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Morrison settling in with Bills

Posted Aug 30, 2011

Monday was his first chance to line up with new teammates in a new system with a new coaching staff. Fortunately for Morrison he’s been through change before.

“I’ve got to play a lot of catch-up,” he said after his first practice. “The good thing about it is I’ve played a lot of football in this league. I know a lot of different defenses. This is going on my seventh year, my fifth head coach so I’ve been in a lot of systems before, fourth defensive coordinator, fourth linebacker coach. I’ve seen the game through a lot of different eyes and I’m excited to bring my knowledge of what I’ve learned over my first six years over here.”

At this point Gailey and his defensive staff have yet to assign him a specific position, though he worked with the inside linebackers.

“He’s a veteran linebacker that’s played ‘mike’ linebacker a decent amount and he’s been productive over the years,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He brings some experience, speed and hopefully some good play to our football team. It’s going to take some work to get him involved and get him acclimated, but we’ve got a little bit of time so we’ll do the best we can.”

The addition of Morrison maintains a solid core of veteran linebackers on Buffalo’s roster as he replaces the experience lost by the season-ending shoulder injury suffered by Reggie Torbor.

“We’ve got some guys that have played in games before and know their way around the game so we feel pretty good about that and we’ve got some good young ones,” said Gailey. “It’s going to be an interesting fight to see how that turns out.”

It’s presumed with Morrison arriving so close to the start of the regular season that Andra Davis and Nick Barnett will remain the starting linebackers on the inside in Buffalo’s base defense. Beyond that there would appear to be opportunities for Morrison to get on the field, perhaps in some of George Edwards’ subpackages.

“I’ve started the last 95 consecutive games in my career,” said Morrison. “I’ve never missed a game in the NFL. One thing is I study hard, I work hard and just on Sunday you can count on me to be there. That’s how I’ve always been. My role here is still kind of up in the air because I just got here, I’ve got to play a lot of catch-up, learn a lot of defense, until that happens I’m definitely comfortable with sitting behind Andra and Nick and just being a part of a rotation.”

For Buffalo to land a player the caliber of Morrison this late in the offseason was a veritable coup. Even Gailey admitted they were surprised he was still available so late in the game.

“We were fortunate,” he said. “There were other teams that were after him and we were fortunate to get him on our football team.”

“I had interest from other teams but I was looking for the opportunity that I could go out and be a positive leader on a football team,” Morrison said. “Buffalo was always a team that called me from the beginning when free agency first started. They were kind of deep at linebacker and as the numbers kind of got thin I said, ‘You know what, that’s a team that I’d like to play for.’”