If you can find a player on the Buffalo Bills' roster who is having more fun at St. John Fisher College than Donte Whitner, more power to you.
"I'm loving it out here," said Whitner, the fifth-year safety and former first-round draft pick who is having a ball playing in Chan Gailey's 3-4 defense.
"I wish I was drafted into this scheme. I don't think the Tampa 2 was really suited for my skills and allowed me to run and go play football. That's what this scheme allows me to do."
Beyond the scheme, Whitner is really enjoying the fact that Gailey is requiring the players to practice in pads and actually hit the guys with the ball. What a departure from Dick Jauron, who treated his players like China dolls during his three-plus years at the helm.
"He's got that little edge about him that you hope every one of your defensive players has," Gailey said of the 208-pound Whitner, who has made him smile with some of the licks he has delivered. "That bodes well for our defense as a whole, in my opinion."
Watch Whitner when he's on the field. If a ballcarrier or receiver is in his vicinity, that player finds out right away because Whitner has been pounding pads every chance he gets.
"It's something that we all need to do," said Whitner, who is battling for the right to start at strong safety. "That's what prepares you for Sunday. You get used to coming through there and hitting guys. You want to be as live as you possibly can on the football field. That's what the game is all about, getting the guy down with the football, and that's what I want to do."