Player Diary

Having an opportunity from being a backup my first two years, to kind of being a starter my third year, then back to backup, and back to starter, it's just a good feeling to get back on the field and play football. I'm trying to prove to people that I can play at this level and play well. That was a big confidence booster for me when I went out and had a game like that. I'm not only getting the trust from my coaches, but my teammates as well.

That was a big confidence booster for me when I went out and had a game like that. I'm not only getting the trust from my coaches, but my teammates as well. That's such a big confidence booster that's only going to continue to grow with success.

During that game, I was so focused. The funny thing is that after the game everyone asked how the Cowboys cheerleaders were. Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I was so focused on the game; you really don't notice your surroundings. You only notice the field in front of you.

It's been very frustrating. Last year when I got demoted, I was very upset and unhappy. It really affected my football life and my personal life. After about three or four games, I finally realized that I needed to do my job and accept my role. I went to practice with a smile on my face. If you have a positive attitude, positive things will happen for you. That's really what happened. I got an opportunity, I played well and here I am.

I wasn't into football at that point. I didn't want to put in any extra time. I didn't want to study extra film. I finally told myself that I was only one play away. Get your head out of your butt and be a professional about it. Don't pout about it. So I put in that extra time and it paid off. When I finally got my opportunity, I was ready for it. Granted it was at another linebacker position, but studying and learning the entire defense helped me learn where I needed to be in a new position.

I convinced myself to be positive and enjoy this. If I'm not into the game and enjoying and loving what I'm doing, then there's no reason to play. I just did that and things worked out.

I was hoping that my strong play late last year would translate into a starting spot this year, but it didn't happen. There are always setbacks and new people in camp. There's such a turnover rate in the NFL that you really have to come out and prove yourself every single year, no matter who you are. At least they had some film on me and knew I could play. Maybe they'd be more willing to give me a shot to play. I thought I was playing well last year and doing a good enough job to have a great chance at competing this year, but it didn't work out.

I'm just happy to be on the field, it doesn't really matter what spot I'm playing. When you have a chance to help your team win a game, that's the biggest thing for me. When you put in all the time during the week and you come off the field exhausted after a win, that's the best feeling. Knowing that you got to help your team win a game, there's no better feeling. As opposed to when you're sitting on the sideline and your team wins, but you're wondering, ‘how did I really help today?'

I had a lot of people come up to me, a lot of my teammates that had my back. That's just a great feeling, especially when it's your peers telling you you're playing a great game. They know what's going on so they know what they're talking about.

I think I'm more of a natural middle linebacker, because that's all I've played my whole life. But I enjoy playing weak side as well, because you're freer to move around and make plays.

I hope this team can look at me as a starter. And have it be something that I've earned and won and not just something I got due to injury. Hopefully that'll be my future with the team. I know we're a long way away from the end of the season, but I'm going to be a free agent. I want to be able to have the opportunity to start somewhere and that wherever I get an opportunity I just want to fit in.

I would love to play for the Giants. I love the organization, my teammates and the coaches. I know the offense, the defense and the special teams. But it's not in my hands. It's in my hands as far as how well I play. But it's not in my hands as far as who wants me.

I like this area too, because there's a lot to do. Back home at Sturgeon Bay (Wisc.) when it's cold outside the only things to do are ice fish and go to the bar. I do enjoy living in New Jersey and being by New York City, and the experiences and knowledge I've gained by living out here. Coming from a small town of 10,000 people there's not too much going on or too much new to see.

Off the field, I'm all about being a good, kind person. I'm certainly no prima donna. I enjoy my free time, but I don't have a whole lot of free time. I go see a chiropractor twice a week in Brooklyn because I need my body. I enjoy music, and am getting better at playing my guitar. I enjoy family, which is rough on me because all of my family is back in Wisconsin. I enjoy watching TV, all my shows are on now – Lost, Invasion, The O.C, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives. I got TiVo, so I have everything recorded.

I don't go out much and don't drink during the season. This is my second year doing it. From the 4th of July to the end of the season, I don't touch alcohol. I figure I put my body through enough with football that I don't need to add any more to my recovery time.

Finally, since this is my diary I want people to know that they shouldn't stereotype NFL players. I think a lot of people miss the truth and need to look past all the things they've heard and read in the media. People need to look past the negative side of what athletes have done and start to dig in more and find out about all the good things and charitable things that so many athletes have done. To see the good hearts and compassion that athletes have for other people. I enjoy and love my family and friends, and I enjoy helping people. That's one thing I want everyone to know. I enjoy being a role model for the young kids. When I speak to kids, if I can even change one of them I can walk away with a smile on my face that I at least helped someone that day.

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