Brandon Short Player Diary

'It was really important for me to have a game like that' <BR><BR>

It was great to have a game like I did against the Jets. Early on this season, I've been frustrated about my playing time and not feeling like I was as big a part of the team as I was last year. It was really important for me to have a game like that.

It was very important for me to have one of those type games. From a confidence standpoint for myself and also from a team standpoint. I wanted to make sure that all my teammates know that I'm still here.

I really hope that earns me some extra playing time. I surely hope so. I've been practicing hard and well every day trying to make that point. But that's something out of my control. All I can worry about is my play.

When things are going your way, they're just going your way. It was just one of those games. When Johnnie (Lynn) would call a blitz, they'd run a certain play and I'd run right into it. Or they'd call a pass and throw it out there right where I was anticipating the play to be. My state of mind right now is to get better every day. I want to go out on Sundays to help the team win and do whatever I can to get better. Our record of 4-4 isn't exactly where we expected to be at this point in the season. But there's an eight-game season left. We can still improve and achieve our goals.

These last couple wins of ours have to be a springboard for us. Every game is a springboard. Every game coming up is the most important because it's the next one. We've dug ourselves a little hole, starting out at 2-4, and now we have to dig ourselves out.

We didn't go into the tank after the slow start because of the character of the guys on this team. We have great leadership and great guys in this locker room. There's nobody that's going to give up here. There's nobody that's going to quit. Also the way Coach Fassel manages the team helps. He won't let us give up.

There are a number of guys that step up in those tough times. Strahan's one of them. Barrow is another. Those are the guys that always do the talking. Then someone like Hammer will step up. He doesn't say much so when he does talk, people listen. I like to consider myself one of those guys that can say the right thing at the right time to help the team.

Our goal going forward is to try to go out and win every game that we play. I don't even buy into that win three-out-of-four stuff. I guess as a coach you have to set realistic goals, but we feel like we can beat any team we play talent-wise. It's about mentally getting the job done and sealing the deal when we have an opportunity to.

I have free agency coming up after this season, but that's an uncontrollable factor at this point. All I can worry about is the things that I can control. Things like my play and my preparation. And just being a part of this team. I'm proud of our linebackers this season. Micheal Barrow has been great. MB is just tremendous. He's one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He's been a great player in this league for a long time; he just hasn't gotten the accolades that he deserves. I'm not sure why that is, but others get more credit than him, and it really shouldn't be that way. On the other side of me is Dhani. He's a playmaker out there. He really has a motor that doesn't stop. He'll go and go and go and never stop until he gets you.

As for my alma mater, Penn State, I still can't believe what's going on there. It's very difficult to watch what's going on. We're a perennial powerhouse. The five years I was there we were preseason number one and undefeated until the 10th game of the year twice. We went to a bowl every year and won everyone but one. It's difficult to see, but I have a lot of faith in the coaching staff out there. I still have a lot of faith in Joe (Paterno). Even though things are real down right now, one of the reasons he's been so successful through the years is that he's been able to change with the times. There are some things that are just the Penn State way. But there are other things that he's adapted to and changed with the times.

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