huge impression on me.
Q: Where are you at in your recovery from your injury and do you think you’ll be ready to participate in the spring practices and offseason workouts and those sort of things?
A: Right now, I’m still rehabbing. I was cleared two weeks ago, so it’s a process. I’m still doing a lot of strengthening work and I’m not sure about the spring yet. I’ll probably be limited, but right now, I’m making progress with my rehab process. I’m back training. I’m prepared to do everything, it’s just a process with the strengthening work and everything.
Q: What did last year teach you?
A: It’s the NFL. I can’t really focus on last year. I’m a Bill now. I’m moving forward. It’s just one of those unfortunate situations in the NFL.
Q: What were you looking for when this whole thing started? What was on the top of your list as far as where you ultimately wanted to land up? What were you looking for in a team?
A: Well, I was looking for a young team, a team that is growing. I felt like the Bills were one of those young teams out there that made a huge leap last year. I feel like I can actually help this team with my veteran presence and be able to make another leap come this upcoming season. It was impressive with the younger players mixed with the veterans in the locker room- that was intriguing.
Q: Can you just walk me through the process again of kind of how you ultimately wound up in Buffalo from your first visit through your other visits and then back there? I apologize for asking again.
A: That’s okay. It was just the organization and my whole visit, the facility. I just liked everything Buffalo had to offer. Not taking anything from the other teams I visited, it was just one of those places where, when I went into Buffalo’s facility, I talked to the coaches and I kind evaluated things and it felt like home to me. It was just one of those things where I can envision myself being and actually helping this team win football games.
Q: How do you describe yourself as far as fitting into the scheme? I know that [with] your experience level, you’ve done everything - zone, man, things like that. Where do you think you fit in best and what you think you can contribute to the defense?
A: As far as the corners play, Coach Leslie, he likes physical corners, corners who can tackle. I feel like I bring those strengths to the defense as a physical corner, a corner who tackles. In a defense, you have to have good tackling corners and I think with the two safeties in Micah Hyde and [Jordan] Poyer, I think, man, those guys were very impressive on tape. I was looking forward to playing with those guys and Tre’Davious White, a young player that I think the world of. I think he’ll be a great player in this league. It’s exciting. I’m excited to play with a group of guys that are hungry players and have a lot to prove. I feel like I’m in a situation where I continue to have a lot to prove in my career. It was an intriguing fit for me and very exciting. I’m very excited to go to Buffalo and play with these young, talented players.
Q: Vontae, Coach McDermott said at the combine that there was a connection that they knew they had a couple guys in the building that had known you from Miami. I’m assuming one of them is Joe Schoen, their assistant GM now. What are your connections to the Bills and did you have any people that you know there? They apparently said that they at least knew you through some of the guys that work in their building now.
A: I knew Joe when I was in Miami. Just from being in Miami and being drafted, I knew Joe. I guess Joe thought highly of me as a player and he is [a] reason I’m in Buffalo.
Q: One quick question about the fans. You announced on social media that you were coming to Buffalo and kind of had a small message to the Bills mafia. What’s your impression of the Bills fan-base? What do you want to tell them?
A: I’m familiar with those guys. I played with the Dolphins, so I had to go to Buffalo and those fans, they’re some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever seen and ever been in. For me, now I’m ready to be on the other side of things and have those fans root for me as a player and actually go to Miami and win games. I can just feel the passion from those guys and it’s going to be a great atmosphere to have those fans behind me as a player, as a team. I always thought those fans were some of the most passionate fans in the NFL. I’m looking forward to having those fans root for us, root for me as a player joining the team.
Q: You mentioned kind of how you feel you add to the defense, I guess what kind of conversations have you had with McDermott and Brandon Beane throughout your visits and signing about where you’ll fit in the defense?
A: We didn’t really go over those things. We just more was talking about just the visit and potentially getting me into Buffalo. We didn’t really go into my fit. I’m pretty sure we would get into that as the time comes, but we haven’t really gotten into my fit in the defense at the moment.
Q: What’s your style of defense? Are you still that aggressive man-to-man covering defender or are you more comfortable in a zone-defense today?
A: I’ve played everything in my career in the league, so I’m familiar with everything - man-to-man, zone. I can play it all. Whatever Coach Leslie Frazier feels anyway I can help the team, I’m pretty sure he’s going to allow me to do those things.
Q: Are you position flexible, I guess you would say, Vontae as far as inside or outside? Or are you strictly an outside guy? Can you kind of do whatever they ask you to do and play inside if they need you to?
A: Yeah, I can play inside if they need me to. Anything I can do to help to help the Bills win. Anything I can do, I’m up for it.