Inside The Bills

Ellison inherits radio equipped helmet

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2008 – 6:28 pm

As the backup middle linebacker to Paul Posluszny, John DiGiorgio was the second defensive player that had the radio communication device in a secondary helmet.

In the event that Posluszny was injured, DiGiorgio would step into the defensive lineup and switch to his radio communication helmet to get the defensive play calls from assistant linebackers and special teams coach DeMontie Cross.

But now with DiGiorgio lost for the season due to an ACL injury, the coaching staff has selected Keith Ellison to have the secondary helmet equipped with radio communication.

“Basically I’m just taking over J.D.’s backup helmet,” said Ellison. “This week I’ve been testing it.”

In games only one defensive player can wear the radio equipped helmet on the field to get the defensive calls from the sideline. But in an effort to get used to it, Ellison has been wearing it in practice this week while Paul Posluszny still has his on.

“At first it’s weird especially when I’m not playing middle linebacker because I’m out there in practice with Poz and Poz is getting the call in the helmet like I am and then I hear Poz making the call in the huddle,” said Ellison. “But it was strange getting the call in my ear telling me the play. It takes time to get used to it and that’s what Poz told me.”

Ellison thought the volume on the device was high. Fortunately coach Cross can control the volume from his radio.

“He said he turned it down as low as it could go, but it was still pretty loud,” said Ellison. “They’re telling me I’ll want it louder during a game if it comes to that.”

Ellison is the backup middle linebacker now with DiGiorgio lost for the season. So if anything happens to Posluszny the former sixth-round pick will step in. Deciding on Ellison as the backup MLB likely had a lot to do with his football intelligence.

“He’s very athletic and very smart,” said head coach Dick Jauron of Ellison. “He’s a very smart player and a tough guy. He likes to play the game, but he thinks the game. He’s got a nice feel for football and that includes special teams. He’s just a very good athlete for the position, but maybe above and beyond that is his feel for the game and his smarts and his toughness. He was a really good pick for us, a really good player for us.”

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