In an effort to learn more about the 2011 Buffalo Bills draft class members, Buffalobills.com has launched a new Q&A feature called FOUR DOWNS …
Today, Clemson Associate Head Coach/offensive guards coach Brad Scott talks about the Bills’ fourth round selection (122nd overall) Chris Hairston. Scott praises Hairston for his preparation and film study which helped the coaching staff make adjustments during the course of the game. Scott also thinks Hairston’s versatility will make him a valuable asset for the Buffalo Bills.
Scott share more impressions of Hairston in today’s edition of FOUR DOWNS ...
Describe Chris Hairston in 30 seconds or less
He is an outstanding young man. He is very smart and graduated from Clemson on time with his degree (in Management). He has great integrity. He is a quiet kid, but he was always very well-prepared for practices and games. He is an accountable, dependable young man and a hard worker.
What is Chris Hairston’s best quality as a football player?
His football IQ. I think Chris impressed a lot of scouts when they put him on the board and saw his knowledge of the game of football. He has a good football IQ and I would say that he sees the game well as a player, meaning that he can come over to the sideline and give you accurate information which helps in making sideline adjustments. I could always depend on him to do that, and that comes from preparation and film study.
What is the most memorable moment or biggest highlight in Chris Hairston’s college career?
This past year we played Florida State who had a defensive end Brandon Jenkins. He was really a fast kid, extremely quick, had an up-and-under and a spin move. He had a great speed pass rush on the edge. Just seeing Chris prepare that week for him and then to go into that ballgame and do a great job. He did not give up a sack. That was his biggest challenge this year.
Also, we played Georgia Tech in 2009 on the road and they had a defensive end in Derrick Morgan. Morgan was lining up over our right tackle and Chris was playing left tackle. Morgan was wearing our right tackle out in the first half. At halftime I said, “Chris, we need to move you over and match you up with Morgan. Do you think you can handle that on the ride side?” He said, “Sure, let’s try it.”
He goes out there in the second half and plays really well without practicing there during the week. Relying on his technique, fundamentals and understanding of the game he switched sides at halftime and did a really nice job. Not taking anything away from Derrick Morgan who was a great player, but I think Chris held his own that half and helped us offensively be more productive.
What is the biggest change you noticed in Chris Hairston from his the time he entered school to now?
The commitment that he made in the weight room. He worked harder in the weight room. Year after year you could see it becoming more important to him and I think that is part of the maturing process all these young kids go through. He got himself in better shape his junior and senior year. And the film study, not just of opponents, but he watched NFL tapes. On his own he would come in and watch the steps and the pass protection techniques of some of the linemen and their individual fundamentals. I saw him get better fundamentally.
What will Chris Hairston bring to the Buffalo Bills football team?
I think he is going to bring a good foundation of the game. His skill level is there to play in the NFL. The building blocks and foundation has been laid I think because of his work habits, the program here and the things that he learned. He will have the ability, but lack the experience. They do a good job there and I know the line coach. They will bring him along very quickly. It takes time. This is a developmental position but I think Chris has that ability to play at that level - no question about it. He’ll work hard.
Where do you think Chris Hairston will make the biggest impact on the 2011 Buffalo Bills football team?
The ability to play swing tackle. I know it is important to cross-train. I think because of his college background and playing on the left side, his pro potential may be on the right side. But having that background will bring some depth to the team as a guy that can maybe be a swing tackle.
What will Chris Hairston contribute to the Buffalo community?
He is kind of a quiet youngster by nature. He was a leader on our team without being a rah-rah captain. He does have a big-time smile that will melt your heart. When I saw him on our fan appreciation days or working in the schools or in the community with young kids he was very pleasant. He has great integrity.