After spending the entire weekend immersed in Buffalo's defensive playbook, veteran signee Donnie Spragan took it out on the field for a closed morning walk through with his teammates. The linebacker also spent an extra 15 minutes after practice to go over alignments and assignments. Despite being unable to find a team the entire offseason, Spragan doesn't mind playing a bit of catch-up.
"I'm excited," said Spragan of joining the Bills. "I've got a lot of work ahead of me so I've got to put the time in, but I'm looking forward to it and feel I can help."
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell isn't concerned about Spragan absorbing his defensive system.
"He's a Stanford grad so he's intelligent not only from a football sense, but an academic sense," said Fewell. "We worked him out in the offseason and had a chance to get on the board with him a little bit and I don't think that will be a problem."
Spragan lined up at the weak side linebacker position with the second unit. While all NFL players would prefer to spend an entire offseason with a team, the seven-year veteran has been in enough defensive schemes over the years where he doesn't feel he has a steep learning curve.
"The majority of NFL players go through something like this at some point," said Spragan of signing late. "It was unfortunate because I wanted to get in and learn a defense and play football. But that's how it happens sometimes. It's no big deal."
Having played for Miami the past three seasons, Spragan feels he has a good working knowledge of the AFC East opponents he'll be facing with the Bills this season.
"You know the personnel, you know the coordinators, you kind of know the offenses, so it's going to help a little bit," Spragan said. "But right now I have to spend my time learning the Buffalo Bills defense."
Ironically, Spragan had a weekend flight scheduled to visit the New England Patriots when the Bills called with an offer on the table following the presumed season-ending injury to rookie linebacker Alvin Bowen.