DE Shawne Merriman
Thursday, May 31, 2012
On what came out of his doctor's appointment from Tuesday:
It was good. It was my only time to really get a chance to talk to him. He was out all last week. I got a chance to catch up with him on Tuesday. Everything was going to be fine. I got final clearance to go out and participate with everything. I was hoping for good news and I got it.
On who is doctor is:
Dr. (James) Andrews.
On if he was fully cleared and fully participated today:
I felt pretty good. It was the first day of practice for me anyway in a long time. I had a lot of time off. I got a chance to go back out there with the guys and put on a helmet again. I think I need to cut the Mohawk or something, it didn't fit too much.
On if this finally feels like a fresh start:
It does because it was a hard three years when you're dealing with something like an Achilles and you don't know whether to go and get something done or not. You're a game-time decision and you don't know if you can practice. It's just you're in pain. You can't go out there and play the way you're playing. I just felt that I wasn't in a position that I couldn't go out and perform. I couldn't go out and do the things I can do best. I couldn't explode. With people saying for the last three years it wasn't Shawne Merriman; it was a guy going out there trying his best for what I had at the time.
On how encouraging it is to be cleared this early to practice:
We don't have on pads or stuff right now so you can't really go out and do everything you want to. It's still good to get the football motions down and get a chance to go out there and get a little contact, change directions and do things you do in a game. I'm happy where I'm at right now.
On how he felt after surgery:
When you're walking around, the mornings are tough. You just get so much inflammation and swelling back there you can't push off. You can't push off and that's how I've been playing for the last two and a half years. I couldn't push off or couldn't go out there. I couldn't compete. I really couldn't compete. I was going out there giving it everything I had at the time. To go out there being able to do everything now and get that push off and get that explosion; the things that made me the player I am in this league it feels great.
On if he participated in all aspects of practice today:
Everything. I did everything today. I've still got some time to work myself back into it. It's kind of hard because you put the helmet on and you feel like you want to go full speed and then you've got to realize in your head you're still getting back into it.
On the length of his recovery:
Mine was a little bit more a of a sixth month deal.
On exactly what type of surgery they did on his Achilles:
They had to go in and clean it out. I had some small tears and just constant beat on it trying to play and practice week in and week for the last two and a half years. I'm glad they went in and did it when they did because if they didn't who knows. It could have been one of those things that's much tougher to come back from.
On how it felt to be out there at practice:
It felt great. Just walking out there with the guys. I've been here the whole entire offseason everyday working with the guys full on. Just doing everything my teammates are doing. That just made me happy because these guys never got a chance to see me really work. I came in the middle of the year then we had the lockout so this was the first offseason I got a chance to actually have a full offseason in three years. That's a long time not to really be able to do everything for an offseason.
On how much the additions to the defense make him want to get back and contribute:
It adds a lot because I know what these guys are expecting out of me. I know why they brought me here and I know what I'm capable of doing for my team. With the additions we made with Mario (Williams), Mark (Anderson) and the other guys that came in. It's going to be a huge year but we don't want it be a huge year on paper. We want to be able to go out and show people it's going to be a huge year on game day.
On playing in a 4-3 defense:
I've played for so many different coaches. I've played in the 4-3 and in the 3-4 everywhere in between. I didn't really look at it as a big deal when I had to put my hand in the dirt. Last year even when I was playing we were 60-percent nickel which basically is our hand in the dirt so I had to play defensive end then.
On being another year older:
I'm like Benjamin Button. I'm going backwards.
On if he feels like a "young" 28 years old:
I feel very young. Anybody who will get a chance to watch me this year, I'll move around like I did when I came into the league. Fortunately that's all I had really is the Achilles over the last three years. Now that we've got that taken care of I'm a lot more confident.
On having work done on his shoulder as well:
It was more of a cleanup thing. Something that I had the time off so I just went on and got it done.
On when he started running after surgery:
It was around February. I actually went to Florida. I got the whole training staff and every day we were hitting it trying to get back stronger and trying to get back in the swing of things. It was one of those deals where I was able to go on and be full on for an offseason where I had constant trainers around me, medical and on the fitness side. I really took it as a serious offseason because I got a chance to do it for the first time in some years so I wanted to make sure I took advantage of that.
On if he's done any MMA workouts:
Yeah always a little bit of MMA workout. But for me that's just more fun hand-eye coordination to make sure I stay on top of my endurance. Who knows, I might call Dana (White) up in a few years when I'm done to see what we can do.
On what the next step is for him now:
Just continue to work. Obviously I have high expectations of myself. I want to go out and say I'm going to get this many sacks or I'm going to have this type of year but I'm really ready to do that. I'm really ready to go out there and show it, not really answer the questions on what kind of year I'm ready to have. The type of work that I've put in this offseason my body's ready to have that year.
On what AHC/DC Dave Wannstedt has talked to him about defensively:
I've played in so many defensive schemes so if there comes a time when I have to drop in coverage I've done that plenty of times before. But our main focus this year is bringing a pass rush. That's what we need to do and that's what we lacked a little bit last year and we have to pick up on that.
On if the coaches see him as a hyper defensive end:
My weight's probably still the same. I'm probably about the size of defensive ends around the league except for Mario because that's not a person, that's a creature (laughs). Outside of that I'm probably the size of most guys. Whatever they need me to do. That's the good thing about this defense. We have a few guys who can pass rush and have the capability of dropping in coverage.
QB Vince Young
On working with Head Coach Gailey and QB Coach Lee:
It's been great. They're very smart and very detailed with the work. Definitely want to know what the middle safeties are doing so you can make the right reads and a lot for footwork. Making sure your left foot is pointing in the right direction so you can make more accurate throws and things like that. So they've definitely been helping me out with those so I'm pretty happy about that.
On how his relationship with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been:
It's been great. With quarterbacks, we're all together. We're pretty much used to each other. We definitely are similar because we think alike, definitely in the book. He's a very smart guy. Certain things I need to ask questions for I ask him. He's there right on point with it. That's how it is with quarterbacks.
On how his first couple weeks in Buffalo have been:
It's been great. I'm still trying to find a house right now. That's the biggest thing is trying to get my family settled down. Overall from the welcome from the fans and the people in Buffalo and the team, it's great. It's been an easy transition. The biggest thing is trying to find a place right now.
On the terminology being different than Tennessee and Philadelphia:
Yeah. We've got some long plays. We're doing some things out there to showcase a lot of the talent that we have from the backfield to the tight end to the receiver. It's definitely long but coach and them do a great job to make sure we get the scripts and go over them, over and over. One thing that's been helping me out is a lot of film work, seeing the play and then calling the play. And then seeing it on film has been helping me out learning plays pretty fast.
On how different Buffalo's offense is from Tennessee and Philadelphia:
It's like you said it's just different terminology. You've got some concepts that are the same. We read some that are different a little bit but at the same time they're all different. Similar concepts but at the same time you've got mirror routes and you've got guys getting open. Like I sad earlier we're trying to get guys, some guys, individuals out there open. It just takes some time but overall I'm staying in the book and trying to stay ready making sure when my number is called out there on the practice field I know where guys are at, know where to get them at and know where the ball needs to be at.
On what QB Coach David Lee has helped him with since he's been here:
With my feet work. Some of my skinny posts and making sure my feet are corrected. That's definitely been helping making the ball more accurate. I can definitely see it. There's more short feet work, keep my lower body, keep throwing the ball over the top of the ball and making the ball accurate but overall with the film work and staying in the book we just stay and meet. I'm here 7-11. I try to stay on him. Sometimes he tries to go take a break and he's in meeting rooms I try to go in there and ask coach can I pull him out and get a couple of questions in. I'm using all his time wisely.
On how much respect Coach Lee carries: A lot of respect. I've been going back and forth with Coach Lee a long time since he was trying to get me to come to Arkansas. We've known each other for a long time. Finally getting a chance to work with him and going over some great drills. And definitely I'm happy to be here in the offseason and get a head start on working on some of the different things I need to get better at. He's been doing a great job with that.