<span>It's only been two and a half days but this is the grind of camp. It seems to take about a day to get back in the swing of things. The morning session with full pads (meaning full uniform), had more of a running and play action pass emphasis. It was a good morning that sea-sawed between the offense and defense.
I can see the defense getting comfortable with their schemes all ready. Jonathan Vilma has really stood out to me. I've played against him before, when he was with the Jets, and the guy can flat out play. He's always around the ball, which really means he's fast and smart. You can always tell who the guys are that have that ability to be a pain to the offense. If they're not on my team, I can't stand them, but if they wear the black and gold…I love it. There's nothing worse for an offense to see a play that would be great, except for one of those "ball hawks" on the defense. You will all be ecstatic and proud to watch Vilma ruining plays for other offenses.
After practice a reporter asked me about the competition at Tight End. The answer is simple, I know my role and my strengths. I know I am reliable, but I'm not Jeremy Shockey or Billy Miller. My game is different, and that's fine. When it's 3rd and short, or anytime I get to make a play, I'll do my job. Ever since I was a kid, it's the only way I know to play or compete.
Yesterday's afternoon started with a huge downpour of rain. Immediately I thought there was no chance we could have practice. Of course we could if we had to, but the chances of injuries escalate and the fields get torn up. It's not worth it, unless we have an emphasis of playing in bad weather or Coach Payton tells us to. He is the man in charge. There's no dispute there. As I got on my electric scooter, a camp essential, I noticed in a 5 minute ride the sun was starting to come back out. By the time practice arrived, it was out with a vengeance. The tight ends were talking about how remarkable it is that it only rains when we're not on the field. During this discussion, Coach Payton walked up and said he has ALL controls. He went on to describe himself as the controller, line in the "Truman" movie. A brief description of the movie is a child is raised on a TV show that is a fake reality. The "Controller" can make it rain, snow or whatever he feels. I'm hoping the "Controller" will hook us up with some player-friendly weather for our sake.
With good weather intact, we had a pretty good practice. Things went well on the field, but not as well off it. We found out the team had released Eric Johnson. That's part of this business. Eric was a great player, fighting off an ankle injury that wouldn't go away the entire season. It's a business, but we can't help building friendships. Think about it. How would you like to go to work and see your buddy in the cubicle next to you gone? It's tough, but it is what it is. You can bet like in an Ice Cube movie, I will pour out a Gatorade for Eric tomorrow.