As free agent linebacker Andra Davis was in the midst of his visit to One Bills Drive Tuesday he said he didn't feel he had to make a decision "right now," but in the end the nine-year veteran did just that signing a multi-year deal with Buffalo.
"I'm very excited," Davis told Buffalobills.com. "It's definitely a great feeling. I'm happy to be here. What closed the deal was the fact that I felt very welcome. It's a blessing and I'm happy this whole situation is over with. Now I'm focused on helping the team achieve the next step."
Davis was scheduled to leave Buffalo late Tuesday afternoon, but pushed his flight back after significant progress was made when it came time to discuss contract with Buffalo's front office.
The veteran linebacker talked about the franchise's tradition as well as their move to a 3-4 defensive scheme as some of the aspects that convinced him to visit the Bills, but defensive coordinator George Edwards was one of the club's best selling points having been Davis' linebackers coach in Cleveland in 2004.
"It was a huge factor in this decision," said Davis of Edwards being Buffalo's defensive coordinator "We had a great relationship in Cleveland and now we have the chance to do it all over again. He believes in me and I believe in him and I know we can get it done. The whole time I was in there we just kept talking about the defensive players that we have on this squad right now and with his expertise and my experience and the guys' playmaking abilities we can definitely turn this thing around."
Davis is also very familiar with Bills outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders, who coached him for three of his collegiate seasons at the University of Florida.
The linebacker adds to a talent pool that wasn't all that deep at the position, but he joins an inside linebacker contingent that has some veteran players in Paul Posluszny and most likely Kawika Mitchell.
"I'm just going to come in here and compete," Davis said. "Coach Edwards told me I had the same opportunity that everyone else has here. That's all you can ask for in this league is an opportunity in this league. You don't want anyone to give you anything. So he's going to give me the same opportunities he's going to give all the other guys."
What Buffalo gets in Davis is a productive inside linebacker that is well versed in the 3-4 defensive scheme, something that gives Davis added value as the staff implements the system in year one.
"Last year in Denver was our first season putting the defense in and we started off great," Davis told Buffalobills.com. "I like when coaches lean on me. I like to be that guy on the field that players lean on. I enjoy that."
Davis is the first free agent defensive player signed by Buffalo this offseason. Offensive tackle Cornell Green was the first free agent signee of the club last week.