Sullivan may not just be Ostroski fill-in

Second-year man Marques Sullivan has a chance to start at right guard in the absence of Jerry Ostroski, who's recovering from knee surgery. Ostroski is on the Physically Unable to Perform list and he looks far from being able to return, despite his assurances that he's close. So the Bills are looking at Sullivan, and may be thinking he could be a permanent replacement of Ostroski. It certainly seems that way from what Sullivan told Shout!'s Mike Doser here. This is a Shout! Exclusive.

Mike Doser: You think you'll be the starting right guard this year?

Marques Sullivan: Definitely, as long as I come out and perform every day. It was definitely my goal coming into camp. Once I'm there, I don't think I ever want to come out. I'm going to do whatever it takes to be a good player and help the team out.

MD: Now they moved you from tackle to guard in the June mini-camp. Last year, you played some tackle and some guard. Both of your starts came at tackle. This year, you're exclusively a guard, and it looks like a right guard at that.

MS: It helped out a lot to be at one position this year. Last year I played four positions, and I had to know all of them. It's put me in a comfort zone to be able to focus on right guard.

MD: You were up in Buffalo this off-season. What did you work on?

MS: Basically the fundamentals on playing guard. I was really focusing on tackle and then they told me to switch to guard. I have to improve every day and transfer that onto the field.

MD: Were you disappointed when they told you to switch from tackle to guard?

MS: I was kind of discouraged but then I got over that. That was quick to get over because I realized that I have a good opportunity to play — to start at guard so I just sucked up my pride and just took one for the team. That's where they need me at so that's where I'm gonna play.

MD: What do you have to work on to get better?

MS: As a unit, we have to work on jelling together. We have to work on how we respond and communicate with each other, Make sure we're on the same page. It's not just me playing out there by myself. The guard has to talk to the center and the tackle. Me Trey and Mike are all new to each other on the right side. We just have to communicate every day and talk about what we have to do and what's presented in front of us every day.

MD: How long does it take to get communication down among linemen?

MS: It depends. It can happen right away, it's how you click with one another … It can definitely be on a personal level. You have to have an off-the-field relationship also. You have to hang out with the guys and basically you have to be brothers out there. It can take a few days, it can take a few games. But once you get to that point, there's not tuning back. It's like you're at another level.

MD: You mentioned you were discouraged from moving to tackle to guard at first. Were you upset because you had put forth a lot of time at studying and mentally preparing to play tackle?

MS: Yeah, I think that was it. I had put all my attention at the tackle position. And one day I got switched to guard and it was kind of discouraging. Ronnie (Vinklarek) and Kevin (Gilbride) pulled me off to the side during June mini-camp and told me. They basically said, ‘We know you've been playing tackle and you look good there. But, you know, you have a good opportunity to play at right guard right away.' They basically said they want the best five people to play. So I took it as a compliment.

MD: Now this is a silly question. But I seem to remember you had a lot more hair on your head than now. Did you cut your hair?

MS: Yeah, I did. I cut it off before I got here. I don't know why I did that. I cut it off spur of the moment.

MD: Do you regret it?

MS: No I don't regret it. I can always let it grow back I want it to. It's all good.

MD: You had long hair. So what was the purpose in cutting it?

MS: Well, I was trying to do the whole braid thing and put it in dreadlocks but then I was like, ‘It's not worth it.' My hair couldn't take all that. It would start breaking and stuff and I just cut it off. It would damage it.

MD: If you had dreads, what's the maintenance like?

MS: You just got to keep going to the hairdresser and they'll take care of it. They put moisturizer in and they wash it. You can't do it on your own. You have to do it probably once a month. I couldn't do all that.


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