<span style="">After a day off of practicing it's different to get your body and mind back to the level of play that you were at just two days ago. We become machines running off similar schedules, day in and day out. We don't have time to worry about being sore and tired. We keep grinding because that's the way it is. When there's a stop gap or change of schedule, we tend to realize we feel beat up. Although it's important to get some much needed rest, no short time off is going to heal all our physical issues.
When resuming the normal camp schedule, there's a funk we have to break, another mental battle. Veteran leadership is what we lean on to help each other (especially for the rookies). We concentrate on the little things like a good huddle break, rushing to the line of scrimmage, or focusing on the snap count. By concentrating on the simple facets, the play gets a fresh breath of fresh air. Guys are hitting the proverbial wall of camp. It's also the time that we start playing games and you've got to produce when it all matters in them.
Regardless of if you're an established veteran, a player on the bubble, or a rookie, you have to focus on the upcoming game. With just two days to kick-off, mental preparation is essential like any test. I start to think about match-ups and how to handle certain players and situations. I run through the playbook cleaning up any questions I may have. Believe me, you don't want to go into a game not sure about a play. I write any questions I have to make a "don't mess up" list.
If you play 10 plays or 60 plays, you have to prepare the same way. If you don't, you will be embarrassed. Practice is needed, but the game dictates making the team or not. Besides, you're also showcasing your talents for all 32 teams. Our resume is forever enshrined on film. There's a saying "the eye in the sky doesn't lie." This means every time you play, it's being filmed. Normally, each play is filmed from a side view and back view. When we watch film, we watch the side view of the play and then the back view. That way you set the full picture of what happened. Sometimes things appear differently from one angle to the other.
There's an excitement of watching younger players in pre-season games. They hit the field realizing it's "make or break". I talk to the rookies a lot about keeping their emotions in and letting it explode when they step on the field. Let it all out because you never want to regret not giving it your all. We have very talented young guys that are going to "tear it up" on Thursday night on ESPN. Just watch them explode.
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