Inside The Bills

Roman has worked with TE Gray before

Posted by Chris Brown on April 3, 2015 – 2:00 pm

Bills TE Marqueis Gray is an athletic player who could offer some versatility at the position, which is music to the ears of offensive coordinator Greg Roman. But when the players report next week, Gray won’t be meeting Roman for the first time.

Gray was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013 and went into camp where Roman was the offensive coordinator. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week, Gray explained how he was used in San Francisco in Roman’s offense.

“I was kind of that hybrid fullback and tight end like they had used Delanie Walker the year before,” said Gray. “I was that type of guy.”

Having played quarterback and wide receiver in college at Minnesota, the duties of the hybrid role were largely foreign to Gray who admitted he struggled most in the blocking department.

“They knew it was my first year playing tight end and they knew it would be difficult, especially with blocking because I was lacking in the strength department having been a quarterback my whole life. Coming into the NFL and blocking the best players in the world is not easy when you’re learning on the fly. But as far as running and catching the ball that was pretty natural for me in terms of what I can do.”

Gray didn’t make the 49ers roster that summer, but was picked up by the Browns and spent the 2013 season there where he was used as an H-back and emergency QB. After not making the squad the following summer in training camp Gray was claimed off waivers by the Vikings and released just after midseason when they had to make room on the roster at RB for Ben Tate.

That’s when Buffalo picked him up off waivers last November. Now with a couple of seasons of NFL training Gray has filled out and added lean muscle mass to his frame. That’s what he was focused on again this offseason.

“Every offseason I’m trying to bulk up and get some strength in my upper body because it’s key with blocking and having a strong lower base,” Gray told the John Murphy Show. “I just want to get my strength up with these other guy so I don’t get thrown around like a rag doll.”

Gray’s skill set caters well to what Roman wants out of his tight ends. Now two years removed from his first go-round with Greg Roman, Gray could prove to be a valuable complement to the roster behind Charles Clay if he can convince Roman he’s improved a good deal from his time with him in San Francisco as a rookie.

 


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