I probably won't start on Thursday. I think West will be ready to go. I definitely will see some significant playing time. This is the first time I've ever gone into a game knowing that. It changes things for my preparation, but I think being that it's Week 12 it definitely takes away from most of the anxiety that I'd have if it was earlier in the season. There are a lot of little things that I don't have questions on that I would have a month-and-a-half ago. Ted and Brian and Correll have done a great job of getting me ready for this point. We just have to go out and show what we can do.
The last three weeks where I've been inactive have only been difficult because I'm a competitor. I just want to go out and help in some way, shape or form. You want to go out there and help the team win. I'm behind Brian Westbrook, who I don't even have to start talking about. People have forgotten how good Correll is too. He hurt his knee those two years in a row. He's starting to get a chance to go out there and play. Some people almost forgot how good he was. The situation for this year was just a little unique. The tough part was not being able to help the team, but I've always known what the deal was. At some point, I'll get my chance to go out there and play. The good thing is that I get to play this week, but it's unfortunate because no one wants it to be at the expense of somebody getting hurt. Regardless it's a chance to go out there and play and you want to take advantage of it.
I understand what happened last week in Baltimore. It's not like college where you can dress 80 people to be active for the game. The fact of the matter was that there were some guys that were going to be able to help on special teams more than I would. Seeing that Brian and Correll would get 98 percent of the reps, it made more sense to activate somebody else. This week, it's just a little different.
I have to go out there and try - and that's the key word - to do some of the same things that Brian does. We'll see how it goes from there. During the course of the season, there is only so much you can improve without game reps. I just try to maximize the time to study. Brian and Ted and Correll take a lot of time with me on the field and in the classroom, making sure I always know what's going on regardless of how much I'm going to play. I really think that's going to be the X-factor in me going out and being able to execute the game plan properly.
In terms of the loss Sunday, one of the positives of having a short week is that there is no time to think about what happened. You don't have those two days off to take it all in and in this situation, being that it's the worst loss we've had in a long time, there are some things that happened that haven't happened here before. You had time to think about the Ravens game from the time you got dressed after the game to when we got on the bus, after that it was all about the Cardinals and that's the way it's been.
Speaking of the Cardinals, wide receiver Anquan Boldin hosted me when I visited Florida State. He reminds me of Hines Ward. He just has a lot of fun. I can remember him catching balls and running down the sideline smiling the entire time while we were playing at Florida State. The guy is tough as nails. Everybody knows that. There's not much that I can tell people of Anquan that people haven't seen already.