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"Feel like I've been here this whole season" | Linval Joseph and Rasul Douglas react to joining the Bills

Buffalo Bills Week 9 Practice at Highmark Stadium, November 2, 2023.
Buffalo Bills Week 9 Practice at Highmark Stadium, November 2, 2023.

As the trade deadline has passed and the Bills prepare for a stretch of November games that include the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos, the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles, general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott had a busy week as they added two players to their active roster.

On Thursday, as the team moved on from the hectic nature of the Tuesday trade deadline and gave their complete attention to Sunday's game, the Bills were joined by their two newest teammates in defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Rasul Douglas.

McDermott said that he has yet to decide whether either Joseph or Douglas will play on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but both were full participants in Thursday's practice.

Joseph, who was drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, was signed Thursday morning after general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills front office spent several weeks talking to his agent.

Joseph will work as a one-technique defensive tackle, playing a key role in the Bills run defense as defensive tackle Daquan Jones is out indefinitely with a pectoral injury. Joseph won Super Bowl XLVI with the New York Giants and was selected to consecutive Pro Bowls in 2016 and 2017.

Veteran-experienced player that's, from the reports we've gotten, high character, a leader," said head coach Sean McDermott before Thursday's practice. "He's played a lot of football and certainly a big man and the line of scrimmage is important."

Joseph last played with the Philadelphia Eagles, signing midway through the season and starting eight games and totaling 20 tackles. He also recovered a fumble in the team's 31-7 NFC Championship win over the 49ers.

Now in Buffalo, Joseph can already sense a team motivated to make it deep in the playoffs.

"This team is special. The locker room is special, the guys are special," Joseph said after practice. "I know I'm new here, but I feel like I've been here this whole season, just off of the meeting, just being here in the last 24 hours."

Bills center Mitch Morse, who knows a thing or two about going up against strong defensive tackles, had high praise for the Bills' newest addition.

"One of the most physically imposing players in the NFL in the past 15 years," Morse said. "I was telling him that my 'Welcome to the NFL' moment was playing him in Minnesota. I mean just, strong, imposing. Nice guy off the field, on the field, just a really good football player."

Lining up a few yards to the side of Joseph will be Douglas, who the Bills acquired from the Green Bay Packers for a third-round pick. The Bills also picked up a fifth-round pick in the transaction.

Douglas is a seven-year veteran who has 10 turnovers in the last three seasons. A leader in the Green Bay locker room, the Bills will add even more experience to a veteran-heavy secondary.

"I felt like it was a great move," Bills defensive end Von Miller said after Wednesday's practice. "To have a guy like that on our team, it's going to make us way better. Losing [Tre'Davious White] was tough and you got Rasul to kind of fill that void – you can never fill it all the way up because Tre White is Tre White, but to have Rasul on our team is huge for us."

After the trade was announced Tuesday, nearly every Green Bay player came back to the facility to with their former teammate good luck. He said that he has felt accepted by the Bills roster over the last few days.

"They're all leaders. As soon as I got here, they all welcomed me," Douglas said about the Bills secondary Thursday. "It was like, 'man, we're gonna welcome you here right, like we do things the right way around here.' Just listening to them, how they talk. They're good leaders."

Douglas won a Super Bowl in 2017 with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that drafted him. With multiple Super Bowl winners on the roster, Douglas believes the Bills will benefit from having players who have played on the sport's biggest stage.

"Just knowing what it takes, knowing like I've done it before, I got a Super Bowl ring," Douglas said. "And I've been to NFC Championships and won. There's guys here that have won as well."

After Douglas was acquired by Buffalo, a video went re-viral from when Douglas was still in Green Bay. During a game between the Packers and Bills, Allen greeted Douglas in a way that opponents might greet one another in the heat of competition. Douglas addressed their interaction and laughed it off.

"We talked as soon as we got here," Douglas said. "That was a good moment, you know what I'm saying? I said the same thing to him a few times, it just wasn't recorded. That's football though … and that's what you want, like everyone's passionate, everybody wants to win. Everybody wants to be great and that's what brings it all together as one of the best games in America."

Scroll to see photos from the Buffalo Bills Week 9 Practice as the team prepares to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

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