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Transcript: Gailey on Kelvin Sheppard

Posted Apr 29, 2011

Opening statement:

Looking at our last pick Kelvin Sheppard, obviously he’s a guy we had in the Senior Bowl. We had him up here on a ‘30 visit’. We just felt like that he was a 250-pound linebacker that could move, that could again help us play the run. He played in a tough conference, played sideline to sideline, actually better in the Senior Bowl than he did sometimes on tape. We really were able to see his speed there and we then we had a real good visit with him here testing his knowledge and seeing where he was as far as an overall football player understanding everything that we’re trying to get done. He’s a guy that we weren’t sure was going to be there and he was. We were able to give ourselves some more help on defense. That’s what we’ve tried to do is give ourselves some help on defense.

On if Sheppard was an eye opener at the Senior Bowl:

It was because he had made All Conference and we heard some good things about him. But we also heard that were some limitations about him running sideline to sideline. And we saw just the opposite. We saw a guy that could make plays all over the field and that was an eye opener for us.

On his build and run stuffing ability:

That’s one of the reasons we liked him. He’s a thick guy. He’s 250 pounds and that’s why I think a lot of people thought a 250-pounder couldn’t go sideline to sideline. They thought he was a between the tackles player and we saw it a little differently once we got to know him and started watching him closer.

On his personality and leadership:

He is a bright-eyed, enthusiastic football player. The emotional part of the game is one of his fortes. He brings emotion to the football field. And he was excited when we talked to him tonight about having an opportunity to be a Buffalo Bill.

On addressing each level of the defense in the first three rounds:

We’re trying to address needs as well as taking people at the top of our board. We’re trying to do both. And you have to look at it, too, and say to yourself how do you think this board is falling? Where are these guys going and who’s going to be left when you pick the next time? And you have to make good decisions. Buddy’s done a great job of looking at the board and seeing who we should take where. Like I said, we were not sure Kelvin would last until this pick. Buddy did a great job.

On sticking with defense this draft:

We wanted to address our defense and we definitely wanted to do that. We think we’ve done that, and we’ve got to continue taking the best players that are up there. We all know we’re not going to look hard at the receiver position. Our interior guards, tackles and center spots are pretty solid. We’re not focusing there. Everywhere else, we have to continue to build our football team. And you do that with tomorrow. That’s what you do, you build the rest of your team with those picks tomorrow. Those are important picks tomorrow as well.

On if it is an endorsement of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick without selecting a quarterback:

It gave us the freedom. To me, Fitz’s abilities, his leadership and the way he played last year gave us the freedom to be able to do what we needed to do with our football team.

On his reaction to the labor situation and if he disappointed:

What I have learned in this whole process is don’t think anything is in concrete. It can change, and probably will. Wait until tomorrow, who knows? I don’t know. I don’t know what the word is. You’d just like for things to get resolved so we can get on some kind of schedule. But, hey, that’s our life today. That’s where we are. You deal with it and go on.

On seeing the board of inside linebackers thinning down and hoping Sheppard would fall to them:

Yes.