This is the first in our series of Player Diary entries from the Pro Bowl in Arizona. Today: placekicker Cody Parkey.
It is pretty crazy for me to put into perspective what has happened to me in my rookie NFL season. I began with the Colts, working with Pat McAfee and Adam Vinatieri, and now I'm ending the season with them in the Pro Bowl. In between, a whole lot happened and I'm so thankful for everything.
This is an incredible feeling to be selected to do this, even as a first alternate in the voting. I keep using the word "surreal" when people ask me how I feel. What are the odds that I would be in the Pro Bowl? I wasn't drafted, and then I was traded from Indianapolis to Philadelphia and then it broke just right that New England reached the Super Bowl and here I am. I worked really hard to get here, and I know I have so much more work to do.
I look at someone like Adam and what's he's accomplished in his career. There is no kicker like him. He didn't miss all season until the final week of the regular season. Spending a week with him, with someone who is arguably the best who has ever kicked in the league, is invaluable for me. I'm at least going to take a few notes from talking with him. I'm really excited to see him as a friend and as someone who has helped me get to this point. He just finished his 19th season in the NFL and had his best season. That's pretty amazing.
Once I found out I was going to be here I started working out again and kicking, just to get in shape for the game. We don't have kickoffs, so my goal is to kick every PAT and every field goal attempt perfectly. The goal posts are more narrow for the PAT and the distance is moved back, so I'm excited to give that a try. I've never kicked through narrow goal posts, but when I have practiced back home I've used a lamp post as a target, so I'll take the same approach here. The theory is: Aim small, miss small. I'm going to have fun.
I'm one of those guys who thinks more about the misses than I do the makes, so looking back on the season that I had, that's kind of been my focus. I try to think of things I could have done better, but going into next year knowing that I have Donnie (Jones) holding and Jon (Dorenbos) snapping, that gives me a lot of confidence. I owe a lot of my success to them and I thank them for helping me to reach this point.