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Kevin Walter: "Back to work"

The offseason is flying by. It's hard to believe it's already April and we're back out on the practice field.

Over the past few months, I did a little traveling. My wife and I don't have kids right now, so this is the time to do it. We went to a few different places, from California to New York to Chicago to the Caribbean. When we were out in California, we played golf at Pebble Beach. I loved it. I love playing golf anyway, but, man, that was the most beautiful course I've ever seen in my life. It's right on the water there, and the ocean is scratching up against the rocks right where you're golfing. It's an incredible place.

I also worked out real hard during the offseason and got in shape to come back here and show all these guys, especially the younger ones, that you've got to work all year round and you can't just come in here out of shape and expect to get in shape.

Everybody says our vacation's over now, that it's "back to work." To tell you the truth, I like it. This is like a vacation to me. You come into work, work out with your teammates, run and watch football – there's nothing better than that. You come to work with a smile on your face, and you work hard. I don't consider it work. I consider it fun. It's hard, but it's a lot of fun, too.

This is always a good time to meet the new players that we've picked up since last season. I already know our new running back, Chris Brown; we actually played in high school against each other. His team knocked our team out of the playoffs. He and Glenn Earl played at Naperville North in Chicago. My school, Libertyville, was undefeated and they knocked us out of the playoffs in overtime. So I know Chris a little bit – you could say there's a little bad blood there, definitely.

I know of Chaun Thompson. When I was playing in Cincinnati, he was a special teamer and a linebacker up in Cleveland. That guy plays hard. He's a load, and I'm glad he's here, for sure. Obviously, I've seen Quinn Gray from Jacksonville, and he's a good quarterback.

After all the success we had throwing the ball last year, I'm just trying to get better at the details for next season. I'm working on my speed. I'm also watching the different techniques that Andre Johnson uses and the players around the league like Chad Johnson, an old teammate of mine, and just all the elite receivers use, taking little cutups of those guys and seeing how I can apply what they do to my game. The little things are huge in this league, and if you can watch the best guys in the league and put their techniques to your game, it's going to make you a better player.

I can't wait for the season. There's no question in my mind that we should be in the playoffs this year. You know, we were 8-8 last year and we could've been 10-6 easily with a few of those close games, and there's no reason why we shouldn't be going to the playoffs. We need to play our best ball at the end of the year, and obviously when you get into the playoffs you've got to play extremely hard. I went to the playoffs with Cincinnati in 2005, and we have the players to do that here. We have the coaches to do that. We have everything in place to do that. We just have to go out there and do it, because it that's something we're definitely capable of.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll see you at OTA's.

  • Kevin Walter
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