Bills' Batten Gearing Up to Start His NFL Career
Since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the wait for Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Danny Batten to get on the field for his very first professional game has been long, enduring and a little bit frustrating.
But months upon months of rehab, preparation and hard work have Batten staring September 11 in the face, destined to appear in his very first NFL game.
"I'm just extremely excited," said the energized Batten. "It's what I've been waiting for my whole life. Just trying to prepare as much as I can because you can never be too prepared. I want to feel comfortable coming out of that tunnel that I know exactly what I'm going to do."
The Bills first game of the 2011 season will mark close to a full year-and-a-half since Batten had been selected by the organization in the draft. All that time waiting patiently has built up some excitable feelings for the former South Dakota Jackrabbit.
"Yeah, there's definitely some nerves," Batten remarked. "The preseason games I was really nervous. It's nothing more than that knowing that I'm confident in what I'm able to do. That was probably the biggest point of nerves for me going in to preseason because I wasn't sure what the level of competition was going to be -- especially the first game. After that, after the dust settled, I feel confident and more excited."
In those preseason games, fans were able to recognize when he was on the field. Batten made numerous plays on the way to showing the coaching staff he can contribute to the team by making the active roster outright. Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey described Batten during training camp as a player that goes 100 miles per hour all the time. So what can the high-motor Batten bring to the table in Week One?
"When my number is called, just playing fundamentally sound," the outside linebacker said. "That's been a big point of emphasis for us. [Kansas City] has a great rushing offense so you have to play fundamentally sound against these guys. It's not going up and over the top to do one thing any more than another."
It's still not a guarantee that Batten will be active on gameday on Sunday. But if he does, Batten is preparing like he'll be playing, and he'll have some backing in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
"My dad and one of the guys he works with are flying in. They have some family in Kansas City so it'll be good to see."
Batten and the rest of the Bills take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday.
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