If you’re a fan of the Rico Report, you may have been live last night with rookie Buffalo Bills DE Gregory Rousseau. If not, don’t worry. We have all the highlights for you right here.
Welcome To Buffalo
Rico: First of all, congratulations. Four-year contract, you’re now officially part of the Bills. How are you feeling now? What’s going on in your mind?
Rousseau: Just blessed, you know? Blessed, humble, hungry, ready to work. I’m so glad, being in the situation I’m in. Here in Buffalo, everybody’s great: the players, the coaches, the training room, everybody in the whole entire building. I’m just super blessed, super happy to be here.
Rico: Now, do you prefer being called Greg or Gregory?
Rousseau: Both are cool, but most people just call me Greg, for the most part.
Getting Into The Game
Rico: Growing up in a Haitian household, we’re not really known for playing football. We’re known for playing the OTHER football. How did you convince Mom and Dad “Hey, I wanna play football”, how did that go down?
Rousseau: I was pretty tough at first, but me and my brother kept telling them “Put us in tackle football, put us in tackle football”. They were like “Nah, Nah”. You know Haitian parents, they want you to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer like it’s one of those three! That’s it! So really, we pushed them, we were like “please let us play”, and finally they let us on the field, and I was able to go out there and I just fell in love with the game.
The Defense Decision
Rico: How close were you to saying, “you know what, forget about Defensive End, I’m going Receiver”?
Rousseau: I was kinda close sometimes, but I knew I liked defense a lot. I liked catching TDs too, but defense…
Fire And Focus
Rico: So you graduate. Before you graduated, you were challenged. Talk about the challenge that you were given, and how you overcame a lot of the challenges to be successful in your high school.
Rousseau: My principal challenged me with the task to graduate early, and to do that I had to do like eight classes at FVS (Florida Virtual School), so that whole entire summer to December, I was just grinding every day after practice. I’d be on my laptop, you know, just doing work, whether it’s algebra or geometry – just a whole bunch of work. I had to do a whole half a year of work while I’m doing the work that I was already doing in school. It was definitely a huge challenge but I’m happy I did it.
Rico: How did you keep your focus, man? Because in high school, we’re all about playing Madden, hanging out with my friends. How did you keep your focus so in tune?
Rousseau: Really just knowing what I’m doing it for. Knowing that I have a goal because I wanted to get to Miami and be able to enroll early and put some weight on. Because I was only like 215 lbs., so I knew I had to add some muscle to my frame. I knew me getting there in January was a necessity to me.
Rico: When do you know that you got that Tackle? “Man you ain’t nothin’, I got you. I got you exactly where I want you”.
Rousseau: I’d say when they, a Tackle or a Guard, they’re gonna block the way they want to block like a shooter is gonna shoot the way they wanna shoot. Like if Curry is shooting threes, he’s gonna want to shoot threes, y’know? When we see them get out of their comfort zone, and start doing little different things with their technique. Like maybe they’re kicking a little bit deeper, or not as deep, or they’re shooting their hands a little bit faster, that’s when you know you’re getting them off their game, and vice versa for Defensive Ends. If he’s doing a whole bunch of crazy stuff or whatever, you know you’ve got him out of his game.
Rico: When coach dials up “Hey man, I want you to stunt inside, you’re going up against a Guard, the Center, the heavier guys.” What’s your thought process when they send you inside?
Rousseau: I love going inside, honestly. I love rushing from outside and inside, but definitely inside for sure because, usually, the tackles are a little bit more athletic. So on the inside, you can use your moves a little bit more. You can keep your distance because they have shorter arms on the inside as well.
Student Of The Game
Rico: So, you like to learn. You’re going to a team right now with a great mix of veteran guys and young guys, especially in the defensive line room. You’ve got Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, I could even say Ed Oliver – he’s got some years on him now. So you’ve been in the facility. Have you had any conversations with these guys? What have you been learning thus far?
Rousseau: Ed for sure, y’know? With Ed, I’ve just been taking little things from the way he moves, the way he practices, his effort, the way he’s always trying to finish his rushes, the way he bends. Really been talking to Ed a lot for sure. Also A.J. Epenesa definitely, he’s a stud for sure. He’s been teaching me some stuff as well. Really everybody’s been helping me out a lot. Mario and Jerry are gonna be here soon, they’re not there yet but I’m definitely gonna be learning a lot from them and soaking everything up.
D-Line Draftee Duo
Rico: You get drafted in the first, right. Then following you comes Boogie Basham. What are your thoughts on that?
Rousseau: I was so excited, y’know? For me to be able to come in and just learn with another person playing my position? It’s been awesome. He’s getting to know me. I’m getting to know him. Great dude. Funny as hell. He’s awesome.
The full Gregory Rousseau interview is embedded above. For more great Bills interviews and content, check out the Rico Report on the Buffalo Fanatics YouTube Channel.