BUFFALO BILLS FRONT OFFICE FOLLOWING FIRST DRAFT SELECTION
General Manager Buddy Nix
Head Coach Chan Gailey
Thursday, April 26, 2012
On what he likes about the selection of South Carolina DB Stephon Gilmore:
Buddy Nix: We talk about needing corners with some size and adding speed to our team. I think we did both with (Gilmore). (Gilmore) has been a 40 game starter in a pretty good league. He has good ball skills, he has great speed, and he is a good tackler. He was high on our draft board from the start. I thought when corners started going that there might be a good chance he would not be there. But we were fortunate, I think, to get him. He will help our football team.
On what Gilmore’s forty speed was:
BN: He was high 4.3’s.
On how Gilmore was used in college and how physical of a corner he is:
BN: That is a big thing now. The way they spread you out, the offenses do. First of all, you have to be big enough to match up against the (Patriot’s) tight ends—especially in our division. What they will do, and the same thing we do, is spread you out with five receivers and then run the football. You have to have a guy who can tackle. And this guy is very physical as a corner.
On if the Bills were set on taking a defensive player with the No. 10 overall pick:
BN: I guess there were more of those guys in the draft. You look at the ones who have gone in the top 10, 11 or 12 picks. Tannehill, Richardson and (Kalil). I think there are some very good players that you either get them at this point or you do not get them. They will not be there in the second (round).
On how Gilmore’s ball skills:
BN: His workout was great. We think his ball skills are good. I do not think that is a negative. The thing with his is they did not throw at him a lot. They actually used him some close to the line of scrimmage in the run game. I think (opposing teams) probably went more to the other side.
On if Gilmore is a better man or zone defender:
BN: He is probably, and it is the hardest thing to play in the secondary is off man, he is probably the best at that. (South Carolina) did both, but he is probably really strong at that. He is really confident. He will walk up close if he needs to.
On if the Bills explored moving down or were set on taking Gilmore:
BN: We had opportunities to move up more than move down. We just did not want to give up draft picks. I think you swap two guys for one, and if you miss on that one it costs you dearly. We did not entertain moving down and we had some calls to move up but did not do it.
On if the nature of the NFL being a pass-first league prompted the Bills to look towards improving the defensive backfield:
BN: We finished 29th and 31st at some point and it was not all the rush. We need some help in the secondary. We said this before and said before we started this preparation that we would like to take two corners in this draft. So we got one of them.
On if he’s ready to be a starter at the beginning of the season:
Buddy Nix: Chan, you can probably answer this too. He’s played in the best league. That’s where everybody’s going. You go where the players are. I know you guys accuse me of going south; it’s really Chan’s idea (laughing). We try to go where the players are, wherever it is. He’s played in a good league and he’s started since day one and been very productive.
On what he likes best about DB Stephon Gilmore:
Chan Gailey: First of all I don’t think you could ever have enough good corners in the NFL, and more so today than I believe 10 to 15 years ago and it’s even more so today I believe. You have to have good corners. This gives us the opportunity to have two good young corners to work with that are athletic, they’re both over six foot, they’re fast, they can run, they’re hitters. We’ve made a conscious effort to upgrade our defense in the offseason and Buddy and the personnel people have done a great job of that. It’s going to pay dividends in the long run for us.
On if there was a “wow” moment on film for Gilmore:
CG: If you get the wow moments you’re in trouble in my opinion. You look at, as Buddy says, the body of work of the guy. 40 starts in the SEC. Was a quarterback coming in, had to transition over and learn to be full time over there at that position. The guy’s big and fast, and athletic, wildcat quarterback type guy, is really a very good athlete. There wasn’t a wow moment. You can’t get carried away with wow moments; you’ve got to get carried away with the body of work of a guy.
On what the thought process was of improving the defense as much as they have:
CG: We’re just trying to upgrade our defense where we think it needs upgrading the most. Both of us sat down and identified pass rush was our number one need. That was the one thing we had to address whether free agency, draft, somehow, somewhere, we had to address that. We were fortunate to be able to address that in free agency so it really freed us up in the draft to be able to look at a bunch of different positions and pick the best football player that fit our team quickly.
On if he’s good enough to come in a challenge right away for a starting job:
CG: No question about it. No Question, Yes.
BN: You guys see that what we’re facing most every Sunday when they spread out guys that have tight end numbers on them and run like receivers, they’re big. You just have to have corners that can match up with them.
On him being an offensive guy wanting to add some offensive players:
CG: First of all I don’t think you give off handed compliments. I think those guys have earned what they’ve gotten. I think they have proven they can make plays and play well on the field. We’ve got to get more consistent on offense. I believe that and we’re going to still try to address the tackle position and wide receiver position in this draft if they’re good ones sitting there available and fit us. We’re not trying to put a round peg in a square hole. We want to make sure we don’t do that with our football team. We feel confident that we have good football players in a lot of spots.
On if cornerbacks stay healthy that they will play more dime this year:
CG: Yes we could.