In this edition of "Rookie Diaries," third-round pick Lloyd Cushenberry III offers us a first-person look at his rookie season in Denver. During the inevitable ups and downs of his first year with the Broncos, Cushenberry will reflect on big moments, defining plays and his growth as a player and person.
In this installment, Cushenberry reflects on the team's trip to the Big Apple, Denver's first win and where the team is headed next.
When we got to New Jersey on Wednesday night, and we were driving on the interstate, you could see the New York City skyline and all the lights. It was something you'd see in a movie, so I sent a video to some of my family members.
When you're a kid, you always dream about being able to visit these types of places, but you never actually really think it's going to come true. For all these things to be happening and me to be able to travel to all these different places, it's a blessing.
That was my first time going to New York, and Week 2 was my first time in Pittsburgh. I've never been to New England. At LSU, we didn't really go up north a lot. We're always in the south. A lot of the places we're going to go to, it's going to be my first time.
On the way to the stadium on Thursday, I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time. That was cool, because you see all these places on TV and growing up, and now I'm actually getting to experience it and see everything in person.
Hopefully I can continue to travel for many more years. And when everything clears up, my family will definitely be traveling when they can. In college, they came to every game, so I'm sure once they get the chance to, they'll be coming to however many they can to support me.
Even though they couldn't be there Thursday, it was great to finally get a win.
It was a big win, and we just want to keep building on it. But it's just a start. It's a step. We've got to keep getting better. There's still a lot of things I've got to get better on. We're going to just try to carry this momentum on to next week and just try to keep building on it. That's the thing. You've got to keep getting better.
Even toward the end of the game when things weren't going right and we had the two turnovers, we didn't get down on ourselves. We just kept fighting. After the second interception in the fourth quarter, there was really no message in the huddle. Everybody had the same mindset. We knew we were going to score, whether that be seven points or three. Going up the field, we knew we have one of the best kickers in the league, so if we got him in a good range, he was going to come through for us. We just felt like we were going to execute, and that things were going to work out for us to get the win.
After the game, Coach Fangio told us he was proud of the way we fought and stuck together. We always stick together. We never have negative things to say on the sideline, we always try to help each other stay positive, and we believed we were going to win the game. When we had turnovers on offense, we knew the defense was going to step up and get us a big stop. That's what we did. We stuck together, and that's what we're going to have to continue to do going into next week against another great opponent.
It's hard to get wins in the NFL. It's tough, week in and week out, no matter what the opponent's record is. It's the NFL. Every team is good every week. You've got to bring your A game.
As we've seen, we're a few plays away from winning. Anything can happen in the NFL. You've got to enjoy these wins when they happen and try to build on this momentum. You don't want to start off 0-3, but with the league the way it is, we honestly feel like we should've won the first two games and we should be sitting at 3-1. That's just how the league is.
No matter what, you've got to enjoy those close wins that you get.