PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) – Jake Metz mindset is like many of the other new faces at this year’s Bills training camp.
“Everyday I am learning and picking up and doing as best as I can,” Metz said after practice.
But, his path to the Bills roster is quite unlike anyone else.
“Out of college I went to camp with the Detroit Lions and I had some Arena football team’s reach out to me and I ended up playing for the home town team in Philadelphia,” the defensive end continued.
There, Metz flourished. He won an arena football league championship and was named defensive Player of the Year.
That led to more opportunities.
“I got a chance to play in preseason with the Philadelphia Eagles. After that, I went over to China and played the first couple of months in a professional league.”
Wait…played football where?
Jake spent three months in China, as an ambassador of the sport of football.
“We had a chance to play with some Chinese players and basically we were just showing them what it is all about and I think the league is going to blow up over there.”
At 6 foot 7, Metz is the tallest player on the Bills roster and when he went overseas that was no different. But, he tried not to be too intimidating to the Chinese rookies.
“Us as Americans kind of agreed to show them the sport and we didn’t want to scare them or nothing. We were basically introducing it. I think more or less the civilians were more scared of me than the players,” Metz reminisced with a laugh.
After his time in China wrapped up Jake got another call — this time it was back here at home. It turned out keeping the football dream alive, no matter where, impressed the Bills coaching staff.
“I’ve got a special place in my heart for underdogs,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “I relate to that. You go through adverse times in your life and it is those times that will determine how far you will go in life.”
“A lot of guys in my position would give up,” he said. “But, I have a very supportive family and my mindset is to make it here and now I am here and this is only the beginning.”