The Bills clearly would prefer a seamless transition for any free agent linebacker they might sign, and Freddie Keiaho is the latest example. The Indianapolis Colts free agent visited with the Bills brass on Thursday, and has played in a strikingly similar defensive system to that of Buffalo.
Keiaho said they’re looking at him as a possible reinforcement for the strong side linebacker position.
“I talked to the defensive coordinator and they really like me,” said Keiaho. “They want to shore up the SAM linebacker position. They talked to me about that. It’s an exciting possibility. Whatever happens I’m sure they’ll be fine. Keith Ellison is a great player and whoever they bring in here will do a great job. They have a quality staff.”
Buffalo currently has uncertainty at the strong side linebacker position with Angelo Crowell an unrestricted free agent and Keith Ellison only tendered as a restricted free agent.
Keiaho (6’0” 230), a former third-round pick, has been a two-year starter for the Colts where he played primarily weak side linebacker. Last season was the most productive of Keiaho’s young career as he finished second the team in tackles with 114 tackles, two quarterback pressures and a pair of fumble recoveries according to coach’s statistics.
“Coming out of college the Colts drafted me with the same position in mind,” said Keiaho. “The main question was whether I could play SAM and they put me there and things were going well, but I sustained an injury that took me out in the preseason. I had come back to play the SAM, but after that season I had played mostly MIKE and WILL.”
Playing in a similar Tampa-2 scheme under Tony Dungy in Indianapolis, Keiaho feels there are a lot of similarities between the defensive schemes that would make his adjustment easier were he to sign with the Bills.
“Talking to the coaches and the system they run here is not very complicated,” said Keiaho. “It’s very simple so it’d be really easy to make the transition. A lot of the terminology carries over.”
At age 26, and known as an omnipresent tackler, Keiaho’s career is just beginning to take off and would represent good competition for a starting spot in Buffalo’s linebacking corps.
“I want to be a better football player and if I feel like the Bills can make me a better player with this coaching staff then it’s definitely a possibility to entertain coming here,” he said.
Keiaho is the third linebacker to visit Buffalo as a free agent. The Bills hosted free agents Jamie Winborn last week and Cato June on Wednesday.