Niagara Gazette

Rookie Cards

August 16, 2009

BILLS: Ellis Lankster Rookie Card

In a span of 64 seconds Saturday, Ellis Lankster accomplished what every seventh-round draft choice hopes to — he made an impression that won’t be forgotten before cut-down day.

The squatty cornerback out of West Virginia had a pair of fourth quarter interceptions that lead directly to touchdowns in the Bills’ 27-20 preseason victory over Chicago.

Afterward, Lankster broke down his first professional highlight as if it was just another day at the office.

“I was just reading it right and reading my man,” he said. “He just threw the ball to my man and I just picked it off.”

Those plays, along with a dropped interception later, built on the ball-haw reputation Lankster has been establishing throughout training camp.

“He has been making a lot of plays in camp and does a great job of getting his nose on the ball,” teammate Leodis McKelvin said.

Early on in training camp, defensive backs coach George Catavolos said Lankster has had his bright spots, but has a ways to go as a technician.

“He makes a lot of plays in practice but he also gives up some plays,” Catavolos said. “Like any rookie, he’s go to understand the system better, he’s got to understand the leverage of the defense, where he’s going to get help, where he needs to be in the run game. He needs to be more consistent, but he looks like he has a promising future.”

Coach Dick Jauron said Lankster’s technique put him in a position to make a play, then once the ball was in his hands, his athletic ability took over.

Lankster has gotten some work in the return game during training camp, and could be in mind for more special teams duty, Jauron said, after gaining 43 yards on his two interception runbacks.

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Rookie Cards
  • images_sizedimage_228232803 BILLS: Ellis Lankster Rookie Card In a span of 64 seconds Saturday, Ellis Lankster accomplished what every seventh-round draft choice hopes to — he made an impression that won’t be forgotten before cut-down day.

    August 16, 2009 1 Photo

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    • COLLEGE: Iowa State

    • HEIGHT: 6-1

    • WEIGHT: 222

    • HOMETOWN: East Orange, New Jersey

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    August 6, 2008 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_215235007 BILLS: Steve Johnson Rookie Card Steve Johnson didn’t have to wait for training camp for his welcome-to-the-NFL moment. He learned his lesson away from the playing field this spring. Johnson was the passenger in a car driven by Bills running back Marshawn Lynch on May 31. Lynch struck a pedestrian and later pleaded guilty to a traffic violation, ending the matter. While the case was pending, however, an intense media spotlight was focused on the situation.

    August 2, 2008 1 Photo

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