Beating Washington on the road on Monday Night Football was a big win for us and a great way to start the season. It was really big for us offensively to start the season like that on a national stage, so that everyone saw our tempo and maybe thinks about it as they prepare to play us each week. Hopefully, we can get in some teams’ heads when they see how fast we’re moving and see what kind of shape you need to be in to play us.
We pride ourselves in being in really good shape and playing fast, and to put it all together in the regular season was just what we wanted to do to start the regular season.
I know that it’s a big topic out there. Everyone is interested in how quickly we’re getting our signals in and everyone is curious about the no-huddle offense. That’s a good thing. We want to keep it working.
It’s actually similar to some of the things I did in college, at Rice. A lot of college teams are doing it, where they’re working really fast and spreading the field and moving up the field very quickly. It’s hard to stop in the NFL, too, but we all know that you have to execute the plan and be consistent with it. We have a lot of really good players and coaches here, and we know we didn’t play at the level we wanted for the entire game, so there is room to grow with the offense.
Recovery has been a theme for us since Coach Kelly started. It’s not like all of a sudden we are in a short week and we need to get our bodies back. We’ve been working on this every day since the spring. It’s something that Coach is always preaching to us. We have been taking care of our bodies and conditioning at a high level since April. At the same time, Coach gives us a lot of down time to recover, and that helps us this week. We make sure we stay hydrated and we eat right and get our sleep. It’s a very short turnaround, so let’s see how we respond on Sunday.
I’ve been asked about my playing time and I am keeping a really good attitude about it. I can only control what I can control, and that’s approaching every day the right way and working hard and hoping for the best. Of course I want to be out on the field and I want to play, and everyone in this locker room feels the same way. I came here wanting to play a lot of snaps. Hopefully, that happens. I’m going to keep working hard and when they call on me, I will step up and deliver.
The only thing that really matters is that we’re winning football games, and that I’m contributing to that. I’m playing a lot on special teams and I take a lot of pride in that. I think I’m a great special teams player. Nobody really talks much about special teams unless a mistake is made. I thought our special teams were outstanding on Monday night. We have a lot of guys who are going down the field, playing hard and taking a ton of pride in that. Winning the battle of field position is instrumental in winning games.
I think special teams is the hardest play in football. You’re running 50 yards down the field while you’re getting blocked and your job is to get to the football and make a tackle. When we’re in the return game, you have to run 50 yards and block somebody who is trying to avoid you, so it’s a great challenge, a real battle on every play.
Special teams have always been important to me. That’s how most of the guys make it in this league. You have to sell yourself and have a lot of courage and discipline to make it work. I led Houston in special teams tackles one year with, I think, 17 tackles, and it meant a lot. Then I became a starter and I didn’t play a lot on special teams, but it still meant a lot to me. My thing is, any way I can help the team, I’m going to do it.
We’re at home on Sunday, so it’s a big deal to go out and show our great fans what we can do. San Diego is a really good team coming off a tough loss, so the Chargers are really going to be hungry. I study their edge players, and Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson are outstanding at what they do. I think Johnson is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He’s a great, great player. Everybody knows about Freeney. He’s a Hall of Fame player who is extremely disruptive.
We have to be at our best to win this game. I’m looking forward to showing our fans what we can do.