Our friends at Buffalo Rumblings are still pinching themselves when they wake up in the morning to make sure they indeed did draft Paul Posluszny this past week. Brian had a few questions for me which you can read here. Naturally, I shot back a few questions of my own and Brian was gracious enough to answer them.
BSD: Have you figured out how to spell Posluszny yet without having to look it up?
BR: P-o-s-l-u-s-z-n-y. I've got it down! It's a lot easier to remember how to spell a guy's name when you respect the heck out of him.
BSD: Very impressive. I think it took me two months. I find a post-it note on the monitor helps.
Obviously the Bills wanted Poz since they traded up to get him. What do you think they saw in Posluszny that made them pull the trigger on that trade?
BR: When the Bills picked at 12, the top three guys on their board were still available. We took our top guy, Lynch, with that spot. When we traded up to get Posluszny, we were able to get the #2 guy on our board. Poz was actually in the discussions at #12, so to get him all the way down at #34 is an absolute steal and we are thrilled to have him.
We traded up to get him because, in short, Posluszny embodies exactly what Marv Levy wants in his players - he's the hardest of workers, physical, tough, a great leader, has great intangibles and is very intelligent. With such a young defense, it was imperative to find a linebacker that was going to pick up our scheme quick; this probably is the sole reason that Poz was rated ahead of Patrick Willis on our board. He was just the perfect fit for our team and he'll (hopefully) be our defensive leader for a long time.
BSD: How does Buffalo utilize their linebackers? How do you see Poz fitting into their defensive scheme?
BR: Perry Fewell, our defensive coordinator, runs a Cover-2 scheme that doesn't blitz often. There were several games last year where we didn't blitz at all throughout the entire 60 minutes. Our linebackers drop back into coverage the vast majority of the time; in run support it's necessary for our guys to be able to shed blockers, as our defensive tackles are all lighter based on our scheme. That's why we got rid of London Fletcher - his size made it difficult to get off of blocks, and as a result he made a lot of tackles 6 yards downfield.
Poz, I think, is a solid fit in our scheme, although by no means is he ideal. He is just athletic enough so that he can probably play any of the three positions, and the majority of his responsibility will be to help us shore up our run defense, which was pretty bad last year. We think that his work ethic and toughness will make him a good run-stuffer in our scheme, and his athleticism will keep him from being too much of a liability in coverage.
BSD: How does linebacker depth look in Buffalo? Does Poz have a chance to see early playing time?
BR: Without question he'll be a starter for us right away. We're desperately thin at linebacker - Angelo Crowell has developed nicely and will likely man the middle. Last year's sixth-round pick, Keith Ellison, played well enough as a rookie to be the favorite to start at the weak side spot, which leaves the strong side spot for Poz. There is the possibility that Poz could play inside and swap spots with Crowell, but I think the coaching staff will recognize that Poz is a bit more effective when he's on the outside. The only competition for a starting spot for Poz is converted safety Coy Wire - so needless to say, we really needed Poz.
BSD: What are your expectations for Posluszny in his rookie year and beyond?
BR: I'm not expecting Brian Urlacher-type success from Poz in his rookie year, but we really need him to at least hold his own and grow with the other young guys on our defense - and we think he will based on his smarts and work ethic. Down the line, ideally Poz would develop into our defensive captain - he's been here for less than 24 hours and he might already be most Bills fans' favorite player (including mine). He is a high character individual who should be a cornerstone of this franchise for a long time, and we hope that he can be as effective here in Buffalo as he was in Penn State. We are 100% stoked to see him in a Bills uniform.
Thanks again to Brian for taking time to answer my questions. Penn State fans are looking forward to rooting for Poz in the NFL. Make sure you stop by Buffalo Rumblings once in a while to get updates and follow Poz's professional career.