I’m really excited for our second preseason game, with Carolina coming to town. I thought the first game went great. It was an awesome feeling playing in front of our fans at Lincoln Financial Field and it was just good to get on the field in a game situation and get the blood flowing.
We know we have a lot to work on. That’s just the nature of the game In the NFL. You watch the tape of the game and see the mistakes and know you have to correct them, so that’s where we are with this. We are looking to correct as much as we can.
On a personal level, the first preseason game went really well for me. I played a lot of snaps – a lot on special teams, which I enjoy – and I’m pleased with the first time out. I played through the third quarter and it felt good to me. I’ve always taken the approach that a game is a game, no matter whether it’s the preseason or the regular season. I prepare the same way every game. I play with intensity all the time. The difference is the mindset in that you know you’re going to come out in a preseason game. You don’t even think about coming out in the regular season.
What you know about the preseason is that everybody is fighting for a job, so it’s going to be intense and you have to be ready for that. I think it’s a great atmosphere, even late in the game. There are a lot of men out there fighting for a job, for a paycheck.
To get in the right mindset for a game, I just kind of mentally prepare myself to be aggressive. I’m not a big superstition guy. I come from a minor league baseball background and, of course, baseball players are naturally more superstitious. That approach didn’t help me in the sport of baseball. After my career in baseball ended, I kind of put away the superstitions.
What I do now is just try to stay hydrated, get my body loose and understand that when kickoff comes around, I need to be ready to be physical and intense. It works gradually for me, which is a good thing when you have a night game. You don’t want to be jacked up all day, or you won’t have anything left for the night, when the game begins.
The thing with me is that once I step on a football field, the blood just starts pumping. I appreciate being part of this league so much that I know I have to be a tough guy and to give it everything I have on every play just to stay here. It’s a huge rush for me to be here, and to be part of an NFL game.
Carolina’s defense is a good one so we have to be prepared for their pressure. I thought we played pretty well against New England, and what’s exciting for all of us is that we see just how potent this offense can be. We were all interested to see how the things we worked on in practice – all of the things Coach (Chip) Kelly talked to us about and worked with us on – would translate to a game. We did a lot of good things, and the thing is, we did very little of what we already know. There is a lot more of this offense that we haven’t unveiled, and that is very exciting for all of us.
We kept it basic and we were still able to get yards against a really good front seven. It was encouraging, so we’re out to show that we can improve, sustain some drives, put points on the board and show that we corrected what we did wrong from last week.
On a personal note, I’ve moved out of my hotel and into my house with my family and it’s a great feeling. I love going back to my family after a good, hard day at work. I’m so excited to get back out there against Carolina and see what we can do, what we can accomplish and what we can improve upon in our second preseason game.