Player Diary

Getting into the games and starting to play is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. You grew up and watched guys on television and that's what you wanted to be. All of a sudden, it's a reality, and you're out there playing with guys that you grew up watching.

For instance, I tackled Emmitt Smith when we played the Cardinals. Emmitt Smith? You don't think about it during the games; during the game he's just a running back. But I can't explain the feeling afterward of knowing that I tackled probably the greatest running back that's ever played the game. It's amazing. It's probably the greatest feeling in the world.

I also should have had my first sack in that game, but it was taken away. I kind of jokingly got on Will P (holding penalty) a little, but it happens. It was a good feeling for the brief time that it lasted. I'm pretty sure I'll get back there soon enough.

It took a while for me to start getting in regularly. You never want it to be because someone else got hurt, but that's just part of the game. Going from last year in college when I was the one making all the plays to this situation, it's almost like when you go from high school to college and drop to the bottom of the totem pole all over again. You have to prove yourself again. I know I'm not better than Carlos Emmons, the nine-year veteran I'm playing behind. I'm just trying to learn from him. He's already six years past the average NFL career so evidently he's doing something right. I just prepared myself so that when I did get my chance, I was ready for it.

Carlos has taught me how to play with my hands a lot. I've learned a lot from him there. He's also taught me that every play is not going to work as it's designed to. Every offensive play is designed to score and every defensive play is designed to prevent the offense from not getting any yards. Obviously, they both can't and don't happen all the time. There are always going to be those X-factors that happen during the game. Carlos taught me to just use my talent in those instances and not worry about being so black-and-white, by-the-book all the time.

I heard the horror stories coming in here about the older guy that's playing your position telling the younger guy to go the wrong way and making life difficult for him. It's not like that at all, especially with the linebackers. We're like a family. We laugh with each other and learn from each other. No matter who's in there we pull for one another. Besides that I learned that it's a privilege to be playing in the NFL. When you go to college, you choose your college. It's not like that here. They choose you in the NFL. There are only two Sam linebackers in the whole world that play for the New York Giants and I'm one of them, so I definitely consider it a privilege to be here.

I think I've done pretty well, but I have high expectations. If I had a three-sack, 10-tackle game and did the same thing the next week it wouldn't be good enough because I would have already done it. I want to get better and better and better. I'm going along pretty good, but I think I can use the rest of this season and the offseason to get better so that when I come in next year I can just play without thinking.

The talent level here is so much higher than what you faced in college. In college, every now and then you'd get that person you could pick on that probably had no business being on the field. It's like playing Penn State, Ken.

You have your frustrating plays up here, but you can't worry about it. If you're looking back you can't see what's coming forward. Even the great ones get beat. You just have to press forward and try to prevent it from happening again. You just have to win more than you lose.

They've been moving me around a lot out there. At first it was hard to learn linebacker since I played defensive end at Auburn. I wasn't like the other rookies – they were just learning the scheme. I had to totally learn how to play linebacker. I didn't understand fits, pass drops, coverages and things like that. I started from square one; that was probably the hardest thing. I think some people took for granted that I understood some of the basics of playing linebacker and that wasn't always the case.

When I'm playing end, I feel real natural there. When you do something for four, five years, you pick it right back up. It's like riding a bike. It's the same, but it is a lot tougher because the talent level is so much greater and the guys are so much bigger. In college, if you had a real big guy, he probably couldn't move real well and you could just run around him. On this level, you have big guys that can move so you have to play with technique and play smarter.

During a normal game, I probably play backer 50 percent of the time and end 50 percent of the time. It could depend on who we're playing and what the game plan is, but I would say it's usually about even, although, if anything, I might play a little more end. I don't really care where they put me. I just like to play football. As long as I'm in a position to make plays, it's fine by me.

I just love coming out every week on the field. Coming out and hearing the crowd screaming is awesome. Then you see guys like Emmitt Smith, (Donovan) McNabb and (Randy) Moss, and it's real exciting. To be on the field with Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers is great; it's kind of like a reward for all the stuff I've been working for.

I'm striving to get there one day myself. I never do anything planning to be average. I want to be great. I plan to be a great player. I try not to be arrogant or cocky. I'm not going to go around boasting or bragging – but inside I want to one day be the guy that a rookie comes in and says ‘Wow, that's Reggie Torbor.' In five or six years, I want to be one of the best defensive players in the NFL.


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