He was pretty much a non factor for the Buffalo Bills last season. But days before Kirk Morrison would have hit the unrestricted free agent market last March, the Oakland, California native opted to re-sign with the Bills for two years.
According to figures in the Buffalo News, the Bills defense was on the field for 1,001 plays last season. Morrison was on the field for a paltry 55 of those plays. But when the Bills asked him to stay, he jumped at the opportunity.
"Last season was tough. I’ve always been on the football field" Morrison told WGR during an appearance on Monday's morning show. " I’ve always been productive. I found myself behind Nick Barnett but he was playing great football. With the switch to the 4-3, this is a place I wanted to come back to. With the environment, I love the coaching staff, the teammates, the area, it was for me. This year for me is a year to prove a lot of people wrong who said I don’t know if he can play."
At this point, Morrison is the starting strong side linebacker in Dave Wannstedt's 4-3 scheme. Starting is something the former third round draft pick is accustomed to, having started 95 of 96 games over six seasons with Oakland(5) and Jacksonville(1).
Even though Morrison is busy preparing himself for the season, it doesn't mean he hasn't kept an eye on other players at camp. When asked who impressed him the most so far, Morrison was quick with his answer, rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
"To be a cornerback in this league, you have to have a short memory" Morrison said. "You’re not going to make every single play but so far he’s made a lot of plays. He’s going up against one of the top receivers in the league in Stevie Johnson every day at practice. He hasn’t played one game yet, he hasn’t even played a pre-season game yet but the confidence that he walks with, the swagger that he plays with in practice has really impressed me as a rookie."
Here is the entire interview with Kirk Morrison: