Me and my main man Hamza Abdullah filled in at safety. Hamza is definitely one of my closest friends on the team. I’ve talked about him a lot on the blog before and how he’s a very good young safety. We were able to start together at safety for the Kansas City game, and all week practicing together we just had a great time. We had fun communicating and making plays all week during practice. It was a whole lot of fun, and then of course the game was even more fun. There’s definitely something special about playing and performing with somebody that you have a pretty good friendship with. While you’re on the field you feel really close to everybody out there and you want everybody to do well, but there’s something different about being out there with guys that you really care about. I think the people in the secondary, we all really care about each other and we’re close friends.
It was just a great performance by the team overall, and there were some great plays in the secondary. There were a bunch of interceptions, and unfortunately I was not able to get one, but it doesn’t really matter. We won. That’s all that matters, because we are now winners. I like being a winner. Being a loser stinks. I don’t think I want to be a loser anymore. I’d like to win a lot more games.
Something else that happened in the game that was amazing was that Karl Paymah got an interception. I was very happy to see it. Hamza kind of tipped it to him and it was a great play, but we always joke around with Karl about not having any interceptions in his career, and not having hands, and jokes like that. But he made a play, and I guess the jokes have to stop. Nah, jokes never stop around here. He’ll still get it. It’s not like it was a clean pick. It was kind of a tip that fell into his lap, so I think we’ll make fun of him about that.
We decided earlier in the week, on Wednesday, as a team that we needed to change the culture of our team and rededicate ourselves to winning, rededicate ourselves to preparing well, and just recognize that time was running out on our season. There was no more time for growing and getting better, it was time for us to start playing better. There was a lot of talk throughout the week, and the captains of the team and the leaders of the team spoke out several times to make sure we were all focused and practiced as well as we could, which would prepare us for the game on the coming weekend. Before the game, D.J. Williams had a quote that was pretty accurate. We had a bunch of talk throughout the week and motivation, but D.J. said to the team, “Let’s let the pads do the talking,” and we did.
I definitely had on my big safety pads, and I guess there was a point when I was a very good, promising young corner. These days, I still think I’m a good, promising young player, but it appears that at least in the eyes of the Denver Broncos coaching staff, I am a safety. I’ve started more games this year at safety, and I think I’ve probably started as many games in my career at safety than I have at corner at this point, which is incredibly shocking to me. Looking back on it as I was coming into the league, it’s something that I never expected to have to do. But it’s working out great for this team so far, and myself so far.
We just had a lot of fun, on defense especially, throughout the game. We communicated well and we made a lot of big plays, and we were excited to see everybody make plays. I think the chemistry, especially in the secondary, was really great. We were on the same page for the entire game, and times when Hamza would miss a check, I was there to put us in the right defense, and vice versa. As for the rest of the defense, we put a lot of pressure on our corners this game, and they stepped up. The whole defense stepped up. The defense had three interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and four sacks.
I had an opportunity to get an interception. I think I was more surprised that the guy threw it than anything, because I had good coverage on an early third down in the game, and I tried to fight off the receiver with my left hand and catch the ball with my right hand, but I wasn’t able to pull that move off. Maybe next time I’ll try to get two hands on it and not worry about the receiver so much. I’m definitely a little ticked off that I didn’t get that interception, because you don’t get many chances for interceptions. Even if it’s a tough play to make, you need to make those. It seems like everybody has interceptions these days, except for me. Even Elvis Dumervil has an interception, and young Marcus Thomas has an interception, and just about everybody in the secondary. Well, none of the safeties have interceptions, so I guess I need to be the first safety to get an interception. I’m definitely going to do my part to try to make plays for this team and for me.
Unfortunately, earlier in the week a college teammate of mine and a pretty close friend, Curome Cox, got cut. It was upsetting, but it’s the nature of this business. There’s always surprises and curveballs that you never expect to come out of left field. That was definitely a surprise. He was a great player for us on special teams and a versatile player on defense that filled in when necessary. But that is the nature of this business. One week we’re teammates, the next week you’re home. But I actually talked to him on Monday morning, and he is signing with the Houston Texans, which I was very excited to hear. I’m happy for him to be employed again and what’s even better is we get to play against him. That’s exciting. I like playing against my college teammates or ex-Broncos. It just gives you a little something else, a little extra bragging rights. But like I said, I’m happy for him. He went on down to Houston where there’s a lot of Broncos in the front office. I assume that had something to do with it, that they remember him and his talent when he was here.
Speaking of playing against ex-college teammates, we get the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, and they have Randy Starks, a college teammate of mine. We came in the same class and did some great things at Maryland together — conference championships, beating Tennessee in the Peach Bowl and blowing out West Virginia in the Gator Bowl. We just had a great time at the University of Maryland and he’s playing well out in Tennessee. I’m proud of him and look forward to the opportunity to gain some bragging rights over another player.
The challenge of going against Vince Young should be a great one for this defense. We’ve played some mobile quarterbacks, but I think Vince is past mobile. I wouldn’t describe him as mobile. He is dynamic. He is super-mobile. He is a great athlete. He’s still a young quarterback, which is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it works to your advantage to be young and super-mobile.
Speaking of Young, Selvin Young had a great game, who I believe is Vince Young’s old roommate. Selvin had a great game for us and he’s been stepping up since Travis Henry has gone down. I think that’s one of the really great things about this team that we have, is everyone is expected to fill in or fulfill whatever role is asked of them. They all do a great job, and Selvin had a 100-yard game against a tough Kansas City defense. Offensively, I think we made a lot of plays that we had to make, when it was time to get first downs to put the game away or when the defense needed a rest. Our offense came through for us, and that’s all we can ask for. But again, Selvin had a great game filling in, and he makes some cuts that would make us nervous on defense, and I’m sure they’re not cuts that are taught, because they are some dangerous moves trying to make people miss in the backfield. But he seems to be able to pull it off and make plays, and that’s great. He has his own style of running and it’s working well in our system right now. He had some really long runs, which we love to see, because we’re on defense and long runs are cool.
I got invited to some sort of conference on kids dropping out of school and ways to prevent it. We’re supposed to have some local politicians and things there, so I’m looking forward to that. It’s not for a while though, it’s on December 5, but nothing else is new. Just the same old, same old, running the writing group at the Boys and Girls Club on Tuesdays and hanging out there on Fridays. Same old, same old.
Veteran’s Day was this weekend, which is definitely something that I think deserves to be mentioned in the blog, especially knowing how many servicemen and women respond to the blog. So just to let you know, we are all very appreciative for what you do, keeping us safe and protected and free, and getting us a day off is always great. Well, actually we don’t get a day off. We have to work on Mondays.
We had to be in this Monday, win or lose, to watch film and get better, because we’re still not where we need to be, and we still haven’t lived up to the talent that this team has yet, but we have a good start and the culture of this team has been “de-volving” back to the team that we were my rookie year and years before that. The culture that this team had, just a commitment among guys, has come back to the forefront. I think it had been lost over the last couple years, especially with the influx of a lot of new players and some major changes, it just kind of got lost in the shuffle. Some of those things that are important to the Broncos kind of got lost in the shuffle, but they are no longer lost. The professionalism and accountability that we are known for is now once again our trademark.
And I hate to end the blog on a somber note, but I have to. A very important person in my life is leaving me. It’s kind of depressing, but exciting at the same time. Charlie O’Brien, one of our Web site interns who you guys know as the Blog Master, has accepted a new job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So we’re all proud of him and happy that he’s moving up in the world, but I need to search for a new Blog Master. We’re losing the Blog Master, so someone else in the Broncos organization, just like the players do, needs to step up and take the reigns of typing up my blog for me so all the fans can enjoy it weekly.
Anyway, thanks everybody for your support, and thank you for sticking with us through the hard times. I think we’re out of the woods as a team … knock on wood. All Ready.