BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Linebacker A.J. Klein is yet another example that the Buffalo-Carolina connection is alive and well.
While Klein didn’t come directly from the Panthers to the Bills, he spent the first four seasons of his career in Carolina and those ties with Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane helped make his decision to sign with Buffalo.
“Knowing Beane and coach McDermott and obviously some of the guys that I’ve played with over the years are starting to come here as well. This is a young team that’s eager to win and on the cusp of something great,” Klein said on a zoom call with reporters.
Klein then signed a three-year contract with the Saints after his time in Carolina.
“I’ve been very fortunate thus far to be a part of Carolina and the Saints being winning programs and around winning organizations and I see that here. I see the potential for a championship and I definitely want to cap off my career with a championship before I retire,” Klein explained.
Being familiar with McDermott’s defense is a huge plus for Klein, not only as far as learning the playbook goes but it’s also a system he likes because it “works”.
“We know how successful it can be. I’ve been a part of that success when I was in Carolina. It’s a system that once you learn it, it allows you to play fast and free and I just think it allows great communication from the back seven to the d-line to the linebackers. It allows everyone to play fast together and it works. It works, it’s tried and tested and it works,” Klein said.
Klein also said he’s very impressed so far with Tremaine Edmunds and his ability to command the defense and respect of his teammates. Their communication will be huge since it looks like Klein is the front runner to replace Lorenzo Alexander in that starting role.
And even though Alexander leaves behind a huge hole both on and off the field, Klein said he doesn’t feel any pressure to “replace” Alexander but instead just be himself.