On getting some exposure to the Bills coaching staff during this year’s Senior Bowl:
I kind of had a feeling down there. It was a good vibe with the coaching staff. Everything was clicking right. I adjusted well to the plays that they installed, Coach George (Edwards) installed, and the week was great for me.
On if he thinks he needed to show the coaches at the Senior Bowl that he could be a ‘sideline to sideline’ type of linebacker:
Yes, definitely because like I said that’s what I heard (that he was a between the tackles type guy). That type of stuff gets around and my agent, the people around me, got the word to me so I went down to API in Pensacola (FL) and I worked hard to get bigger but at the same time make sure my lateral sideline to sideline was in place so I could go down to the Senior Bowl to show off some of my skills.
On being known as the emotional leader of the LSU defense and his passion for the game:
It’s the feeling that I get before a game. I can’t even put it into words. I’ve been playing the game of football ever since I was five years old and it literally means everything to me. The feeling after a victory is like no other, in my opinion. I just take that to the game and I try to spread it throughout my team and to my teammates. And I see we’ve got big Marcell (Dareus) up front in front of me so I’m going to try to get his big butt fired up before those games so he can keep the linemen off of me (laughs).
On if he’s ever met Bills NT
Oh yeah. He comes back in the summer and works out with the team. Most of the NFL guys come back and work out at LSU during the summer and Kyle’s one of those guys who’s a hardnosed guy. He stays to himself, but when he’s out there you know he’s out there and he’s getting the job done. And that’s definitely a guy who I’m going to try to contact in the near future and get with him as far as working out with him.
On how beneficial it is to him to know LSU has produced other guys in the NFL:
I just took the advice from the man upstairs. He showed me the road, he showed me the way to my decision, I just followed it. I never doubted it. Once I got to LSU I got redshirted and I had some doubts, but I knew I was put here for a reason. And now I see why. LSU has a great name around the league, great people, great fans, and that’s the same, that’s why I can’t wait to see the translation to Buffalo because on my Twitter page all the fans blowing me up saying ‘take Sheppard, take Sheppard,’ I just can’t wait to get up there.
On how he felt his pre-draft visit went in Buffalo:
It kind of felt good – I kind of felt like I was coming back home because of being down at the Senior Bowl, having that contact with the coaches. Once I stepped into the door everyone was like ‘Shepp, what’s up man?’ Just that contact, the good feeling, the good vibe I got on the visit, all the arrows pointed at the Buffalo Bills, but you never know how the Draft goes. I’m just very thankful for my opportunity.
On if the X’s and O’s come naturally to him:
Yes. Yes it is. And that’s, in my opinion, one of my best etches to my game. Being able to get a playbook on Monday and by Tuesday come back and be able to spit it out on the field to help out, like I did at LSU, the young guys. And now I’m the young guy so hopefully I can get in there, learn the playbook, and show the veterans ‘hey man, this young guy’s serious. He’s calling plays, making shifts, and doing all the right things.’
On how he feels about playing in a 3-4 style defense:
Oh I feel great about it. I’m on the inside in there, just thumping, I love the contact and I think that’s another thing I showed down at the Senior Bowl. Gained a little weight to 250 (pounds) but still being able to run. To be honest with you I love it. I love the contact, I love to get in there and take on blocks and make plays.