I can’t tell you how exciting the feeling is to be part of things here and to have so much energy in our locker room. We’re all seeing how the hard work we’ve put in with the coaching staff is paying off. It’s a credit to the coaches for being such great teachers and to the players for staying in their playbooks and absorbing what the coaches are teaching.
It’s been a hectic pace every day with a practice and walkthrough and a lot of sessions in the classroom trying to learn a new system. I can say that I feel really comfortable in the offense, even though much of what we’re doing is quite a bit different than I what I learned with the Texans. My level of comfort really jumped from the first preseason game to last week against Carolina and I think the whole offense felt that way. We got into a little bit of a rhythm against the Panthers and that’s something we want to carry over into Saturday’s game in Jacksonville.
What’s so different about this offense? In Houston, the offense was more traditional, more “NFL style” than it is here. I played fullback and some tight end. Here, I’m all over the place, and while I can’t get too specific about personnel or schemes, I can tell you that it’s a lot different than what I’m used to do and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to sign with the Eagles when I was a free agent. When you combine the scheme and the explosive players we have, it’s something that gets everyone pumped up to play.
The approach from Day 1 here has to be to be faster. That includes learning fast and practicing fast and conducting the day-to-day things fast. Coach Kelly expects us to play fast on the field, so we practice that in every phase of football each day. That includes meetings, so you have to learn fast and then take a lot of your off time studying and making sure you have it all right. If you have any doubt in your mind, you’re going to hesitate just a little bit and that makes you slow down and if you slow down, you aren’t going to play here.
We’re going to Jacksonville and it’s going to be hot, so I’m probably going to take an IV and make sure that my hydration level is great and that I’m ready to beat the heat. That’s something I’m used to doing, so it won’t be a problem for me. I played in Jacksonville every year while I was a Texan, so I know that you have to prepare yourself for the heat.
Our offense has been pretty basic in the two preseason games and the fans have seen less than 50 percent of what we’re doing to do. That’s the way it is across the NFL, as teams evaluate the rosters and keep their best players. You see a lot of base schemes so that the evaluation is apples to apples.
I’ve only caught one pass in the two preseason games, but I feel like I’m playing well. I go out every day to work hard and to earn the trust of the coaching staff. I have to prove that I can get open in the passing game and that I can block when called upon. I enjoy playing special teams, and that is part of my job responsibility, too.
This is the third preseason game and it’s a fun one. The starters are going to play longer than in the first two games and we’re going to use a lot of players on offense and try to keep the momentum that we had against Carolina and score some points and learn a little bit more about what we can accomplish in this offense.