Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Q: Jim, you’ve got some running backs on the roster, why go with a running back?

A: Just adding more good players and depth, you know. We factor position in but highest guy on our board, I know you guys laugh when I say it but he was.

Q: What are the qualities he has?

A: Big, physical back, downhill all the way. He’s not a real nifty guy, he’s straight ahead, he’s physical, he used to play linebacker, safety coming out of high school, special team guy. We’re excited.

Q: Any receiving skills?

A: Oh yeah, his hands are fine. Pro Day he looked good catching the ball.

Q: Bad news for Bryce Brown?

A: No, competition.

Q: You mentioned you factored in position when you looked at the position, I guess it wasn’t much of factor there. Was Williams so good that you couldn’t pass him up?A: I think running back is still a position we need to add depth at. I don’t think, I don’t think that’s a set position at all, we want to make sure all of those guys are competing so we look at that as a position we need.

Q: How many running backs do you think you will keep on the roster?

A: I think ideally you like to always keep three, but if the guy can make it we’ll keep four and figure it out.

Q: Jim what can he do for you on special teams?

A: That’s what’s exciting about him right away because he is so fast and he is physical. He’s 230 pounds, ran 4.46 and he used to play defense. That’s his whole mentality even as a runner so he will find a way.

Q: So you say three running backs but you don’t count fullbacks?

A: Right.

Q: Just this season he lost some playing time, what went in to that?

A: We had him in here for a visit and we spent a lot of time with him. I think that’s just a rotational thing. I think that they have some good players there and they just rotate.

Q: How moldable is he as a running back because he is pretty young in the game from where he was in high school?

A: Yeah I mean he’s really only played running back for 2 years at Florida State. The exciting thing about him is the touchdown production he had. He finds the end zone and those types of guys that have that kind of attitude; you run it in the red zone, that’s what you want.

Q: Another Florida State guy with this pick too, what’s that say about the respect you guys have for the organization at that school?

A: There’s a reason they’re winning. They’re not just recruiting good college players; they’re recruiting good NFL players too.

RB Karlos Williams

Fifth Round

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Q: What do you make of this FSU pipeline to Buffalo?
A: Oh man, it’s amazing feeling having guys that you were playing with before, having guys that you’ve been around, that you know there vibe and you know their work ethic.  It just makes it a lot easier to show the organization to be the best you can be and be the person that you are and to have the familiarity that you have there in Buffalo with EJ, with Nigel, and now with Ronald Darby–who’s a great corner.  It almost feels at home being in Buffalo.

Q: Congrats for being drafted.  The trouble is this team is pretty full, stalk-chalk full at running back.  The challenges that you might face and how much are you up for a challenge to join a team that’s already got LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, and Bryce Brown among others?

A: I’m already up for the challenge.  Playing the game of football is a great challenge and I went to Florida State with a lot of guys that I had to compete against.  I played safety, tried out at safety against Terrence Brooks who’s with Baltimore, Lamarcus Joyner who’s now with the Rams and then I moved to running back and had to compete against Devonte Freeman who’s with Atlanta and James Wilder Jr. with Cincinnati so competition is nothing. I’m not afraid of it and I’m going to be behind some great guys, some guys who’ve proven themselves and great backs; LeSean McCoy was a great back for the Eagles, Fred Jackson was one of the best backs to ever play at Buffalo and Bryce Brown: I watched him play in college and he’s proven himself to be a pretty good back in the NFL. Having the challenge and going up there is going to be great and learning from those guys and playing behind those guys and also to be able to play special teams and just to get back and play football is going to be a big blessing. Being outside of football since we played against Oregon and go to the Combine and to the Pro-Day, you didn’t have a chance to get back in football…putting on the shoulder pads, just to go back to work, and now I’m playing for a great organization like Buffalo, it’s no better feeling than that.

Q: How close are you to Ronald Darby?

A: I helped recruit Ronald Darby, hosted him on his official visit, and really tried to help him get into the groove of playing at Florida State and get adjusted to college life.  We have this thing at Florida State we do called summer bridge and I was the captain at his time as a freshman coming in and we’ve always been close, always had a great relationship, and a I’m just excited to be able to have a teammate and be comfortable going into the situation. It’s going to be great having him there like I said before, “You’ll feel right at home playing with a teammate like that.”

Q: You don’t often see a guy going from safety to running back.  What was that transition like and how much room do you think you still have to grow there after doing that?

A: The transition was very hard going from being an aggressive guy and willing to make tackles and willing to hit people. I kind of took that same approach and I watched Coach Fisher change guys positions all the time when he was down at LSU and it worked out for those guys. I believe Dwayne Bowe who was at LSU when he first came in moved to receiver–one of the best receivers in the NFL in the past few years.  I have a lot of room to grow.  Like I said before I have a lot to learn at the position, pass protection, run blocking, pass schemes, stuff like that…I have to learn how to read coverages out of the backfield but having guys in front of me like Fred Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and Bryce Brown who are guys who have been doing it for years and who have actually learned how to perfect the craft and I’m willing to learn and get in right away.

Q: How challenging was the last year for you at Florida State with everything going on off the field?
A: A big challenge, but it is growing pains.  I had a great support system with friends and family having my back through the whole process.  Things you learn that you can and cannot do.  Things you learn to do better.  Things you learn not to do all the time and you learn how to control your emotions and stuff like that but as far as the year went, very good year.  Played pretty good football.  Had a great year.  Played with the first overall pick, Jameis Winston which was great.  Played with Cameron Erving who was number nineteen overall.  Played with Rashad who just got drafted by Jacksonville, Tre Jackson who went to New England…I played with a lot of great guys, Amari who went to Oakland, Eddie Goldman…so I played with a lot of great guys who have been drafted.  My family always said, “You don’t realize you play on an NFL team,” now I’m sitting back watching the Draft and now that I’m picked, honestly I’m playing on an NFL team and I’m NFL ready and I’m just happy to be a part of that.

Q: How much did teams drill you on the off-the-field stuff during the pre-draft process?

A: Not too much.  Once I had a chance to really sit down with the organization and talk to Coach Ryan and talk to the coaching staff, they really understood the situation at hand was not the same person that I was a totally different person.  Totally different guy.  I’m an outgoing kid, charismatic, I love people, love to talk and I love to play football and I think they’ve seen that and I think that’s why they picked me.

Q: How was your visit with Rex Ryan and these guys here?  It seems like just from talking to you, you guys seemed to have hit it off.

A: Coach is definitely amazing.  Coach Ryan is an outgoing coach.  He loves the game of football.  He’s a defensive minded coach but he does know what it takes to put points up on the board on offensive side of the ball.  Everywhere he’s been, he’s put a top ten defense everywhere.  I think he’s putting together the offensive tools with LeSean and with the quarterback challenge he has going on and the offensive line he has and the receivers he has now.  He’s putting the weapons together to create a great offense and I’m just happy to be a part of it.  The visit was amazing.  The Buffalo area is beautiful and also having Nigel Bradham and EJ who played with my brother at Florida State…having them show me around and the facilities.  I just can’t wait to get to Buffalo and get started.

Q: What was your reaction to making the switch from defense to offense?  You kind of made it look easy, but I’m sure it wasn’t.

A: Coach Fisher…like I said before, Coach Fisher changed a couple guys’ positions while he was at LSU and they transitioned. I wouldn’t say it was easy but being able to play the game of football, I played most positions in high school.  I played most positions growing up in playing in little league football but now I’m playing on the college level, everybody’s good.  You have five or six guys on that defense that are going to go into the Draft like we had at Florida State but with the love and belief that my teammates had in me, it made that transition easy.  They believed that I could run the football.  They believed I could pass protect, they believed I could run block, they believed I could catch the ball out of the backfield, and I feel like Buffalo being the same thing and I’m just happy to be a part of that organization.  It wasn’t easy but I think the trust and the faith my teammates had in me made the transition a lot easier than what it was supposed to be.

Q: You have plenty of experience on special teams.  When you look at this depth chart, how important do you think that’s going to be in trying to make this team?

A: Special teams is very important.  We believe that whole-heartedly at Florida State. You can’t win a football game without three phases of the game.  I believe kick-off is the most explosive play in football.  Kick-return can also be a very explosive play.  Also, punt-return, blocking on punt-return. Any play on special teams can be a game-changing play.  In the Super Bowl a couple years ago, Jacoby Jones returned a kick-off return to start the half.  Years before that, you seen Devin Hester open a Super Bowl with a kick-return so you never know what play is going to change a game and special teams are definitely part of those plays.  I played a lot at Florida State.  I played on every type of team you can coach on kick-return, punt-return, kick-off, and punt-coverage so I believe I can come in right away, learn the schemes, and contribute offensive on special teams but more in the back field.

Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Q: Are you worried at all about Tony Steward’s knees?

A: We feel clean, we feel good about it and Coach [Rex] Ryan has known him for a long time too, obviously the Clemson connection with his son and he fits a need as far as special team back up line backers, special teams right away and challenge to start.

Q: How much if any did Rex [Ryan] have impact on that?

A: We were all at the Pro Day, myself, Doug Whaley, Coach Ryan. He was awesome at the Pro Day, he’s 240 pounds and runs 4.64 all day, loves football, tough, productive, we’re excited about him.

Q: You said early that FSU has a distinct winning record; does that immediately draw your attention to that school?

A: Yeah, I mean there is a reason they’re winning. You see these guys and they all love football, they’re passionate about it and they have the makeup to win, that’s what they know; they don’t know how to lose and that’s a big quality, that’s contagious.

Q: How about the problems with the law, does that have anything to do with Karlos Williams?

A: Like I said with Karlos, we had him in, he explained everything, he’s been cleared, he’s fine. I think we feel very comfortable; we did our work on him.

Q: Nick O’Leary’s blocking ability, how would you categorize that?

A: I would say it’s good; he’s 6’3” so he doesn’t have ideal length, but he’s tough. And he gives it all he’s got; he’s more of a wall off position type blocker who gives you all the effort.

Q: Think he’ll wear receiver gloves?

A: Yeah, that’s his thing, any third down, any big play, Florida State usually went to him and he made the play.

Q: His production, I mean one of the nation’s top tight ends in the country do you feel like getting him in the sixth could be a bit of a steal for you guys?

A: Right and that’s the thing he’s been productive his whole career and everybody tells you he’s not the fastest, he’s not the tallest, he’s not the most athletic but then you watch him and all he does is make plays on one of the best teams in the country.

Q: Do you feel like he compliments Charles Clay?

A: Yeah, we like that. That’s what we talked about. We thought that was an ideal complement because he’s still going to give you the effort blocker but he can obviously be a receiver too. So now we have so many weapons.

Q: Not saying he can’t make plays down the field but he’s not your classic down the field play maker as the tight end similar to Clay in that area?

A: Yeah, I don’t see the defense saying he’s going to get behind us, that type of guy, like some of those elite tight ends like a Vernon Davis obviously. But you have to worry about O’Leary.

Q: And that kind of fits how this team will use a tight end in this particular offense?

A: Right, the little bit I’ve seen so far and coach will speak in a little bit he’s going to use all three of them, whatever three it’s going to be.

Q: Is drafting three players from the same school a little unprecedented for you?

A: We were laughing, it doesn’t seem to happen that way, I mean we don’t plan that at all. I mean we’re happy we have all of these guys.

Q: This question came up a lot on social media, being that you have warm weather guys coming through here does that ever come up in any year long meetings or discussions, guys coming to tougher weather places?

A: No, we’ve never had those discussions. The only time you talk about weather is maybe a quarterback’s arm strength, playing in the northeast maybe that would be a factor, but other positions we haven’t really discussed that.

Q: You mentioned that some of the late round picks might have trouble making the roster, does O’Leary have a better chance given how many tight ends Greg Roman wants?

A: That’s exactly right. We looked at this as a sixth round pick with a chance to come in and play a lot for us, that’s hard to beat.

LB Tony Steward

NFL Draft – Round 6

May 2, 2015

Q: What are initial reactions to being drafted by the Buffalo Bills and coming to play for Rex Ryan?

A: Thanks. I was pretty shocked, honestly.  I didn’t really talk to the Bills.  I talked to Rex Ryan a little bit. It was just a big surprise and it’s a dream come true.  It’s exciting.

Q: I know you played with Rex’s son down there.  Had you had any contact with Rex in the past before the pre-draft process?

A: No, I haven’t actually.  I talked to him a little bit after the pro-day but that’s really the only contact I had with him.

Q: I know you made it through two torn ACL’s.  How did you persevere through two significant injuries like those?

A: Honestly…I just looked at it as a bump in the road.  Things happen.  You have to go through some hardships but I’m just one of those guys who just put their head down and keep working.  Doing what I have to do to get back.

Q: You were hurt during your freshman season and when was the second time you hurt?

A: My freshmen year was my second one.  My senior year in high school, I tore one.

Q: How are the knees now?  Obviously last year, you played through it…you started every game last season.  How confident are you that you can make the jump to this level?

A: They are 100-percent.  I played three years on them now with no problem at all so I’m very confident.  I feel great.  I feel like I’m a competitor and I can come in and do what I have to do to make the team.

Q: General Manager Doug Whaley here has said later round picks are going to have a tough time making this roster. Did they communicate that at all to you when they called you and what are your reaction to that challenge ahead I guess?
A: All they told me was that they were drafting me and honestly the rest is up to me and that’s all I ask for.  I’m going to come in and give it everything I’ve got and I plan on making the team.

Q: I think you were rated a little bit ahead of Sammy Watkins in that recruiting class down there, how well do you know Sammy and how excited are you to come paly with him now?

A: Man I am very excited. (Sammy and I) played together at Clemson and he’s a stand-up guy. I’m excited to be able to play another year with him, that’s a pretty awesome opportunity.

Q: Are you more comfortable inside, outside they’re doing a hybrid 3-4 here, how do you think you fit, where are you most comfortable?

A: I’m probably more comfortable inside, that’s the position I’ve always played but I am a person who can adapt. I will be where they need me.

Q: I saw special teams skills, you’re quite adept at that, obviously that’s going to be an important part of your game if you want to crack any playing time this year.

A: Yeah absolutely, that’s something I enjoy doing. It’s like my role early on at Clemson and I took it and ran with it. I was good at it and I enjoyed it and you know I am going to give it everything I’ve got every time I’m out there on the field.

TE Nick O’Leary

NFL Draft: Round 6

May 2nd, 2015

Q: We just asked this to your former teammate and current teammate: What do you make of being part of the FSU pipeline to Buffalo?
A: I’m happy.  I’m there with EJ again, Nigel, Karlos…whoever else from Florida State, I’m lucky to be with them again.

Q: What can you say about Ronald Darby and Karlos Williams: two guys that have checkered pasts off the field so what do you know about those guys?
A: They’re both great dudes.  I played with Karlos for four years and Darby for three years and I loved every second of it.

Q: The Bills under Greg Roman as the offensive coordinator have a need at tight ends.  What are your expectations working your way into this offense and the chance that might be presented to you this season as a rookie?
A: I’m happy to just compete with all the guys that they got there right now.  They got Charles Clay from Miami.  Charles is a guy who I’ve always watched growing up being a Miami fan and just to get in there and compete and try to play a little bit as a rookie.

Q: How do you describe your all-around game?

A: I think that I’m a good fit for them in the passing game, running game, and catch the ball.

Q: What was it like playing with EJ Manuel early in your career?

A: It was good.  I only had a year where I really started to play with him and he was gone after that but yeah, it was fun while he was there.  He always gave me some good advice.  We had a good time while he was there.

Q: You won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end but you slid down to the sixth round.  Is that going to put a bit of a chip on shoulder maybe?
A: Oh yeah.  Big time.  I’m going to go in there and show all these teams what they missed out on.

Q: Were you surprised to go where you did?
A: Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting it.  I didn’t expect to go down that far but that shows that’s what they wanted to do, that’s what happens.

Q: How difficult was it waiting?

A: It was hard.  I was trying to keep myself doing something so I wasn’t just sitting on the couch watching by the time I got the phone call, I was excited.

Q: How’s your golf game because we all know who your Grandfather is.

A: Yeah, it’s pretty good.

Q: What were you doing while you were…you said you trying to not watch TV while you didn’t get picked.  What were you doing to keep yourself occupied?
A: Walking around a lot, played some pool for a little while, and pretty much just hanging out with a couple of my friends and not watching TV.

Q: What sort of advice do you get from your Grandfather if at all?

A: It’s just my Grandparents.  They’re there to support me with whatever happens.

Q: How cool has it been to have a legend as your Grandpa?  What’s it been like growing up?

A: He’s just my Grandpa.  I don’t look at him the same way you guys look at him.

Q: How much contact did you have with the Bills during the pre-draft process?
A: I didn’t really talk to them. My agent, really talked to everybody.  I didn’t know where I was going to go or who was going to pick me until I got that phone call.

Q: How do you sum or your ability to make big plays in clutch games even though you might not have the prototypical speed or whatever?  What do you chalk that up to?

A: I just know how to get open and run my routes on the leverage that the defensive guy doesn’t have on me.  I just make a move a certain way so that he can’t turn his hips to get it. Cover me and put the ball in a spot where I can catch it.

Q: You think you might have to wear gloves when the weather gets cold up here in Buffalo?
A: I don’t know.  I haven’t been in that cold weather yet.


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