Player Diary: David Tyree

With the Pro Bowl voting going to be announced soon, I can't say it's the best and most important thing to me, but I can say that it would feel great. It's obviously an accomplishment that I would like to get done early in my career. Honestly, I wish it would have gotten done in my first two years. But I'm just looking forward to another opportunity.

My wife Leilah is my number one cheerleader. She says that we've already got the bags packed. That's just by faith. We pack the bags by faith and trust God that it's going to happen. Last year opened the door; hopefully this year we'll barrel it over.

I don't think there are any surprises any more for me out there. I think everyone knows what number 85's about when I'm out there on special teams. Even my rookie year, I think I came in and earned some respect. There is some game planning on me week in and week out. But that's what I expect of myself and I still expect to make plays despite that.

I noticed that more during my rookie year than anything. In college, no one really game planned for anyone on specials. Now it's beforehand, so teams will work their schemes into it so either I'm hitting the wedge or getting a double team. It really is nothing to me now. I expect to get each team's best to try to nullify me from making the big play. That's what makes it more gratifying when I do make the play.

I feel like I should make every play. I expect to beat my man every time. Every time I step on the field, I expect to be the guy to make the play. I just need and want to find a way to ruin the opposing team's chance of getting a spark of momentum.

I love downing punts deep, but most of that credit has to go to Jeff Feagles. I'd say I get more of a rush out of a blocked punt. It feels great when I'm able to keep those balls out of the end zone, but Feags just sets me up for the kill. I wouldn't dare take the credit for what he does. He's a phenomenal guy and he's 80 percent of the reason that David Tyree is who he is.

Blocking a punt is great. You realize immediately how much harder it is to do in the NFL compared to college. Just the punter's get-off time, punters are so much better and more efficient; the snappers are so much better and more efficient. So when I got my first one this year (against Philadelphia on Nov. 20), it was a great feeling to set up points in the game. Obviously it was just a huge momentum swing for us. There's really no greater swing. Usually when you have a blocked punt, there are points that come directly from it, whether it comes on the play or on the ensuing drive. That's huge and what I'd like to expect from myself, big momentum swings like that.

It's funny sometimes when I line up on punt coverage, the guys across from me will be talking about how to stop me and to make sure I don't do this or don't do that. Coaches are obviously putting the emphasis on how seriously I take my job. That makes them take their job that much more seriously. And it's great because I get everybody at their best so when I beat them they're at their best. Everything is that much more gratifying for me, knowing that I have an established name on special teams and I'm still going out there and able to do my job.

I think most of my success has come from God. I always put my faith and trust in The Lord and everything I've asked for, He's given me. One of the things I've asked God is just to make it to the Pro Bowl this year. Secondly, special teams is just a lot of want, a lot of want-to. Everybody knows that. The first thing is my faith; the second thing is my drive.

I didn't have a whole lot of sports surrounding me growing up so I guess when I picked up the game I fell in love with football. When your heart is with something, you'll always be successful. Where the heart lies, there are your deepest desires and passions. Football has always been a love for me, and it's been good to me. I'm just going to keep on giving back.

I really like our chances and am looking forward to picking this thing up and going to the playoffs. We have a lot of talent in a lot of positions. The defense has picked it up and really flipped the tables from the beginning of the season. On offense, there's so much talent as well. It's just a matter of clipping some hedges on offense and straightening some things out and then we'll have a complete team. Special teams has been solid, we reestablished ourselves after Minnesota. And Jay (Feely) is one of the best kickers and is going to get back on track. We like where we are as far as positioning, but we just have to take them one game at a time and keep battling.

Obviously we have to focus on not getting ahead of ourselves, but it's so exciting with the playoffs right around the corner. I've been here and haven't been to a playoff game yet. You watch on TV and see the atmosphere and it's ridiculous. Hopefully this year we'll get a chance to be a part of it.

I've just encouraged Jay. He's not only a comrade for me in special teams, but he's like a brother to me. I love him to death. I know how much he cares about his job and how important he is to this football team. He works just as hard as the next guy. He's going to be huge for us down the stretch.

Finally, I'd like everyone to know that anything and everything I do, I give praise and glory to Jesus Christ. I've had my highs and I've had my lows, but God has brought me through it. I know and want everyone else to know and see through me that you can trust God and He'll never fail you.

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