He's been with the club for about a week, and he's had to learn schemes in short order before, but even seven-year veteran Kirk Morrison is going to spend some extra hours mastering Buffalo's defensive scheme in time for Sunday's opener at Kansas City.
"Right now I've got the basics down, and I'm still learning on the fly too," said Morrison. "I've got to play a lot of catch-up, learn a lot of defense. Until that happens I'm definitely comfortable with sitting behind Andra (Davis) and Nick (Barnett) and just being a part of a rotation."
Morrison signed just over a week ago and appeared in Buffalo's final preseason game against Detroit with the reserves on defense. With so little time to execute the calls, the linebacker will be relying on his NFL experience to carry him.
"That was my first time in a game situation, actually in pads, since the first week of January," said Morrison. "It was my first time making a tackle, making a hit in a long time. There are some things I've got to correct and knock the rust off, but for the most part I felt comfortable."
The linebacker hasn't played much the past two preseasons, but entering his seventh NFL campaign, he's more concerned about being healthy so his body is prepared for a 16-game slate.
What will help Morrison moving forward in terms of nailing down his assignments is the playbook gets considerably reduced when it comes to weekly game plans.
"We know in the NFL it's a week-to-week game," he said. "We're going with game plans now, so you know the specific calls and the specific things to look at more than trying to get the whole defense down. Now we're narrowing the package down to only what we're going to do this week."
Morrison is expected to play a role on passing downs at inside linebacker in some of the team's subpackages. And though there might be a cram session or two this week to get it all down, the veteran linebacker is confident he'll have it all straight for Sunday.
"Kansas City, we already know what they're trying to do," said Morrison of last year's top rushing team. "They're trying to run the football. So there are certain calls that we run when they bring in the tight end. They also have some capable tight ends and two wide receivers that I think are some of the best in the game. So I look forward to that challenge."