EDITOR'S NOTE:Tight end ****Owen Daniels*** will be providing periodic diary entries for HoustonTexans.com to give fans insight into the life of a rookie draft pick.
*Training camp is done, preseason is almost done and now we have the real deal coming at us. From what I'd heard, the Denver week was more like a regular season game for us. I haven't experienced a regular season game yet, but the guys were saying that the game atmosphere in Denver, and the preparation we did from our end was exactly how we'll be preparing for a regular season game. Except that the outcome counts.
We treated last week like a regular in-season week. We had our regular Tuesday off, then put our game plan in on Wednesday and practiced the way we would during the season. Saturday we traveled and the game was on Sunday. One of the most exciting things about the game was that I actually got to start. If you would have told me a couple of weeks ago that I would be splitting time with Jeb (Putzier), I probably wouldn't have believed you. Coach Pariani told us that we'd be splitting time, but I never realized that I'd be in for the first play of the game. I realize it's only preseason, but it's still an NFL start. We were doing a lot of two tight end stuff where we were both in the game at the same time.
The game was a good experience for me, but most importantly for the team. It was good to go up against another team's first defense. It was definitely tougher because it was their starters and on top of that Denver is a good team, they're really solid all around. Personally, it was a good test to see if I could hold up against those kinds of players and I think I did a pretty good job. I've played every angle of a game having played the second and third quarters against the Chiefs, then the second through fourth quarters in St. Louis and this past game I played the first through third quarters.
I got my first dose of the NFL business today when we came back from our day off. I've never before been on a football team that waives layers. The only team I've been on where you had to make the traveling squad was way back in fifth or sixth grade. They didn't make any cuts in high school or college, so this was definitely a new experience for me. Guys have been getting cut here and there through OTA's and training camp. Now, they let go like thirteen or fourteen guys yesterday and I had no clue who it was going to be. I've been around these guys for weeks and it's hard to imagine that this guy wouldn't be here or that guy wouldn't be there. I came in here today to see who wasn't here and it is a little different. I think it makes us all more aware of the fact that we all have a job to do and there are expectations from each one of us.
After the game Coach Kubiak was telling the team that he appreciated everyone's work. It's hard to realize how hard we've all worked and then some are not going to be around for September. It's just got to happen. I don't know how that changes everyone's mentality, or how it changes a team. I do know that it's part of us growing as a team because it makes us stronger seeing the guy next to us leave. We'll support each other much more, especially on the road.
I don't want to think what it would feel like to be in that situation although I know the day will come when I'll have to step off the field. I've heard the life expectancy of a football player is five years, but I'd be great if I could play eight to ten years in the league. Then, I'd be off to doing something with my degree in the field of weather. If there's an opportunity, and somebody wants me, I'll probably take it. But for now, football.
](http://store.houstontexans.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1772605&cp=2237490&parentPage=family&clickid=mainnavgeartxt&parentPage=family)We still have Tampa Bay on Thursday and we're back at home and then we'll have a little break to prepare for Philadelphia. Although these preseason games don't count, you always want to win when you play and we can't ever overlook an opponent. Once we get past this week everything is super serious. I'm expecting the intensity to pick up, the coaches to be on us a little bit more to take more focus out of everybody to make sure we're prepared every week to play. I'll do my part every day and hopefully we can learn from games like Denver, recover and come back stronger. See you all on Thursday!