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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Longacre tests NFL

    The days following the NFL Draft are undoubtedly difficult for players who don’t hear their name announced right away, but a single phone call can change everything.

    That was the scenario for former Arizona offensive lineman Joe Longacre. His chances at continuing his football career have improved significantly after he got a call from the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday.

    The Katy, Texas, native arrived in Buffalo Thursday to take part in the Bills’ mini-camp, and he said he will have the chance to compete for a roster spot.

    “”I love this game so much that I wasn’t quite ready to walk away from it,”” Longacre said in a phone interview with the Daily Wildcat on Thursday. “”So to give me an opportunity to do this is honestly a dream come true.””

    After former UA teammates Ronnie Palmer and Nate Ness were picked up as undrafted free agents by the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns, respectively, earlier in the week, Longacre thought his chances at continuing his playing career weren’t good.

    “”To be honest, I was kind of hoping something would have happened (during draft weekend), and on Sunday and Monday I thought it was over with,”” he said. “”(Getting the phone call) was kind of a relief, it was something I felt really good about. I hadn’t given up hope, but it definitely came at a good time.””

    The 6-foot-3, 315 pound guard – who also received interest from the Green Bay Packers – said he was in contact with Bills offensive line coach Sean Kugler and assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown before the draft and that played into his decision to attend the Bills’ mini-camp.

    “”I had a good relationship with (the coaches),”” Longacre said, “”so when they called I definitely knew I wanted to come out here and give it a shot.””

    Despite the chance to make the squad, Longacre will have his work cut out for him. The Bills drafted center Eric Wood in the first round of the draft (No. 28 overall) and guard Andy Levitre in the second round (No. 51 overall).

    “”It’s one of those deals where they’re looking for depth, and they definitely drafted those guys for a reason because they’re great ball players,”” Longacre said just minutes after finishing a team meeting. “”But I’m going to have a chance to compete and see if I can get into the system a little bit.””

    Buffalo’s mini-camp runs through Sunday, which is when Longacre said he’ll have a better idea of where he stands in terms of making the Bills’ squad.

    “”It’s up to me to kind of go out and show them what I can do and then they can make that decision about what I did,”” he said. “” … (Today) we’ve got two practices and then it cranks up. But like I said earlier, I couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity. I don’t care how hard it’s going to be.””

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