Doug Marrone figured that his commentary about rookie offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson would be picked up by media outlets quickly on Wednesday morning.
Speaking with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on The Howard Simon Show prior to today's practice, Marrone said that there was "no doubt" that Henderson, the seventh-round pick out of Miami, was ready to step into the starting lineup full-time.
"I’ve been around that position my whole entire life. He’s a heck of a football player. A heck of a football player," Marrone exclaimed. "What’s there not to like? He’s probably one of the biggest guys, he has the most muscle mass, he probably has the quickest feet along with Cordy Glenn, and we have an opportunity right now, if he keeps coming the way he keeps coming, to have maybe the best tandem in the league."
"That’ll be tweeted out," Marrone then quipped. "That’ll be on Pro Football Talk."
Henderson spent the first four weeks of training camp as the first-team left tackle, acquitting himself extremely well there until Glenn returned to the practice field in full earlier this week. His play was solid enough that the team immediately moved Henderson over to the right side - the position he played in college - and slid incumbent starting right tackle Erik Pears inside to right guard.
Talent was never a problem for Henderson, who was once the top recruit in the country coming out of high school. A string of suspensions, drug issues (including testing positive at the Combine back in March), and his infamously checking out of his own pro day early contributed to Henderson's slide all the way to Round 7; many were surprised that the Buffalo Bills drafted him at all. Marrone spoke effusively about Henderson's professionalism on Wednesday, as well.
"You watch when the ball’s thrown down the field, he’s the first player down there, his effort level," Marrone said. "He’s a bright kid, he’s smart. His work ethic is outstanding. He’s been everything that people didn’t say about him when he was coming out. I think that’s why we were able to get him in the seventh round."
The Bills love what Henderson has already brought to the field, and it's looking extremely likely that he and Glenn will open the regular season as the team's bookend tackles. Marrone knows that it's now on the team to make sure Henderson stays on the straight and narrow.
"We have to do everything we can to not only keep him progressing on the field, but also off the field, because he is a very, very talented football player, and there’s no telling how good he can be," Marrone said.