The Buffalo Bills surprised everybody when they traded up twice in the first round, the second time to select Tremaine Edmunds, the 19-year-old linebacker from Virginia Tech. Many people had Edmunds as a top-10 talent in the 2018 Draft class, but with the quarterback frenzy at the top half of the first round, he slid down and the Bills made a move to get him.
Edmunds met with the media for the first time in Buffalo Friday along with 7th overall pick Josh Allen. Here’s what Edwards had to say.
Q: What have you been doing since you got here?
Edmunds: You know, just touring around the facilities, meeting with the coaches, just getting a feel of the place. [We’ve been] introducing the people that came up here with us to the rest of the coaching staff and the people that are around here.
Q: Tremaine, I see you nodding your head talking about what happened when [fellow first round pick Josh Allen] was 16, a teenager. Have you guys talked about the tweets and anything like that?
Edmunds: No, we haven’t talked about it. [I] spent some time with Josh, man [and] he’s a great person. When we’re young, sometimes we make mistakes, but like I said he’s a great person; I’m looking forward to getting this journey started.
Q: Tremaine, when your dad played for the Dolphins, it was at the height of the Bills-Dolphins rivalry; it was the absolute height with Jim Kelly. Did he say anything to you that might’ve been funny about [how] you ended up at the Bills, anything like that?
Edmunds: No, man, he was excited. My whole family was excited. I think the only thing that he said was [that] the games were cold. Other than that, man, everything was good. My dad, he started reminiscing on back when he played, but everything was good.
Q: Tremaine, you and your brothers are, I think, the first brothers in history to be first round picks. How cool was that for you?
Edmunds: Yeah, that’s history, man. My emotions after I heard that was just, like my heart started beating real fast. To see the smile on my brother’s face, to see the smile on my whole family’s face, man it meant the world to me and I know it meant the world to my family.
Q: Tremaine, did both you and your brother have a dinner, a pre-draft dinner with Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, something like that? Did the three of you all have dinner together?
Edmunds: No, we were back in school, actually.
Q: Okay, what was the interaction with coach [Tomlin], just that whole thing, knowing that, now that you know with your brother being with the Steelers?
Edmunds: I mean, yeah, you know, the visits, each team visit goes a little bit different. You talk a little ball and just talk basic things.
Q: Tremaine, you are 19-years old. You’re going to be in this locker room with a whole bunch of guys at different stages of their lives. Have you thought about your maturity level and where you are and how you’ll fit in when you get acclimated?
Edmunds: Yeah, you know, I’m a young guy, but at the same time, I’m a very mature guy. I’ve been around older guys all my life. I know this is a different stage, but, like I said, I’m a mature guy. My parents did a good job of raising me, so [I’m] just kind of coming in and competing with those other guys, working from my spot and working to play my role on this team.
Q: How much has having your dad play in the league helped you in that regard? Not just on the field, but getting acclimated to what comes along with being a professional football player.
Edmunds: It helped me out a lot because he can give me a lot of advice about what to look forward to, ways to be successful on and off the field. Not just my dad, but I have an older brother that’s in the process as well, so just leaning on those guys anytime I have any questions.
Q: Tremaine, if Sean McDermott came to you and said, ‘look, where are you most comfortable playing’ what would you say? In this 4-3 defense where do you think you fit best in your opinion? Not what you think he would like. What would you say to that?
Edmunds: Well, in my opinion, I’m an athletic guy; I’m a versatile payer, I can move around. Any of those linebacker spots, I really feel like I can play. Just coming off stack linebacker, kind of going sideline to sideline. Just find a way to get to the ball.
Q: Tremaine, when you were at [Virginia] Tech, did you have any play calling responsibilities, lining guys up? I’m just curious, what was on your plate? On defense that is.
Edmunds: Yeah, so we were a no-huddle defense, so everybody got our calls from the sidelines. Mic sometimes set the line, but I was also responsible for making some calls, talking to the defensive line, talking to some guys behind me, talking to the secondary, so [I was] definitely communicating out there.
Q: For a guy that’s going to turn 20 next week, would you say that your base of football knowledge because of your family’s football history is so rich is probably a little further advanced than most 20-year olds out there playing college football?
Edmunds: Yeah, I would definitely say so, man. I have a good support system [in] a lot of guys that have been through that process, a lot of guys that I can go back on and get more information. I can’t thank them enough because, without them, who knows where I’d be at right now.
Q: Josh and Tremaine, you are coming into the league a year after a very controversial anthem protest. I was just wondering what each of you thought about that. Do you think the athletes, while they have to be careful on Twitter, should be outspoken about social issues?
Edmunds: With myself, I’m actually not a real big social media user anyway, so I don’t really want to put my take into that
Q: Tremaine, have you played special teams? [What about] playing at the next level? What are your feelings on that?
Edmunds: Yeah, I just want to help the team [in] whatever way that I can. If it’s coming in on special teams, I’ll do it. I had experience with that in college. It’s not something that’s new to me, so definitely, if I can come in and help the team in that regards, I will.
Q: Tremaine, have any of the veteran defenders, the leaders of the defense, Kyle Williams, has anybody reached out to you and welcomed you and kind of told you what to expect?
Edmunds: Well actually, I really haven’t been on social media ever since things happened because things have really kind of been moving real fast. So, really I haven’t heard from anybody yet.
Q: No calls or anything?
Edmunds: Not yet.
Q: What do you know, if anything, about the way Sean McDermott likes to play defense? Do you remember his Carolina [Panthers] defenses?
Edmunds: Yeah, man, it was great. I know it’s going to be good, [so] I’m looking forward to it. Like I said, I’m ready to get this journey started.
Q: Is there any special reason you’re not on social media? Just a waste of time or- why don’t you do it?
Edmunds: I’m just kind of laid back. I just really started postings on Instagram, but like Twitter and things, I’m just kind of laid back. [I’m] kind of just really not on it.
Q: Tremaine, what do you recall about either the video work that the Bills put you through in your pre-draft meeting or how they tried to get inside your head and did you feel like the Bills would be a fit for you?
Edmunds: Yeah, it’s a great program. They’ve got a lot of history behind it. Just the fit that I see they put me at, it felt good to me [and] of course, it felt good to the coaches. I’m excited to be here and I’m excited to get this journey started.
Q: But the way they tried to get inside your head, was that similar to the way other teams went by it?
Edmunds: I wouldn’t say get into my head. We were just talking ball. We talked a lot of all, we spent a lot of time on the board and [in] the playbook, well not so much in the playbooks, but on the board and watching film and stuff. I mean, everything was good.