Off the Field: Andy Levitre

In another Q&A, Buffalo's rookie guard talks about rookie minicamp, his reaction to getting picked, what it takes to block against 3-4 defenses and much more. The exclusive interview inside...

How did rookie minicamp go for you?

It went well. It was a lot of learning concepts, techniques and a new language. It was also a chance to get to know the guys you'll be working with over the next couple months. The first day was a little intense because everything is new to you. Things started settling down by the second practice of the first day. I'll feel a lot more comfortable going in next week for OTAs.

Is the learning curve smoother for you considering the offense you ran at Oregon State had similar blocking schemes?

Yeah, I'd say they're pretty similar. There's more to it than Oregon State. It's just like learning a new language. It'll take a little bit of time to get the repetitions in your mind so it clicks and comes to your memory faster. But it's coming along pretty well right now.

Have you guys talked about how you're going to block 3-4 defenses?

We know we're playing against a lot of 3-4 defenses so we are preparing for that.

What kind of skills do you need as an interior lineman to block against 3-4 defenses?

I think the big thing is getting movement on the line. In the 3-4, usually the defensive linemen are a lot bigger. The defensive ends are a lot bigger and the nose guard is a lot bigger so you have to make sure you're moving the line off the ball. It's the key to being successful in the run game.

The Bills were very interested in you before the draft, but did you cross them off the list when they took Eric Wood in the first round?

I didn't cross them off the list but I thought my chances of going there were really slim. I never really thought much of it until I got the phone call that I would be going there. I was pretty excited to get the phone call. It was unexpected, but I feel like it's a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to getting out there and getting the season started.

What was that phone call like?

They told me that were going to trade up to get me and then put me on hold. A couple minutes later, they got back on the line and said they made the trade and then my name came up on the board.

What was your initial reaction to that?

I almost didn't have time to react because I was in the middle of eating dinner. I wasn't expecting a call from Buffalo. I got the call and I ran outside and everybody around me started whispering, wondering who it was. Once everybody started cheering, I knew it happened and I was really excited.

I didn't think I was going to get picked until later because none of the teams coming up seemed like they were very interested so I thought maybe I would be picked later. And then Buffalo traded up to get me so I was pretty excited.

What has your relationship with Eric Wood been like so far?

It's been good. We got to know each other over that three-day camp. He's a good guy. I think we'll get along great. He seems like a guy that will work hard and compete. I know he's a competitor and a good guy on the field and off the field. I think we're both going to get along great and help this team out this year in some way.

How does versatility play into you and Eric helping out the line?

Both of us can cover any position along the offensive line in terms of playing guard, center and tackle. If one of us needs to play somewhere, we can move around. I think that's something that will help us be successful this year.

I think the versatility helps. I don't know if that was the main reason they selected me or Eric but it definitely helps bring depth to the line. I'm sure the linemen there now can help multiple positions too. It definitely makes you more valuable to the team – being able to play multiple positions.

What are looking to accomplish at OTAs?

I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know the guys that are already on the team and start to bond with the team and be comfortable with them. To me, that's a big thing – to make sure everyone is working together. I think things will start to pick up once that happens.

Is it your goal to start?

I know that there are already guys that have been in there but I'll come in and compete for a spot too. Wherever that competition leads, I really have no control so I'm just going out there to play hard and my ultimate goal is to start on the team.

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