I successfully completed my first NFL training camp and it was a great all around experience. This whole week has been a pretty smooth transition for me going from preseason to the regular season. With just one practice instead of two like in camp, it’s been nice to get a little more time to get away and take it all in.
The extra time gives me a chance to hone in on the Raiders. Knowing that we are getting ready for a big regular season game rather than a preseason game helps me get even more focused. Another thing that I’ve noticed about the regular season is that it is easier on my body. In camp, we were constantly beating our bodies up with physical practices to help get ready for the season. With just one practice a day and a little more time off, my body’s had a chance to heal and I feel great. Plus, after camp I got a chance to move into my home and it feels good to sleep in my own bed.
Earlier this week I took the whole team out to dinner. It’s a tradition here for the first-round pick to pick up the tab on a big night. The guys didn’t go too crazy with what they ordered which was nice. It wasn’t too bad, especially when I heard about some of the past rookie dinners and what their bill came out to. In the end, it was all worth every penny because we all had such a good time.
For me, this week has been really about getting focused and ready to perform in Oakland. It’s great to know that I made it this far in my career but I want more than that. I want to be an elite player and this week is my first chance to show what I can do. I’m looking to line up and compete on every play I get in up there.
This game against Oakland is a special moment for me because not many rookies get a chance to play their first regular season on Monday Night Football. Growing up, I remember watching Monday Night Football on television. To be able to start my career on a night where everyone will be watching is exciting. Some of the veterans have told me how big of a rivalry this is and how much it means to Charger fans. I’m definitely expecting to go out there fired up.
I’m also looking forward to seeing my mother, sister and grandfather in the stands at the game. I know that they will be cheering us on and I plan on making them as well as the Charger fans very proud, hopefully with a win.