By Aaron Mansfield
Head coach Jeff Quinn came to the UB Stadium sidelines after practice Monday saying he doesn’t want affability among his players. He quizzed one reporter on the term’s definition. In case you’re wondering, here are some synonyms: Gracious, pleasant, polite.
Affability seems to be an endearing quality, but Quinn wants malice on the field. He often says he wants to play “consistent, violent and aggressive” football.
“I want some mean, tough people,” he said, peering through a pair of black Oakleys.
It’s no secret that one of those mean, tough people is Khalil Mack, UB's all-everything linebacker viewed highly in NFL circles. Scouts have been hanging out frequently at training camp this year, and today the Eagles, Redskins and Rams had representatives taking in the action.
Speaking of NFL circles, former UB defensive end Steven Means (Grover Cleveland) played his first preseason game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday. Tampa Bay fell, 44-16, to Baltimore. Means, who was also a track & field and basketball star at Grover Cleveland, got some time with the Bucs’ first-team ‘D’ and recorded one solo tackle.
“Just to get out there, get a feel for it, was amazing,” Means told reporters in Tampa Bay. “I felt right at home. You know, I’m looking forward to playing a lot more games.”
Means made an impressive leaping interception in practice Saturday (which should come as no surprise to Western New Yorkers who have seen his immense athletic ability), and the Bucs put a video interview with him afterward online: Means Lets His Talent Take Over.
Means co-starred on the D-line last year opposite senior Colby Way, who is also getting some NFL looks. NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked 18th out of 252 defensive ends.
Way is becoming the anchor of the line and he helped lead summer practices, at which the coaches are not allowed to participate.
“The thing that I’ve seen all along from Colby is just his maturity level,” Quinn said. “He takes a great deal of pride in his performance, his understanding of the game. He prepares extremely hard. Very knowledgeable football player.”
See an in-depth story on Way in Tuesday’s Buffalo News.
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Follow reporter Aaron Mansfield on Twitter @aaroncmansfield.
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