|Bills CB McKelvin quickly makes up for lost time|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 27 July 2008 12:23|
Up at 7 a.m., the first-round pick was in the film room by 8, followed by team meetings, an on-field defensive walkthrough, a weightlifting session and finally - after most of his teammates had showered - an individual session at 4 p.m. catching balls thrown by a machine.
``I didn't want any rest,'' McKelvin said a day after signing a five-year contract potentially worth $19.4 million, including $12.6 million guaranteed. ``I mean, I've got to get extra work in. ... You come in as a rookie, and they have high expectations of me. I'm just coming in and trying to do my best to help out the team.''
It was a good first impression three days into camp in suburban Rochester for the player selected 11th overall out of Troy. The Bills are counting on him to immediately begin competing for a starting job opposite Terrence McGee.
The initial plan is to have McKelvin work at the nickel spot in passing situations alongside McGee and returning starter Jabari Greer. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said the objective is for the rookie to earn a bigger role as quickly as possible.
``We always have a sense of urgency to get the young man on the field because he's a high-round pick,'' Fewell said. ``But we're going to do what's best for our football team. And if what's best for our football team is Jabari, then that's what we'll do.''
Fewell expects to get a better impression once the Bills begin their first full-contact practice Monday and then once the preseason starts Aug. 9 with the opener at Washington.
``I wouldn't say he's got a mountain to climb, but I do think everything will work itself out,'' Fewell said.
The Bills do have the luxury of patience with McKelvin after the team spent this offseason restocking what had been a very thin defensive backfield. McKelvin was one of three cornerbacks drafted by the Bills, who also signed veteran William James in free agency.
Entering his eighth NFL season, James is already enjoying a solid training camp and was paired with McKelvin with the second-team defense during the walkthrough on Sunday.
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, McKelvin was the first defensive back selected in the draft. He came out of the same Sun Belt Conference program that produced New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
The only knock against McKelvin is his poor catching ability, which is why he ended his day with extra practice catching balls.
``They say I can't catch, so I had to get extra workouts,'' said McKelvin, who had only four interceptions in college. ``I could've led the nation in picks, easily, but I dropped more. So that's the first thing I'm working on.''
McKelvin, from Waycross, Ga., was so eager to get to camp he spent the past few days living out of a hotel room in Buffalo waiting for a deal to be reached. He also kept in contact with his teammates to learn what he was missing during the first two days of camp.
Once he signed, McKelvin called his mother, Lydia Brown, to deliver the news.
``She started crying,'' said McKelvin, who plans to buy her a home. ``I'm very excited.''