OTAs have been going really well. I’m really impressed with how well the defense is learning, how quickly we’re learning, how well we’re all coming together. I’m not a coach, obviously. But I think we look really good right now and there’s a lot of talent, especially in the secondary.
Personally, I feel as though I’ve been playing really well. I’ve been rotating between corner, strong safety, free safety and nickel. Actually, to be honest it’s been kind of difficult because I’m learning a new system. Not only am I learning a new system at my position of corner, I’m learning a new system from the perspective of free safety and strong safety which are two different positions. I’m also learning from nickel which is technically a linebacker, so I’m learning four different positions and a new system all at the same time. It’s not the easiest thing in the world.
To be honest, coming into this camp it was somewhat difficult motivating myself being that it doesn’t appear that there are any positions that I’m in the running to start for, which is a bit frustrating because I definitely know that I’m talented enough to be the starter on most teams in this league. I guess the mindset I’m taking is that I am competing for a position, so I’m going to do the best I can to take a position from somebody, no matter who it has to be.
Whether I’m competing in the eyes of anybody in the coaching staff or not, in my eyes I’m competing for a job. And that’s been the best way to motivate me. Although learning four positions at once is difficult, I feel like it gives me another opportunity so that I can play anywhere on the field. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll be doing it.
We probably will face a good amount of three-wide. And if we play good run defense on first down then we’ll be in nickel on second and third downs. There were several games last year where as the nickel I got more reps than D.J. at the point — the strongside linebacker. But that’s still not enough for me. It’s been two years where I’ve been a substitute. I started a lot in the last two years, but I really wasn’t a starter. I was starting for somebody else. It’s somewhat frustrating when you know you have the talent and the ability, and you feel that you’re close in the talent with the guys who are out there.
So like I said, in my eyes I’m competing. So that’s what keeps me going.
I’m teaching my class tonight, too, which should be interesting. I’m teaching a writing class at the Boys and Girls Club — tonight’s the first night. High school age kids. Tonight I have to put together a lesson plan. I think we’re going to start with some fun writing tools like similes and metaphors and using quotes and things like that before we actually have them write. I’m just going to try and feel out where they are.
It’s not school, so I don’t want to make it like essays. I want to make it kind of fun. Writing’s not always that much fun, but sometimes it can be. When you write when you want to, or you’re writing journals or things like that. So I went out and bought a bunch of books so I could bone up on my grammar.