Linebacker Benardrick McKinney said he was shocked when he found out he was being traded to the Miami Dolphins, but he's excited about the opportunity.
McKinney spoke to the South Florida media Thursday, one day after his acquisition in a trade with the Houston Texans became official.
To get McKinney, along with a 2021 seventh-round pick, the Dolphins gave up edge defender Shaq Lawson and a 2021 sixth-round pick.
“I haven't really watched the Dolphins defense, but I do trust that the coaches will put me in the best spot to be able to make plays and wherever they put me out on the field I'm gonna be Bernard McKinney and be physical.
"I love learning defenses. I just love playing defense and my style of the game, everybody knows that I'm a big backer. I'm a downhill backer, I love to play physical.”
McKinney is a pure middle linebacker, though he says he can play on the edge if that's what the coaches want him to do.
Likewise, he says he's comfortable in any scheme.
“I'm a linebacker," McKinney said. "I've been playing football all my life. Played 4-3 before, played 3-4 before. I mean, the coaches, the D coordinator is gonna do what's best for the defense, and if we play 3-4, 4-3, diamond, whatever, you just put me in a position and I'm going to play my style of game and just do my job.”
Having come from Houston, no one should be surprised that McKinney was asked about Deshaun Watson, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has requested a trade and whose name has been linked with the Dolphins.
While he wasn't about to make predictions on what will happen with Watson, McKinney did offer praise when asked about playing with the quarterback.
“Deshaun is definitely a great leader of the Texans organization," McKinney said. "He’s very athletic, taking one day at a time. He pushes guys to the best of their ability. That's a great guy all around. He's a great friend. I love playing against him. It’s hard playing against him at practice because of the things he can do, and just watching him play on Sundays or whenever we play is unbelievable. He competes in how takes everything.”