EDITOR'S NOTE: Texans cornerback Brandon Harris drafted in the second round (60th overall) out of Miami (Fla.), is chronicling his rookie season with periodic diary entries for HoustonTexans.com.
Week 10 of the season already. Fourteen games down, including the four preseason games. The NFL season is long. I expected it. That's what I heard from a lot of the guys I talked to before I got here, but it's also fun. It's a fun atmosphere. It's like being a part of a huge family. Everybody here is so, so, so, so, so much like older brothers to me here, and I enjoy it. They teach me things from their experiences and their past.
It's been an exciting week. Got a chance to go bowling with the DBs the other night. It's sort of a weekly ritual we do now. We go bowling for just a chance to compete and have fun against each other in a laidback atmosphere. This wasn't my best week, so guys like Troy Nolan over there and Jason Allen have been giving me a hard time. I didn't hold up my end of the bargain, but my team won. That's all that matters; my team won. But I'll come back strong next week.
Going to Tampa this week, that's exciting for me. Tampa is about three hours away from Miami, so I'll get a chance to see a lot of family again. My family is renting a couple cars and going to drive up. I'll get a chance to spend some time with them over the weekend as well as heading into the bye next week, so that's definitely exciting.
The defense is playing awesome. I'm just very grateful to be here and be a part of a situation like this. With Coach Wade Phillips, just his style of coaching and his schemes, his understanding of offenses is going to take me a long way in my career. Just being able to master this system and to understand what offensive coordinators are about and what they're thinking is something Coach Wade wants all of us to understand when he's calling plays. You kind of have an understanding of what plays are going to be called while you're out there on the field. Just me learning that from a mental standpoint is going to be huge in my career.
We're getting close to the holidays, so I'm starting to get my thoughts together about Christmas shopping and Thanksgiving. A lot of teammates here have been messing with me. They're like, 'This Christmas is going to be a little different than you're used to. Your first Christmas as a professional, you got a little bit more money than you used to have, so a lot of people are going to be expecting a little bit bigger gifts this year. It's not just going to be cards and handshakes. That don't cut it any more at this level.' So I'm putting some thought into that, and hopefully it don't run me too much. It'll be alright in the long run.
All in all, everything's good. I'm excited. This has been a wonderful season. I don't want to look too far ahead, but I'm excited about how far this team can go. I don't see anything stopping anytime soon, so this is going to be an exciting ride. It's been an exciting season, and the whole city is just erupting right now, full of emotion. I'm happy to be a part of it.
Miami plays Florida State this week. It's going to be a huge game – biggest game of the year. I will be tuned in when we're in Florida, and whoever don't like Miami, they can come see me. They can contact me on Twitter, HarrisNOFLYZONE. Holler at me. Say what you got to say. Leave your comments, and if you want to make a gentleman's (wager), we'll make a gentleman's and that'll be about it.
Brandon Harris rookie diary archive 11/5: Learning, waiting patiently
10/8: Reps increasing
9/23: Trip home to Miami
9/9: Anticipation building
8/26: American Idol dreams
8/19: First game in the books
8/14: Excited for Monday night
8/5: First week of camp