When recent waiver claim and former San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman arrived at One Bills Drive Saturday, he got right to work, sitting in position meetings and taking in Saturday’s practice. It was important for him to acquaint himself with his new teammates, as building relationships sounds like his top priority.
"I came in here with the plan to work as hard as I can to gain the team’s trust and the guys around me," said Merriman. "Not be a guy walking in here with Pro Bowls, but earn these guys’ respect by working hard and I’m pretty sure I’m going to do that."
Merriman, who had dinner with Bills GM Buddy Nix Friday night, got a call from the Buffalo personnel boss right after he was waived by the Chargers on Tuesday.
"I’ve known Buddy since San Diego and as soon as everything went down he called me immediately,” said Merriman. “We talked for a while and he just asked how I felt about it and asked me if I’m ready to play and I said, ‘Yeah, I’m ready so let’s go.'"
The last two-plus NFL seasons for Merriman have been trying ones when it comes to injuries. He’s appeared in just 18 games since 2008. That’s where the linebacker points when asked why his production has fallen off from the level of play that earned him three Pro Bowl nods.
"I haven’t been on the field," he said. "I’ve had some small nagging injuries that kept me away from playing. That’s really all it’s been."
But Merriman feels healthy now. He passed a Bills team physical late Friday and intends to be on the practice field early next week.