Getting adjusted. For an NFL rookie it can be easier said than done. In addition to all the new football related responsibilities as a player at the pro level, there's a brand new city to get accustomed as well. For Bills seventh-round pick Kyle Calloway, that might be the easiest part of his NFL transition.
There's an old Johnny Cash song entitled, 'I've Been Everywhere.' The country legend proceeds to chronicle everywhere he's traveled through the course of his career in rapid succession. Calloway does not have quite the list that Cash did. Of course he also wasn't just passing through at all of the stops in his brief 22 years. A son of military parents the Bills offensive lineman spent years at a time in more than a half dozen different locations.
"I've lived in several different places," Calloway told Buffalobills.com. "I was born in Florida, went to Japan, moved to New Mexico, then I moved to Arizona and I was there for about four years. Then I moved to Hawaii, then out to Illinois and then back to Arizona. Then obviously I went to Iowa for my college."
Calloway's parents, Ed and Nancy Calloway are both in the Air Force. Their second stint in Arizona is going on almost five years, a long stretch in one place for career military people.
"It's just the lifestyle we live," Calloway said shrugging it off. "When you have military parents that's what they're required to do every couple of years. They get stationed somewhere else or deployed. It's just something you learn to live with."
One might wonder how a military kid lands on the radar of Big Ten Conference coaches like Iowa's Kirk Ferentz when he spent time at three different high schools.
"When I moved to Illinois that's when I started getting big into sports," said Calloway. "I was living in Illinois for my sophomore, junior and half of my senior year. I actually finished the football season in Illinois and all the Big Ten and Big 12 schools were watching me play there."
Right after football season concluded he was off to Arizona for the second time, and Calloway had a unique opportunity upon returning to the Grand Canyon State.
"When I moved to Arizona the rule for the schools down there was you only had to be in the school two weeks and practice for two weeks and you could play," explained Calloway. "At the time the high school in Arizona was in the playoffs and I actually got to play in a playoff game with the high school here, which was pretty amazing."
Despite a verbal commitment and Calloway's full intention of signing with Iowa, Ferentz wasn't taking any chances knowing the Pac-10 schools might be trying to persuade him to reconsider his options. So the Iowa head coach paid him a visit in Arizona.
"It was basketball season at the time and he came down and watched me play in one of my basketball games, which meant a lot," said Calloway. "Everyone knew of my intentions of going to Iowa and he still made the trip. I thought that was pretty cool. He's a great guy."
Calloway was also glad Ferentz was a technical guru when it came to offensive line play come training camp of his freshman year.
"That first camp was real rough for me and I had no idea," he said. "The first padded up physical drill I expected to just go out and be physically dominant and that was definitely not the case. And that's where the coaches stepped in and were teaching me different techniques because I basically came in knowing nothing about playing offensive line. That's when I knew it was going to be more than a physical game like it was in high school where you just manhandled people."
Developing as a lineman, Calloway said he felt comfortable with all of the new techniques he learned from the Iowa staff as well as the offensive scheme by his junior season. But in no way did he think he had everything mastered.
"One thing they say at Iowa is that you've never arrived," said Calloway. "Going through film every game there are errors that I've made in my technique. But I'd say by my junior year the technique kind of became second nature and I focused more on what the defenders were doing and where the linebackers were at and how the safety was lining up. It really makes you a better player. When you're not focused on techniques or assignments you can really open up your game."
Calloway served his last two seasons as the starting right tackle after spending his sophomore season at left tackle. Earlier in his career he also played guard, a position where the Bills have visions for the rookie lineman. Ironically, guard was also where he finished his college career manning the left guard spot for an injured teammate in the Orange Bowl.
"It is a different position and requires different technique," said Calloway. "We're responsible to know every position at Iowa, center, guard and tackle. So I was looking forward to it. It was a great opportunity for me to show I could play both guard and tackle and I'm looking forward to playing wherever they'll have me in Buffalo. I'm comfortable with both positions and believe I can get the job done."
And though Buffalo is not on the list of places he's called home before, it will soon be added, Calloway hopes for many years to come.