Rodger Saffold has played in an AFC Championship game, an NFC Championship game and a Super Bowl. So, he knows what successful teams look like. That proved to be the biggest allure in signing a one-year contract with the Bills on Monday.
"I think it's just because of how close I feel they are to a championship," Saffold said of coming to terms with Buffalo. "This is a real Super Bowl caliber team, as well as just a great situation for me to be with one of the coaches. I played in L.A., and we had an unbelievable O-line under Aaron Kromer."
Saffold was one of the Rams most valuable linemen in his first 10 professional seasons playing both tackle and guard. His two most successful however, came under the tutelage of Kromer. The first season under Kromer came in 2017 with Saffold earning second team All-Pro honors. During the second Los Angeles won the NFC title and advanced to the Super Bowl.
"We worked together, and we had one of the top offensive lines in the NFL," said Saffold. "We were able to get to a Super Bowl together. We were able to turn the entire team around and get us into playoff games. I know his techniques. He always made sure everything was clear, made sure things worked. I know how successful I was with him. I know I can be just as successful again. He's just a great guy to work with and he played a big part in my decision."
Saffold also has a familiarity with some of the linemen already on Buffalo's roster.
"Actually, me and (Dion) Dawkins played together at the Pro Bowl and developed a pretty good relationship out there and I'm hoping to continue that," he said. "I know that we'll play for one another. I know of Mitch (Morse). I know that he's super athletic, a vet. I love being able to pick people's brains and see the way that they think and see how we can help each other to play better. Playing in the phone booth between those two is definitely going to put me in a position to be successful."
Lining up at left guard for the last six seasons, Saffold spent the last three in Tennessee, a team that also had an AFC title game loss at the hands of Kansas City.
Despite entering his age 34 season, he is fresh off a Pro Bowl campaign and feels he is capable of offering top-flight guard play.
"I do really well and communicate with other guys on offense a lot," he said. "I kind of like the hard work that was instilled in me and that's kind of what I expect out of my teammates. The one thing that I think I do is make a lot of people around me better. I'm hoping I can do that with this group of guys."
Known as a grinder, Saffold sounds like he speaks head coach Sean McDermott's language as to what goes into being consistent and successful.
"I know the Bills were interested, as well as to other teams, but when it comes down to just the situation and the opportunity of being able to play for a championship, I knew that was here with this organization. All the stars seemed to align. This is a complete football team. I love the environment that's around this team. So, I'm excited to bring some of this experience over here and try to help us move forward."