BUFFALO – The Elam family arrived at Buffalo after a long journey from Buffalo. Kaiir Elam ranked No. 23 overall by The BillsBill Parcells, Hall of Fame coach, spoke over the telephone about Kaiir’s new place.
“[Parcells] was like, ‘These people come to these games on Friday night and tailgate [until Sunday],’” former NFL safety Abram Elam, Kaiir’s father, said.
Abram, who was a seven-year NFL player, has his own memories about Highmark Stadium. He made his first career pick-six there, a 92-yard return, when he was with New York Jets in 2008.
Kaiir is the newest branch of a family tree that includes his father, Matt Elam (a 2013), and his uncle, Kaiir. Baltimore Ravens first-round pick. Kaiir wants to follow in their footsteps and has a clear path towards a starting position on the No.1 defense last season. 1 defense. If there are few players on the team, he will fill in the biggest gap.
Kaiir relied heavily on the lessons from his father, uncle, and even Parcells to get where he is today. They helped Kaiir get to this point by preparing him for the next level.
“I'm very happy that he went to Buffalo, because I know [Bills defensive coordinator] Leslie Frazier, and I spoke with Leslie about Kaiir before the draft a little bit,” Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, told ESPN. “I just don't think he could have gone to a better place.”
Parcells' feedback means Kaiir enters the NFL much more informed about the NFL experience than most 21 year-olds.
The Elam family, which is located in Riviera Beach, Florida, lives approximately 30 minutes from the Hall of Fame coach. Parcells sat with Kaiir during his games with the Florida Gators, and then gave him notes.
“He doesn’t care if I had the best game of my life,” Elam said of Parcells during his combine meeting with the Bills, according to video on the team's YouTube channel. “He called me like, ‘You gave him too much cushion. I feel like you could have taken these guys out of bounds.’ Just little things like that to help me achieve my goals right here.”
Parcells also made an effort to help Elam by making a quick phone call to a Buffalo quarterback.
“I know Josh Allen a little bit,” Parcells said, “And I did call Josh and ask him to kind of keep an eye on Kaiir for me and he said he would.”
What is Parcells' favorite thing about Kaiir? Parcells praised his height (6-foot-1, 30- and 7/8-inch arms), running ability and game-preparation skills. Parcells explained that these qualities come from his father.
“It's really not complicated,” Parcells said. “[Abram] His goal was to guide his son in the right direction academically as well as athletically. He has tried. And fortunately, he has the experience to do that.”
Kaiir used to go to The Swamp with his uncle to see him play for the Gators when he was in elementary school. Kaiir couldn't play football until middle-school. While his parents wanted him to avoid injury, they didn't want to force him to play the sport just because his family was into it.
Matt stated that this allowed Kaiir, who fell in love with football at a young age, to find the discipline and motivation to do the work.
“He earned it. Kaiir was a little boy who was quite chubby, but he took care of his body. When he got to high school … he locked in,” Matt said.
Said Kaiir: “I always begged to play, but it didn't come true until eighth grade, and in order for me to play football, I had to run track. It was something that really helped me as a player as well as as a person. And I appreciate that from my dad.”
Abram joined the NFL as an undrafted-free agent. He signed with Parcells Cowboys in 2006. Abram played in 71 games for four teams during his career, including a second stint at the Cowboys.
He’s remained close friends with Parcells and the pair talk almost every day. Abram consults through The Elam Model in order to help others players be successful off the field. Kaiir is supported by his family and other people instead of traditional agents.
“They called me the blueprint,” Abram said, “but I say [Kaiir] Matt and Matt took the plans [for success]They improved it.”
Matt, a safety, got drafted 32nd. He played in 41 games in Baltimore over four seasons, but was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. He is currently playing for Edmonton Elks in the CFL/XFL.
“Kaiir's gonna have a great career, because he's a good kid and he's not into a lot of things,” Matt said. “… “… Kaiir is that person because he has seen it all. He's so humble, he's so gentle, he's so calm because he has seen it.”
Kaiir hears from Matt and Abram about their experiences playing in the NFL.
“I was able to learn from their mistakes and I think that really benefited me,” Kaiir said. “So, if I make those same mistakes they made, it's like a double sin for me 'cause I got to learn from them, their firsthand experience and they're super blunt, super honest with me.”
Kaiir was told by the Bills about making every opportunity count and that every moment he spends in Bills' facility is an evaluation.
Kaiir stated, “As quickly as you come in you can also leave,”
This guidance has been with him for many years. He trained with his uncle and worked with his dad to improve his tackling technique.
Kaiir, for all the good advice he has received, has been a role-model himself. Matt describes Kaiir as someone his nephew looks up to. This includes Kaiir’s friends growing up. Kaiir encourages Matt not to give up on his dream of playing with his nephew in the NFL.
“He pushes me, he motivates me now,” Matt said. “I was his motivation. I pushed him, but the tables turned.”