Player Diary

I sure have had a lot of highs this offseason. When you invest a lot of time and hard work and a lot of faith, these types of things will come for you. To begin with, going to the Pro Bowl was unbelievable. The experience, the whole deal of being among the main faces of the NFL, from where I've come from, was phenomenal.

Then it was a great job on the organization's part to extend our relationship. With me being a Jersey guy, it means even more to me, especially since it gives me a chance to be among my friends, family, community and peers. Just being a part of the New York Giants is awesome.

It was just me and my wife at the Pro Bowl; we left the kids at home. That was the smartest thing we did. Everybody and everything there was so cool, the hospitality was unbelievable. I could get used to that type of treatment; special teams guys don't usually see that. Getting to see some of the older players and especially the Hall-of-Fame inductees was awesome. Getting to shake hands with some of those guys was unbelievable. Just to know that they respect what I do – and not just Harry (Carson). Some of the other guys gave me some good kudos, and that means a lot to me. With only one special teams guy going from each squad, it takes a lot of work.

But the best part had to be spending some time with my wife, Leilah. It was literally our first true vacation since we've been married. We did a whole lot when we were in Hawaii. We went on a real nice dinner cruise, did a couple luaus, things like that. We kept ourselves well entertained. Really just being in that atmosphere was great. The only thing that I really wanted to do that we didn't get a chance to visit was Pearl Harbor. But hopefully we'll be right back there in Hawaii after next season. I don't want to miss any more of those trips, but the key thing for me is continuing to be consistent.

The game itself was a lot of fun. The best part for me was when I went out there on kickoff coverage and saw Chad Johnson and Rod Smith on the front (blocking) line. Right then I knew it was going to be an easy day. They were like matadors and I was the bull. That was a lot of fun. The whole game experience was great. I'm looking forward to hopefully setting myself up for another trip.

As for the contract, I definitely thought that I was worthy of it. For me, I thought it would be somewhat foolish for me to settle. Not only have I contributed all I have on special teams to help us win games, but I really believe that I won that job last year as the third wideout and for whatever reason I had the position just sort of swiped from me. You can't control those things. But there was no way that I wouldn't market myself as a solid wide receiver also. I'm grateful that the Giants met us on those terms. I had no desire to leave New York and I probably never will. This is home for me and I love being here.

The terms of the contract got blown out of proportion a little bit (ed. note: accurate numbers were five years, $6.5 million), but nonetheless, I'm grateful for what I received. It was unbelievable on their part. I'm so glad that it came to pass.

I go into every year with an open mind and attitude that nothing is mine; that I have to compete for everything. Nothing has ever been given to me. It came right out of Ernie's mouth that they signed me as a special teams guy. That's fine with me because I know that's where I stick out, that's where I make my name. But I will not be put into a box. I refuse to be put into a box and refuse to be limited on the things that I can do. I've proven myself worthy of a position as a receiver. I can't control how many snaps I get or how many times the ball is thrown my way, but I can control how I work, my attitude and ethic and what I do when I am on the field.

It didn't bother me one bit that they brought Keyshawn (Johnson) in here and thought about signing him. The bottom line is even if I catch zero balls and we win, then I'm happy. I'm not the guy making decisions. But I always prepare myself the same way and believe that I can do the things that all the other receivers can do. I just want to get to the Super Bowl in Miami and play for a ring.

Off the field, I have some good community and ministry things that are coming together as well. Next In Line is a ministry I started that I really believe is going to branch out into something big. The first meeting is actually going to be at my home, but then after that I'm going to start renting out some places. We'll see how it progresses. I really believe there are going to be a lot of young people coming out to share the faith and allow me to encourage them to live how God has taught me to live.

I have to be honest, I never saw any of this happening for me. When I was preparing for the draft (in 2003), I remember thinking that the fact I could actually come to the Giants was way, way in the back of my mind. They called me the day before the draft and told me they were interested, but a lot of teams call you and tell you that. But it did come to pass so I'm really grateful that it's all worked out the way that it has. This is a dream for me and it means a lot to me.

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