I went and visited my brother, Julian, during the bye week. I guess I haven't talked about him much in these rookie diaries yet, but he plays for the Miami Dolphins. He's a corner on the practice squad. Played college at Ohio. We played them twice when I was at school – smashed them. We actually went up against each other in the games, which was pretty cool.
My brother is one of my best friends. He's crazy. We try to do this together. It's his second year in the NFL, my first year, so we're both trying to come up in the league and get better every week. We call each other about our progress. It's kind of cool. Whenever one of us gets to play, we always tell the other guy what to do, and we're both finding out on our own how we can get better and we're both gradually getting better. So hopefully, five or six years down the line, we can remember our first and second year and laugh about it.
I really enjoyed the bye week, though. I got some good sleep. I really was trying to stay away from the north because of the storm (Hurricane Sandy), so I didn't get to make it to Ohio State, but I think I'll be able to make it to the Michigan game because we play on Thanksgiving. That'll be the best game to go to, anyway, so I'm excited about that.
It was raining in Miami, so I really didn't get to make it to the beach. I got to go to a Heat game against the Hornets, so that was pretty cool. For the most part, I just hung out with my brother. It was very relaxing. It was a nice little break. We had 11 (games) and now we've got nine plus playoffs, so that was pretty much the halfway point this season. It's good to get a nice fresh start and come back and get rolling.
I've heard people say we've already pretty much played a full college season, but don't think of it that way because of bowl practices. I know you're not technically playing a game, but in college, my practice going up to bowl games was typically the best that I would play , and I always felt that I had good bowl games. So to me, that tells me if I continue to practice and get better, the more I play, the more comfortable I'll get. I'm looking forward to that and just continuing to get better, climbing the hill.
I feel good about how I've played so far. Not satisfied at all, and I won't be for who knows how long. I just need to continue to work. Coach (Gary) Kubiak told us before the bye week that we can't be rookies anymore, and that's definitely what's expected around here. That's just how we do things. It's high expectations for everybody, and for rookies, it's no exception. A guy like Kub requires perfection. He always says, 'personality is accepted but being productive is demanded.' So when he said that day one, I just kind of knew that rookie thing was out the window.
I don't like leaning on the whole 'rookie' thing, anyway. That would never ever be a crutch for me. I don't like to say that. I don't like to lean on missing 10 games last year at all. I don't like doing none of that. I believe I have a good amount of ability to play and contribute, and it will happen. I'm just being patient. We have great players here and our formula has been pretty successful so far this season, so I just want to contribute any way I can. I like being 6-1. Hopefully, we can make it 7-1 this week. Whatever way we can do that, I'm down.
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