Monday, May 19, 2014
Bills' Henderson knows there's no excuses
By Mike Rodak
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills' message to Seantrel Henderson, their final pick in the 2014 draft, was clear: You have one chance.
Henderson, once the nation's top offensive line recruit, tumbled at Miami. He was suspended three times for marijuana use in college and later failed a drug test at the NFL combine, when prospects know they'll be tested.
To make matters worse, the 6-foot-7, 331-pound Henderson did not complete his pro day in April, saying he was overheated. A year ago, he was considered a potential first-round pick, but the Bills were able to add him in the seventh round earlier this month.
"It was something that we did a lot of research on. We want to make sure that we know exactly what the situation is, exactly what we’re dealing with and seeing if we’re able to be the proper influence to make that change," Bills coach Doug Marrone said Saturday. "And does the player want to make that change? I think all those things come in to play and if that happens we’re going to get ourselves one heck of a football player.
"If it doesn’t, he’ll go find another line of work."
The Bills delivered that message to Henderson as soon as he was drafted.
"We’ve talked to Seantrel and he knows that he’s got one shot," general manager Doug Whaley said. "We’re saying we’ll give you this one shot. It has nothing to do with us saying this guy is a talented football player; he’s been dealing with some demons. Hopefully those demons are out of his life and why not give somebody -- this is America -- give somebody a chance."
Henderson, who went to high school in Minnesota, feels like Buffalo is the right spot to focus on football.
"There's not much to do here but work," Henderson said. "So, no excuse."
Life in Coral Gables, Florida, he says, was different.
"In college, I had a lot of maturing to do, just as far as me as a person. I was coming from Minnesota, going down to Miami. Whole different state. By myself. I don't have my parents anymore," Henderson said. "I believed I could pretty much do anything I really want to do, as far as being a kid and being a young adult at the time. So I had a lot of growing up to do. I had to teach myself a lot, just from my parents not being there. It was a big learning experience for me.
"It took me a couple years, but at the same time, I don't really have no regrets. I'm happy where I'm at. I wouldn't change it for anything."