Shawne Merriman might have preferred to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4, but being a defensive end beats being unemployed.
Merriman said Wednesday he’s ready to play right away, and Bills coach Chan Gailey said he won’t hesitate to use Merriman this week against the Titans.
“As long as he’s in playing shape and everything goes well this week and he gets back into the flow of things,” Gailey said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, “he’s probably going to be right there on Sunday afternoon, giving us some help.”
Having been in camp all summer, Merriman is familiar with the system, even if he was looking for another type of work. But when Mark Anderson went down with a knee injury, the Bills needed someone who could step right in.
“It’s become second nature,” Merriman said. “I went through just about a whole training camp and got very comfortable, especially towards the end of training camp with the scheme and how things work.”
While he might have wanted a different setting, he downplayed the difference in schemes.
“I played linebacker my whole entire life, but when you’re a football player you’re a football player,” Merriman said. “You can put your hand in the dirt. You can stand up.
“Obviously, if these guys didn’t think I could play D-end, they wouldn’t have brought me back. I’m happy to not only contribute, but pick up where I left off and do what they ask me to do.”
Of course, since Merriman hasn’t done much since his 39.5 sacks his first three seasons (he has 5.0 in the five years since), the expectations are probably sufficiently lowered.