Mosley Staying Humble with Opportunity

C.J. Mosley was getting frustrated with his lack of playing time, so when he got the chance for a contributing role Sunday, he made the most of it. Now, with his first start just days in the offing, the rookie sixth-round defensive tackle is staying humble.

Until recently, business had been slow for C.J. Mosley.

The rookie defensive tackle, drafted in the sixth round by the Vikings last April, made a few token appearances in games this season, but never really made significant contributions. Mosley could not have been blamed for grabbing a rag and some soap to wash his teammates' vehicles, anything to help them out.

"It felt like I wasn't doing nothing the whole season," Mosley said. "To finally make a contribution to the team defense is really boosting my confidence."

Mosley made more than a contribution, he made an impact in last week's win over the Cleveland Browns. Pressed into duty because of Kevin Williams' sprained MCL, Mosley played 3 1/2 quarters and notched two sacks, seven tackles and forced a fumble.

Williams will miss at least two games, maybe more, which means Mosley will make his first start Sunday at Detroit.

"Of course it's an honor," Mosley said. "It is an honor in and of itself to start in the NFL. And it will be my first start."

The Vikings selected Mosley, who left Missouri with one year of eligibility remaining, with the 191st overall pick in the 2005 draft. Mosley showed potential, but struggled during training camp. In August a couple of his relatives died and he missed time to attend funeral.

But ever since the Vikings have noticed progress in their rookie.

"I think sometimes in life, when you have those adversities, you grow up," head coach Mike Tice said.

It has been an interesting week for Mosley. While he took advantage of his playing opportunity – and playing alongside Pat Williams, who demands attention from multiple opposing players, often freeing up his teammates – he has heard the good and the bad from coaches.

Apparently, Vikings coaches have succeeded in keeping Mosley humble.

"We have to stay humble. We've only won a couple of games in a row," Mosley said. "I haven't done anything. It's just one game. I have to play well a few in a row, and stay consistent with it.

"The comments they've been giving me around here, I don't know if they're confident in me or not," Mosley said, with a smile. "But that's good they have that confidence in me and hopefully it will help me out."

Pat Williams says he notices improvement from his rookie linemate every week on practically a daily basis.

"He improved Monday, coming in and watching me a little earlier, then improved in practice like Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, like every day," Pat Williams said. "I wasn't worried about him. I just told him, ‘Do what you do best.' I say, ‘Don't worry about nothing, just go.' That's what I told him. ‘Don't worry about nothing, don't think, just go.'"

"It's big," Mosley said. "He requires a lot of attention in and of itself. You guys see how explosive he is off the ball. He messes up a lot of offensive schemes for the offensive line coaches."

Mosley has been going every since.

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