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Booker Blog: The Last Samurai


I'm going to spend the downtime before the game watching my favorite movie, The Last Samurai, to get my mind right. I love the discipline that they show. You can't help but admire somebody who not only has something that he believes in, but he walks it everyday. Everybody talks, but few people walk the walk. I try to take that discipline that I see in the movie and apply it to what I do on the field

I'm very excited that training camp is over. Training camp is never a good thing ... just kidding. Training camp is tough, no matter where you are. It's funny because on the first day, it's like, "If I feel like this now, how on earth am I going to get through the next month?" It's all about getting into the flow of things. It's been a long time since you've done any kind of hitting, any kind of organized team play with pads, so you have to get your mind back into it. Once you do that, just like anything else, you'll remember it and you get back in the groove fast.

The support from the fans at Lehigh was serious. Compared to where I was at last year, a training camp practice is like gameday. From that standpoint, you have to appreciate the organization you are in. The fans take football serious and they want you to win just as bad as you do. I can't imagine what a real gameday is going to be like for the season opener. I was on the other side last year. Neither one of us was enjoying the kind of winning like we wanted to, but there were still a good 70,000 strong. So, I'm pumped.

I'm pretty fired up for tonight. I was able to get that first one out of the way in Pittsburgh. In the first one, you're always a little rusty. I'm just learning the new offense. You want to work out a few kinks here and there. And on kick returns, it was my first time doing it. Coming into the second game, there's no reason to think that I shouldn't perform a lot better in terms of the little things - just being comfortable, hitting it up in there on the kickoff returns. You always want to improve. You don't want to make the same mistakes you made last week.

Whether or not the amount of hitting we do in training camp helps in the long run, depends on how you look at it. Here, we look at it in a sense that you are not going to be shocked when people try and drag you to the ground. To be honest, that's something that takes some adjusting to also. From that standpoint, that was something none of us had to worry about. I can assure you we were a lot less sore the day after that game than probably a lot of teams who hadn't been hitting. The only negative to that is you don't want to get guys hurt. But at the same time, this is football. Guys are going to get hurt no matter what. I think it's just a mindset. I think it was an advantage. I'm a lot more comfortable physically this year than I was last year.

I didn't do as well as I would have liked on kickoff returns against Pittsburgh. How can I improve? I just think I have to hit it. You have to try and shift your mindset to a kick return frame of mind. That's different than getting a handoff from Donovan or catching a pass downfield. I think over the course of the season I will get better at that and hopefully it will be sooner than later.

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