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Booker Blog: In Awe Of Westbrook


It was cold at Giants Stadium last week. When you're playing, the biggest problem is your fingers and your toes. If you could tell me that my fingers would stay warm or my toes, we could play in anything. Practice is different than a game, though. You're not going to go out there with a hand warmer; it's just not as upbeat as a game. You can't simulate adrenaline. The benches aren't going to be heated. There's a lot of stuff that's different at practice.

The weather is still an advantage for us. Like last year, I was practicing in 80-degree heat and then I have to play in 24-degree weather. It's a shock, but when you're actually living in it and practicing in it, you already know what to expect.

It was different for me last year in Miami because the first real cold experience I had unfortunately was Buffalo. That was the first game that I pretty much played in the entire game, so for me it was more 'Here I am.' My favorite team growing up was the Buffalo Bills – Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas. There I was, in the stadium of the team I watched my whole life growing up and I just tried to feed off that. I was just flying around, 100 miles an hour running into everybody. The fact that I was out there, my first real action, kind of took care of it.

The ride home from the Giants game was great. Brian Westbrook was behind me – he was a little sore. And I understood. But it was great. We went up there and knew we could win. We didn't play nearly as good as we thought we could the first time and we still almost walked away with the victory. Besides, when you're on the road, everybody seems to pull together a little more. People think it would be a little harder, but really that's when your team is the closest because you have to be. You can't hear and everybody in there hates you, which is what's so great about it. Anytime you're on the road and you get a win, it's huge. Obviously, New York is one of our biggest rivals and to win there was bigger than most.

The most fun part of the game for me was probably that last drive when we ate up a bunch of clock and Brian kept getting the ball over and over. I remember having my mouthpiece in ready for him to call me in there because I see what he goes through during the week just to get ready for a game. He carried the ball a bunch. Here it was, the backstretch, and I knew he was going to call for me and he never did. And it was at that point that I realized I'm really watching this guy and he's great. There's going to be stories told about this guy forever, especially around here and here I am getting some of my own. You learn a lot from that. I just grew to really appreciate Brian a little more, just watching the toughness. He could have came out – he did enough to that point to win the ballgame but he wanted to see it through and kind of seal the deal, so that was nice.

That kind of performance should let everyone in the locker room know what its going to take if we want to achieve the ultimate goal, which is to make the postseason first and then obviously win a Super Bowl. It's going to take that. Your body is going to ache and there are going to be times where you don't think you can go - but as the mind perceives, the body achieves and I think he showed that more than anything. There are a couple of other guys on the team that feel that way too. It's going to take everybody out there to have that kind of mentality each week if we want to be successful.

After Brian Dawkins issued an edict to grow a beard for the stretch run, they got on DB coach Sean McDermott. Everybody was kind of brushing their teeth and he tried to trim his beard a little bit. They jumped on him quick. I'm kind of clean shaven, but I'm getting a little scruffy. It's cold, so I need it. I shaved my head the day before the Giants game and I paid for it. I don't know if I'm going to shave anytime soon, either.

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