Niagara Gazette

September 22, 2011

Naaman Roosevelt is ready to seize the opportunity

By Brandon Koch
Niagara Gazette

ORCHARD PARK — University at Buffalo and St. Joe’s alumnus Naaman Roosevelt beamed when addressing the media Wednesday following morning walk-through.

Not only is he ready to seize his next opportunity as a Buffalo Bill, but he’s also enjoying the faith his teammates have in him to rise to the challenge.

“My man,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said as he patted the second-year wideout on the back.

“Teammates support me a lot,” Roosevelt said. “It’s just great to have that kind of support and definitely from the fans and the community. I’m definitely a lot more comfortable now and I’m just focused and ready to play.”

Bills coach Chan Gailey said he thinks Roosevelt can contribute to the offense.

“Naaman came in at the end of the year last year and did some good things,” he said.  “I don’t think there’s any reason that he can’t come in and help where needed and have an impact. He’s not going to ever give you the speed threat down the field that Roscoe gave you, but there are some things he does well in his own right and you try to take advantage of those things he does well.”

Roosevelt has gone from dealing with an injury during training camp to being cut before the season, to being signed to the practice squad prior to Week 1 to now being activated to the 53-man roster.

“It’s been a crazy road, but I always knew that it wouldn’t be easy,” he said. “It was going to be hard work. I’m just ready for this moment now and I definitely think I’m ready to go out there and play.”

Roscoe Parrish was placed on injured reserve by the Bills on Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury in Sunday’s win against Oakland, weakening an already understaffed position for Buffalo. Ruvell Martin, who the Bills initially kept over Roosevelt on cut day, played much of the second half against Oakland and came away with zero catches on three targets, including a dropped pass.

Roosevelt could see plenty of balls come his way in Buffalo’s four- and five-wide sets this Sunday against New England. He caught nine passes for 139 yards last season after being activated for the final six weeks of the season.

He hopes to step right in Sunday and gel with the offense.

“Working with Fitz and getting timing down with him and knowing where I have to be and know where he wants me to be,” he said. “It’s definitely more offense and understanding where I need to be just to help the team out.”

With a longer season ahead of him, Roosevelt said he’s eager to produce as the season wears on.

“Fitz, he’ll put you in the right spot,” he said. “The coaches, you know, make great calls and things like that to get you in the right spot. I just need to get there and execute the plays.”