For Bills first round draft choice Stephon Gilmore, patience is a virtue. Possible one of the quietest guys on the team, Stephon knows what it's like to be serious, and he is serious about football.
For rookie football players, emotions run high when you play in your first NFL prime time game- even higher when your number one fan is in the stands watching for the first time.
Stephon's mother, Linda Gilmore made her first trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Buffalo Bills Thursday prime time divisional game vs. the Miami Dolphins. She was impressed upon her Buffalo arrival.
"I came up the day of the game and met a bunch of the players. I talked to Fitzpatrick, Spiller and Stephon's other teammates," Linda told buffalobills.com. "They stopped to say hi and have a few words with me-and that meant a lot. The team really seemed to be bonding, and were concentrated and serious. I was impressed."
Linda wanted to come to an earlier game, but the Bills rookie was set that she should attend the prime time game.
"It meant a lot to have her there," said Stephon during his Pepsi Max Rookie of the Week appearance. "She kept telling me that she wanted to come to a game, but I wanted her to come to the prime time game. She had a lot of fun, and I'm glad we came out with a win."
She truly was Gilmore's good luck charm. The twenty-two year old Bills defensive back recorded three tackles and one forced fumble during the Miami matchup. Linda was watching and proud.
"Things were going good. It seemed like the team never gave up and kept on trying. He had a wonderful game. Everyone was stepping it up."
All in a year, she has seen her son go from college to the pros, and notices his seriousness and maturity grow stronger. Gilmore attributes Stephon's maturity to the Buffalo Bills "family" atmosphere.
"I knew he was a serious person, but he really is taking the time to adjust and adapt to the team-how things are run here," Linda told buffalobills.com. "To see him go from college to the pros-he's really acting like a twenty-five year-old at twenty-two. The family environment of the Buffalo Bills has really helped that, and helped him mature."
Linda sat in the stands for most of the game, until the cold Buffalo breeze forced her into the box. She was able to bond with coaches wives, meeting new friends and cheering on the team.
"Everyone in our town of Rock Hill, South Carolina was watching the game, said Linda Gilmore." I had people texting me left and right. I was nervous, but was paying more attention to how the players were acting on the field- concentrated and focused. After the game was my time to celebrate, I was so excited and glad they won. I had a wonderful time."