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Booker Blog: 5 + 36 = Victory


For Christmas, it's not what did I get my son, Kayin, it's what didn't I get. He got a basketball hoop, a rocket from the movie "Toy Story," just everything. This is the first Christmas where he'll have fun opening his own gifts. He's 16 months old now where last year he was so young he was just interested in eating the wrapping paper.

The mood is a little better in the locker room this week because we're more relaxed. People would think that would be uptight or down, but I think that since Christmas is today it gives people an appreciation of being thankful for the things that you do have. If you keep that mindset, you go into the game more relaxed. You can focus a little bit more. It puts everything in perspective. At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable with your effort. When you can go into a game like that, then usually you can give more than you thought you could and good things happen.

Of course we knew what was at stake when the Redskins game started. I was not active so I didn't have a game to get ready for. I knew that Tampa had lost. All we had to do was win. We were in the driver's seat for a little while there. I didn't want to voice my opinion to any of the guys. At this stage, it's hard to sidetrack a guy. If you've been in the game long enough, you know how to focus. At the end of the game, it hurt a little more because Tampa had lost.

Any time we win, it's going to be primarily because of Donovan and Brian. I think we saw a lot of Donovan and a little bit of Brian on Sunday. It has to go both ways. If we're ever going to go where we want to go, it has to be in large part because of both of them. Anytime you have a guy like 36 at tailback, you cannot forget about him. That's just how I feel. You have to do whatever you can to involve him. If you don't feel comfortable giving him carries behind the line, you have to get the ball to him in the pass game. He's got to touch the ball. At the same time, I understand why you pass as much because Donovan is one of the greatest to ever play. Statistically, he's the best to ever play here. To me, that's saying a lot with Jaws and Randall. Again, I think at the end of the day, if things don't work, you feel like there are so many things you could have done differently with Brian.

I just found out yesterday that our game Sunday is at 4:15. We'll know by the start of our game whether we can make the playoffs. Donovan said it best at his press conference, regardless of your motivation; everyone is going to play for something. Let's not kid ourselves. This is professional football. Whether you win the Super Bowl or one game like I did last season, everyone is evaluated separately at the end of the year. It's like Warrick Dunn's book, "Running For Your Life." You're literally doing that. We've been through a lot since the OTAs, but you're only as good as your last game. I'd hate to walk away with a taste that I didn't give everything I have.

I try to not focus on whether I'm going to play or not. I want to get out there whether it's on punt coverage just so I can get dirty. It would be frustrating if I can't add to my resume because I'll feel like I have so much more to give. That's how I felt last year even though I played a lot at the end. I wondered what if I got the chance to play earlier. As a competitor, I'm never satisfied.

I know the frustration that Detroit is going through. I hope at the end of the day, like we did last year in Miami, that everyone there can look at one another and feel like that they gave it their all. It wasn't as bad because of that. We could look ourselves in the mirror and that was the most important thing. We felt like we left everything on the field. I didn't lose respect for anyone. I felt bad for everyone. The Lions play the Packers. I hope that they get to experience that one win. You work too hard to not leave everything on the field.

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