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Soup of the Day Blog 13

    <span style="">One of the last topics I wrote about was toughness.   

Coaches and players throughout the entire season continually talk about this. One of my examples was being crushed while catching a pass in the middle of the field. I must have psychic powers because on Thursday night versus Arizona, I was annihilated on a vertical middle route.

I didn't really have any pain except for the fact I simply couldn't breathe. I had the wind knocked out of me. Although most of us have experienced this numerous times, it doesn't make it any more comforting when you can't get any air in your lungs. For those of you who have never had this happen … don't let it happen. It's miserable. It's not a big deal long term, but it's rough for about 20 seconds.

Our timing against Arizona was pretty good for our first pre-season game. Usually these games are a little sloppy. Which means that there are generally lots of penalties and mental errors. I'm sure we had our share of mishaps, but it wasn't glaring. I think this is a positive sign of our growth over the past three years. A higher level of play is expected now and I believe that motivates younger players to compete as well. This afternoon we watched the film and mentally fixed all of our errors.

The film footage is never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. There's a fine line of winning and losing. This shows itself every single time we watch film. Some coaches even watch the film after a game on the flight home from away games. In fact, all of them do.

Our flight home was a rough one. First off the nuisances of late game will naturally do that and then you mix in the fact there was a packed runway at Sky Harbor. We left the stadium and the sky simply erupted with lightning, thunder and hard rain. On the way the airport in the buses, word filtered out that they had closed the runways. Not a real positive thing when it is already late enough on our biological clocks. Factor in a 2 hour time difference in Arizona, we wouldn't return to Mississippi until after 3 a.m. on a normal schedule. Factor in the delays at the airport, and well … we arrived around 4:30 a.m.

Long story short, the heads didn't hit the pillows until around 5:00 a.m.

It was like a zombie movie showing players walking to their dorm rooms. With an exception of a couple of people being slap happy, guys were sleep-walking. Not many words were spoken.

We're still in the "meat and potatoes" of camp. We have to suck it up and get ready for Houston. This is the NFL. It's not only how you play, it's also how you bounce back for the next game. We have a saying that "it's about the next play." Whether you did well or poorly we have to erase it from our memory and get ready for the next play.

In fact, we're preparing for Houston now.

For an entire list of Mark Campbell's Trainint Camp Blogs, please click here.

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