I’m not in Kansas anymore. This is the NFL. Football is my job now.
In college, you can get by — even be a star — just on athletic ability. At this level, the game is more mental than it is physical. Everybody who gets the opportunity to play in the NFL is a world-class athlete. At this level, it’s the little things that make you great.
You have to come to work every day, on the field and in the classroom. You have to know your role, know the playbook and know your blocking assignments. You’re fighting for a job out here every day, especially in training camp, and there’s a guy who’s just as talented as you ready to take your job. Every day, you have to go out and prove to your teammates and coaches what you can do.
People have been buzzing because I’ve returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns this preseason. That’s great and all, but the truth is, those don’t count. Until I prove I can do it when it matters — in the regular season and in the playoffs — and do it consistently, I haven’t accomplished anything. And even then, I have to continue to work every day towards mastering my craft. The work never stops.
This is the NFL. No more school. No more exams. No more homework. The only focus now is football.
Time to go to work.
6:30 a.m. Day 13 of training camp, making my way from the hotel to my car for the drive to work.
6:40 a.m. Driving my VW down Interstate 405 as the sun rises over Bellevue, WA.
6:50 a.m. Walking through the equipment room to the locker room.
7:01 a.m. Conditioning and weights start right at 7 a.m. Working on core strength.
7:22 a.m. Hitting the weight room.
7:46 a.m. Checking the list to find out what meetings I’ll be in.
7:52 a.m. Time for breakfast.
8:33 a.m. Shooting hoops with teammates DeShawn Shead, (left) and Paul Richardson in the meeting room.
8:59 a.m. Receivers meeting with Jermaine Kearse, Kevin Smith (center) and receivers coach Dave Canales (right).
10:14 a.m. Hitting the practice field.
10:19 a.m. Chatting with assistant coach Rocky Seto during stretching.
10:33 a.m. Working on kickoff returns.
10:34 a.m. Bag Drill.
11:02 a.m. Touchdown!
12:09 p.m. Post-practice interview.
12:15 p.m. Showing love with some autographs.
3:51 p.m. In the meeting room chatting with college teammate Jake Waters.
6:07 p.m. Evening walk-thru wearing a scout team “pinky.”
6:46 p.m. End of the walk-thru.
6:50 p.m. Waiting for the ball machine and some extra passes.
7:26 p.m. Work day done.
8:22 p.m. In the elevator to the hotel room with dinner.
8:35 p.m. Dinner, then bed. Jake Waters just signed and is studying his playbook. I’ll be asleep long before 10:30 curfew.