Sunday was a great start to the season. You get some momentum, you beat a great team, it just builds your confidence. There are things that we need to work on, but there’s a lot of stuff that we can build off. I think the excitement level at Sports Authority just shows you what it’s going to be like this season.
In particular, the third quarter against Pittsburgh was crazy. It was the first time I’ve ever seen that, to have the ball for just 36 seconds and then score in the third quarter was a bonus. It just shows the defense was doing the job in the red zone and we were executing offensively and scoring points.
I was on the sideline for DT’s touchdown. I didn’t even hear the play call. All of a sudden I saw a screen pass, an open lane, Zane Beadles got a nice block and then no one’s going to catch DT. That was cool. I was behind it and saw it unfold.
We’ve got another primetime game this week — Monday Night Football. It’s more exciting for friends and family, but it’s fun to show that you’re on the main stage. It’s a test to see if you can play at this level on a stage like this. It is exciting.
I think just the excitement is up because you know it’s Sunday Night Football, it’s Monday Night Football — you grew up as a kid just dreaming of being on that stage. Finally being on it, it’s definitely a lot more exciting, but at the same time we all realize it’s still a football game no matter what time it’s played.
Atlanta’s up next, and they’re another explosive team. We’re going to have to play well in all three phases of the game, special teams, defense and offense. Just make sure we don’t turn the ball over, we stop them, we get explosive plays and we do what we’re supposed to do offensively.
Alright, like I said, I want to make sure I answer some of your questions in the blog whenever I can.
I saw a few that stood out, so let’s get to it. Nick asked how I manage to sleep the night before a game. For me, I guess, the excitement level isn’t there yet. The anticipation isn’t there. It’s always on game day that really my nerves start to kick in. So I just watch a movie the night before, get in my playbook and just relax. That’s the biggest way I’m able to sleep at night.
Cortney asked if I have a pregame or postgame ritual. Pregame, it’s pretty routine. I just go out, get warmed up, run some routes, get off my feet and then get in my playbook. I go over all the calls, all the things we have in and then just lay down for 15 minutes and visualize the game.
TLCat asked about Salt and Pepper. Salt and Pepper, me and DT started that when we were rookies. We worked out together in Arizona, became good friends, and fortunately got drafted to the same place. We were at the Rookie Symposium in California, doing some group activity, talking about a nickname or something, just being goofy, and we came up with Salt and Pepper. We both had injuries early on, but it’s kind of what we want to establish at some point in our career, kind of the Ed McCaffrey-Rod Smith. We want to have some fun with it, so we came up with Salt and Pepper, and now it’s sticking.
That answers another question that Bronco Kat asked — both those guys, Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey, No. 87, influenced me.
LA12 asked how Peyton has helped me the most, and I’d say it’s my preparation. He’s a guy that’s done it for so long and has been so successful. Just how to mentally prepare myself for a game — going into practice, even. What to look for in coverages, how to watch tape, just how to carry myself as a professional on and off the field. It’s always good to get around guys that have had so much success, to kind of emulate what they do.
Last one, Code Orange asked if I’m going to bring back the Mile High Salute. It’s something I’ve done after touchdowns in the past. As far as this year, I’ve got to get into the end zone first.
I appreciate all the questions — keep them coming. It’s a lot of fun talking with you.
We’re hard at work getting ready for the Falcons, so I’ll check back in next week.