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Listening to Cyrus Kouandjio speak, the confidence built from being part of a winning program is obvious. The Alabama product, who claims to have lost only seven football games in his life, wasted little time in setting the tone on his first day as a Buffalo Bill.
“I don’t know why we haven’t been a winning team, but I’m a winner. That’s what I do,” he said.
“So I come here with the intention to win games, no matter what. I don’t care, I want to win and I’m going to do what I have to do to win.”
The run-stuffing Louisville linebacker is looking forward to learning from
“It seems exciting and what I’ve read so far there are a lot of blitzes and different packages in there that I’ve learned,” he said. “I know we blitzed a lot at Louisville and I’ll have fun here doing that.”
“The one thing that has remained constant with Thad is that he continues to push me to work harder. Even though I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals, there are still a lot of things that I have left to do. He continues to push me and make sure I stay disciplined in my work ethic.”
Cockrell also drew ties to his experience in the resurgence of historic football programs, formerly at Duke and now with the Bills.
“Tremendous history here, and there is tremendous football history at Duke as well if you go back far enough. Coach [David] Cutcliffe taught me a lot about the process and doing the little things that make a big difference.”
The undrafted Buffalo native can’t wait for his chance to compete for a roster spot on his hometown team. Despite the fact that he didn’t hear his name called on draft day, he’ll have a nearby example of how successful undrafted players can be in second-year corner
“Whatever and whoever I can ask to be successful, that is the plan. It just shows his work ethic and with the odds stacked against him, his ability to still overcome and have a great rookie season and go in to his second season."
Gaines had originally committed to UB (where he would have played with Khalil Mack) but when coach Turner Gill left for Kansas, Gaines opted to play at Miami instead. Little did he know that it would all come full-circle.
“It’s amazing being back home and being well-received from people back home. From my high school teammates and everybody just excited for me to be here.”