After a temporary break from blogging, I am back. A lot has happened over the course of the past few months, so let's get started…
First off, after an offseason of recovering from various injuries, I feel pretty good right now. I've had an opportunity to go out for a couple of contact plays in practice recently, and I've felt great. I am just waiting to get clearance now from the medical staff. I am out there working hard trying to get right. I'd say I'm at about 90 percent right now, so I plan on being there for the first game versus Kansas City. That's my goal.
To speed up the recovery process right now, I'm just hitting the weights hard with our strength and conditioning coach, Dan Riley. I lift every other day to get back to where I was prior to the injury as far as my upper-body strength. When that happens, I think I'll be alright.
It would be nice to play in the preseason. I think the preseason is important as far as getting timing down and knocking the rust off a little bit. But this isn't my first rodeo, so to speak, and I'm confident that I'll be ready once the regular season starts.
The thing that's most surprising about our team through training camp and two preseason games is how much further along we are as a team compared to this point last year. You can just tell that guys have been in the system now for a year. They know their plays. They know their assignments. We can just come out here and work hard. When you know what to do, it's so much easier to come out here and let loose.
On my side of the ball, in particular, we know the defense a lot better this season. Last year, I think there was still a learning process going on at this point. That learning process is over. Now it's just fine-tuning and going out there and playing full speed.
Another pleasant surprise is our rookie, Amobi Okoye. He is developing nicely. Naturally, he's going to have his obstacles that he'll have to overcome as a rookie. I think the biggest difference is the speed of the game. In college, you can get by just overpowering people at times. You're not going to do that in this league. For Amobi, it's going to be the little things, the technique issues, that raise his game, because physically, he can handle himself. It's a matter now of just getting down the fine-tuning, technique issues of the NFL that every defensive lineman needs to excel at this level.
I know that for a defensive tackle, especially in Amobi's position, one of the most important techniques is called 'holding the point,' which refers to playing the run. Basically, holding the point is when you maintain your ground against blockers, instead of getting pushed back. Defensive tackles get double-teamed a lot, so keeping your ground and not getting pushed behind the line of scrimmage is important.
Some of you may have heard that coach Kubiak brought us bowling the other night near the end of training camp. That was a lot of fun. Things like that really break up the monotony of two-a-days, and as a former player, coach understands that. It just builds a lot of camaraderie between players, as well as players and coaches. Whenever we get a chance to know each other personally off the field, it can't help but help out the team.
Now that camp is over, we have a little more free time. The biggest thing is getting to spend more time with your family and friends and get away from the field a little bit. That helps clear your mind.
Also, not having any more 8 a.m. practices is a good thing, too.
I'll check in again soon.
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