“As soon as they got drafted I sent them a text just saying I’m excited to work with them moving forward in the next however many years we are going to be here together – telling them that it is just the start,” Buckner said, via Kevin Bowen of 1075TheFan.
Buckner added that he’s excited to mentor Paye and Odeyingbo, mentioning that he took on a similar role while with the 49ers.
“I’m excited to kind of mentor them a little bit and show them the ropes a little bit as they get through all the things that rookies do. I did it a little bit in San Francisco so it is nothing new to me.”
Buckner pointed out that he has a “similar build” to Odeyingbo and is confident the rookie will have a strong career in the NFL.
“Definitely have a similar build,” Buckner said. “Length is really good, especially at our position, being able to get that extension off of O-lineman. He definitely kind of reminded me of myself back in college. He definitely has a future at defensive end.”
Colts HC Frank Reich said that Buckner has shown “participation and leadership” throughout their offseason program.
“DeForest has already been setting the pace as far as working out, as far as when we’re having our Zoom meetings, his participation and leadership in those meetings, his work ethic off the field,” Reich. “One or two of the guys (Ben Banogu, Taylor Stallworth) were working out with him so just leadership in that regard.”
Texans LB Coach Miles Smith, son of DC Lovie Smith, recently praised fifth-round rookie LB Garrett Wallow‘s intelligence, while adding that he’s a good fit for what they’re trying to do on defense.
“What stood out the most for him was just his intelligence,” Smith said via TexansWire. “Playing linebacker in our system, yeah, you’ve got to be a great athlete. I think everybody kind of knows that, but the second trait that we look for is just raw intelligence. Can somebody think on the fly? Can somebody, when they get a little rattled, are they still able to stay composed? He was able to do that.”
It appears Wallow’s intelligence has allowed him to pick up the playbook quickly, and has grown “exponentially” in the eyes of the Texans coaching staff.
“Our linebackers are essentially interchangeable. Because of that, they need to be able to learn all three of the linebacking positions and you’ve got to be able to think to do that. I think he has grown exponentially since he’s been here so far because he has been able to rely on that great attribute that he has, his intelligence; very excited about his future” Smith stated.
Titans’ new OLB Bud Dupree said he wasn’t signed to be a “one-trick pony” in just pass-rushing and wants to be a “tone-setter” as an edge- and run-defender for Tennessee.
“Anytime you get paid to pass rush, you go ahead and get sacks and make big plays in the run game, be an all-around player,” Dupree said, via Kevin Patra of Around the NFL.“You don’t just come in just to be a one-trick pony and just do pass rush. You’ve got to be able to be a tone-setter on the edge, as well, swarming to the ball, stopping the run, evolving your teammates, getting everybody hyped up. That’s what it is, man. That excites everybody around you, and that’s a big part of the game, in today’s game, especially. We’ve got to go out and be tough, tough as nails, go out there and just play to our best ability.”
Dupree said he is still rehabbing from a torn ACL and intends on leaving his availability up to the coaching staff.
“Just training hard every day right now, man,” Dupree said. “ACL recovery, rehab has been one of the most progress things I’ve dealt with so far. Each week you see different levels of progress. You see different things changing about it. I’m working hard to be back as soon as I can, but it’s up to the coaching staff at the end of the day, like when they want me to be on the field and how comfortable they feel with me coming off the injury.”