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Q & A: OT Sam Young


Chris Murphy: At Notre Dame, you blocked from some quarterbacks who were not exactly the fleetest of foot. What is it like blocking for a guy like Ryan Fitzpatrick who isn't afraid to move outside the pocket or take off down field?

Sam Young: It's really not much different. I think the one thing coach instilled in us is our jerseys need to be dirty and the quarterback's need to be clean at the end of the game. So at the end of the day, it's all about protecting him. If he feels the need to break out and make a play with his feet, power to him. Our job is to give him as much time to think about that as possible. 

CM: Being that the Bills run the wildcat with Brad Smith, what is it like blocking for that kind of formation, and have you ever played on a team that has used the wildcat?

SY: Yeah, we ran it with Dallas, we ran a little bit last year, and even a little bit with Notre Dame. It's a neat offense. It definitely opens things up, and it's a lot of fun. Whether it's Brad Smith or whoever, it's a different dynamic for the game. Football's a simple game. From an offensive lineman's perspective, your job is to block your tail off and protect whoever has the ball.

CM: You play right tackle with the Bills right now, but have you been an offensive lineman your entire life?

SY: No. When I first started playing in 7th grade, they put me in an offensive lineman's uniform for the spring. When the regular season came around, I worked all summer on my hands because I wanted to be a tight end. I was always a little bit smaller, never a super big guy, but I ate a couple of cheeseburgers and now I'm a tackle. The rest is history. 

CM: Who was your favorite team and favorite players growing up?

SY: This is not going to be a popular answer, but I'm from south Florida, so I  grew up watching the Dolphins, but my entire family is from Pittsburgh, so it was definitely a Steeler-friendly household to say the least.  Since college, I have taken time to study some of the elite guys whether it's Joe Thomas or Jake Long. Just some of the guys who are perennial pro bowlers. 

CM: Of all the places you have played, what is your favorite venue for a game and why?

SY: I'll tell you what. Notre Dame is tough to beat. It's a tradition-rich stadium, and some would say hallowed ground. Walking out of that tunnel is pretty special. My high school was a ton of fun, too. We had a great tradition and atmosphere. Ralph Wilson Stadium, is pretty phenomenal though. In the locker room, we all talk about hearing the "Let's Go Buffalo," chant. My family used to be season ticket holders with the Steelers, and they say they have never been to a venue like Ralph Wilson. They love it, I love it. It's an electric atmosphere, and just a great place.

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