What a week! I got my first NFL start in our opener against the Bengals last Sunday. It was quite a thrill to come up with the big interception late in the game. Itís without a doubt the biggest play of my life. To get drafted and be able to play in the NFL is one thing, but to be able to make an impact for your team, thatís all the more special.
When I got into my car after our win over the Bengals last Sunday, I had 16 voice mails from family and friends that had called to congratulate me. It was good to hear from everyone. Their encouragement was special.
The entire weekend was tremendous. I think everything started on Saturday night. Coach Edwards gave us a pretty incredible speech about how important Sundayís game was to everyone. He encouraged us to think back to when we were younger and this was the only thing we ever wanted to do. It made me appreciate how fortunate I am to be playing right now and to be coming out of that tunnel. Not too many people get a chance to see their dreams come true like I have. It was a great thing to think about.
As we got closer to the game, I was trying to calm myself down. I had a lot of nervous energy. I was very anxious. I didnít think I was going to be able to sleep Saturday night. I talked to my mom on the phone and then just tried to think about my family. That calmed me down and I went straight to sleep. When I woke up, I thought, ďMan, itís time to get going!Ē
When we came out for introductions before the game, I had no idea it was going to be that intense. They had the smoke and fireworks going. The fans were going nuts. It was just a great experience. I was pretty calm up until they sang the Star Spangled Banner. The thing that really got me going was hearing the National Anthem and seeing the flag waving. Right then, my heart was jumping out of my chest. It was just a great feeling to be out there.
I played in a lot of big games in college, but there was a completely different atmosphere there on Sunday. When we were going out for kickoff and I heard the ďJ-E-T-SĒ chant like I had anticipated, I just got so much adrenaline. Itís a much bigger stage. It got so loud at times in the stadium that we had to use hand signals on defense. We couldnít hear each other talk or even hear yourself yelling to the person next to you.
Towards the end of the game when they knew it was going to count, I expected the Bengals to come at me like they did. Iím a rookie. I havenít paid any dues or earned any respect around the league. If I was on offense, I would come at me, too. Iíd test someone in my situation. They got me on one play when Chad Johnson scored the long touchdown, but I was able to stay poised and come back and make play the next time they came at me.
I definitely hurt a lot more last Monday than I ever did following a college game. My neck and back were very sore from hitting those big backs and receivers. I didnít realize how much stronger the skill players are at this level. Thatís one thing that I have to adjust to. I went up one time to tackle Rudi Johnson. I thought I laid a pretty good lick on him, but he acted like it didnít faze him. I had to wrap up and hold on for life. You really have to focus in and get your mind right before you go up and attack one of those big backs. My body reminded me of that on Monday.
This week is going to be a good challenge for us. The Chargers are coming off a big win just like we are, and theyíre not going to roll over. Playing my first NFL road game will be quite an experience as well. Iím sure it will be a lot different when all those people are cheering against me.
The Chargers have a very controlled passing game, but the one thing that they are going to do is get the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson. Whether they hand it off to him or throw it to him, heís going to get the ball. You always have to know where #21 is on the field because wherever he is, thatís probably where the ball is going. Heís going to touch it probably 75 percent of the time or more. If we can contain him, we can be successful as a defense.
For my efforts last week, Pepsi honored me as their NFL Rookie of the Week. I want to thank all of the fans who voted for me. This is truly an honor. I really appreciate Pepsi for recognizing me with the award as well as sponsoring my diary and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts each week.
Itís special just to be nominated for the award after my first week in the NFL. Thatís just kind of setting the bar. I know that if I can do it one week, I should be able to do it every week. That doesnít mean winning awards every week, but just playing at a high level and improving every week. I have something to strive for. The expectation level is high. Iím going to work hard to meet it.
...loved it ...
...he did have some ups & downs throughout the game but that's going to come with rookie growing pains...
...he does seem like a sharp young man...and he did finish on a big,huge upswing with that pick...
Im on the Coleman bandwagon also. Prior to this season I thought the only guy who would contend for DROTY would be Vilma...I had no idea who Coleman was and now looking at the pick it just shows how good a draft the Jets had. Hope he wins DROTY B)
In a prior Jets thread about Coleman someone copied the link from Washington State Newspaper that stated that Eric Coleman is good because "the Kid makes plays". You dont need a super flashy guy like Deion Sanders...you just need a guy that is gonna show up and be that guy who WANTS to make a game changing play...this kid just makes plays.
I have to admit, that when we drafted him and all you guys raving about him, and nicknaming him Eric "the Great" Coleman, I thought you guys were the most optimistic guys, and didn't know what you talking about. But now i obviously didn't know what i was talking about.
F the Bandwagon! As a former H.S. Safety and Tight End, I've been waiting for a Jets safety or TE who has the potential to be BIG TIME! Sheet, I used to wear a Kyle Brady jersey (what a disappointment)! Also, remember I'm the demented guy who was touting Scott Frost! LOL!
Well, Coleman is the DEAL! FINALLY a guy I believe can be excellent for more than a flash....
I'll be getting a # 26 Coleman Jersey FORTHWITH! Now, I just have to lose some weight so I don't look asinine in a FS jersey (love when I see some BIG, fat 6'3 white dude in a Moss Jersey Lol)! I'm kinda lookin' a bit borderline "short O-linemanish" lately...(6'2 265)
[quote][i]Originally posted by GangGreen63[/i]@Sep 17 2004, 04:05 PM
[b] I have to admit, that when we drafted him and all you guys raving about him, and nicknaming him Eric "the Great" Coleman, I thought you guys were the most optimistic guys, and didn't know what you talking about. But now i obviously didn't know what i was talking about. [/b][/quote]
We didn't nickname him that..It was from a College Game that I
posted for Ham!And the Sports Writer called him that... ;)