Bills' Gregory Rousseau and Boogie Basham teammates first, competitors second

The team's two top draft choices are helping each other at every turn, fitting instantly with a culture that's been building since 2017.
Author:
Publish date:

Whether Bills first-round draft choice Gregory Rousseau or second-round pick Carlos "Boogie" Basham can play is almost beside the point.

They already fit the team's winning culture, which keeps growing stronger because of the atttitudes they've brought with them to the team's rookie minicamp this weekend.

Both play defensive end, which means they'll be battling each other for a roster spot or playing time. But both are also teammates. And that bond comes first.

It means that by the time they put their helmets on and head to the practice field for the first time as Bills, they will have already lifted each other's game.

In other words, a perfect fit.

"We both bring a lot to the table, being versatile players," Basham told reporters in a Zoom call via the team's website. "Having the two of us come in at the same time, it can be a big help for us. We talk every day, just going over some stuff we see on film and build that relationship.

"And then to finally see him yesterday, everything kind of just clicked. We're talking a lot more now, so hopefully we'll be more closer just because we both play the same position."

Rousseau is equally excited to work with Basham.

"It's been real cool," Rousseau said. "He's a really, really cool dude. We've learned from each other, and I'm just ready to get in there and learn from him. I'm sure we're going to keep on building our relationship, as we will other players too.

"It's pretty exciting to watch somebody who plays the same position as you also come in with you in the same rookie class, so that's going to be pretty dope."

Both will methodically work together to grasp all that's being thrown at them in the playbook.

The key, according to Rousseau, is to not try to do too much too soon.

"It's definitely different from a college playbook," he said. College playbooks are a lot smaller, I would say, and just a lot less complex. But you know it's really just a process of learning something here and learning something there and not trying to just cram through the information at once, just taking it slow and learning day by day. I feel like that's how you really master the playbook."

Both players heads are still spinning, not from the complex playbook, but from the massive, state-of-the-art weight room.

"All the racks, just the bright colors," Basham raved. "I was just anxious to get in and get ready to go

Added Rousseau: "It was crazy. I was blown away. Like, it's insane how everything is super futuristic, has all the bells and whistles. ... I'm super excited to get in there, start working. The strength and conditioning staff has been amazing over there, and nutrition as well, so I'm excited to get over to that weight room and start putting the work in."

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.