Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is big on culture and fit in his locker room.
Marshall Newhouse has built a reputation as a guy who's a good teammate, in addition to starting 70 games over eight seasons in the NFL.
At the least, Newhouse should fit in with McDermott's esprit de corps.
"Obviously the NFL is a results-oriented business, so if you can't play and contribute, your time will be short," Newhouse said on a conference call with Buffalo media Tuesday. "But I also believe I bring a lot in terms of being a good teammate, professionalism, a locker room presence, leadership skills, all that stuff. That's something that within yourself you learn how to do those things over time, or you don't and you don't last as long."
Newhouse's signing signals the Bills' desire to upgrade the right tackle position, where Jordan Mills started the past two years. Mills played 97 percent of the snaps last season.
How much of an upgrade could Newhouse be over Mills? It's debatable based on his uneven play for the Raiders last season. Mills has 66 career starts. Newhouse has 70.
Conor McDermott, claimed off waivers from New England last season, also figures to be a viable part of the competition. He dressed for three games with the Bills last season.
New Raiders coach Jon Gruden opted to cut ties with Newhouse one year into a two-year contract. It's common for a new coach to make sweeping personnel changes. Nevertheless, Gruden decided he wanted to do better in releasing Newhouse just before the start of free agency.
“We didn’t play to the level we did two years ago for a lot of reasons,” Gruden told reporters at the NFL Combine three weeks ago. “We had a new feature back, new offensive coordinator, struggled I think on the right side of our offensive line at times. Amari Cooper got hurt, [Michael] Crabtree was suspended. All those things add up."
Asked to describe his strengths, Newhouse said: "I'd say I've had great feet my entire career. When I use them, I've got great hands. I'm smart, I can anticipate. I play hard. I love being part of a team. I still feel like I have at 29 years after eight years in the league a lot of room to improve."
When he was released Newhouse tweeted:
“I feel as encouraged, passionate and alive as I’ve ever felt!” Newhouse wrote. “Thank you to the @RAIDERS and all the incredible staff/teammates that helped me the past year. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Said Newhouse of his reaction:
"A lot of that comes from just maturation. I just finished my eighth year in the league year going into nine and you gain a sense of perspective of what this job is and it's role and its position in the greater scheme of life."
"It's a realization in that moment yeah it was a gut punch but realizing there's still a lot of football left for me to be played regardless of where it is, a lot of life left to be lived."
Newhouse said he was impressed with Bills offensive line coach Juan Castillo.
"I think Juan Castillo, we were familiar with each other coming out of the draft, talking to him on my visit was enlightening, encouraging," he said. "He also sees room for growth in me as well. I think all of those things combined bring a lot of value to the Buffalo Bills."
On what he can improve, Newhouse said: "Yeah, it was the consistency of use with my hands and my sets being more uniform and my posture being more uniform. Those are things that I try to be as self-aware as possible and self-critiquing as possible and definitely things I’ve seen over my career that I’ve slowly shaved off part of them and gotten better, but there’s still room to grow and those are things we talked about."