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 rivalries he was a part of in college and high school, as the Broncos are poised to take on the Chiefs for the first time in Cushenberry's career.
A lot of people think Alabama is our biggest rival, but for us as players at LSU, our biggest rival was Florida. Every year it was a big game, a good game to look forward to. They didn't like us and we didn't like them. Especially the last big one when we played Florida in 2019, it was a good win because we were pretty much tied the whole game and kind of pulled away and won by two scores, two touchdowns. It was a great win, like every one is, but that was an intense game, a packed house.
After the game, after the win, you're celebrating and just enjoying it with your teammates. But for me, a win is a win. I love winning no matter who it is. It's always sweet to me.
That rivalry still means something to me, and I'm watching all of LSU's games. It was weird, watching the first game on TV. It's my first game in a while not being a part of an LSU game. But it still feels like I'm out there, like I'm anxious trying to make the calls, like I know the play that they're about to run. Just having that pride for my school.
When they lost to Mizzou last week, two weeks ago, that was tough. I had to hear Drew [Lock] and Albert [Okwuegbunam] talk about LSU. But when we play Florida and Alabama, I think we're going to beat both of them, I'm definitely going to have a smile on my face and mess with them a little bit.
When you lose to a rival, though, it's always on your mind. I know here with the Chiefs, we haven't beat them in nine games. And that was similar to another big game I had in college with Alabama. We hadn't beat them in, like, nine years. So going into this kind of has that vibe, that feeling, and we just want to break the streak. Everything has to come to an end, and hopefully this week we can get over that hump, get that monkey off our back and get a win.
It's funny, because my college teammate Clyde [Edwards-Helaire] went to my rival high school, and now he's with the Chiefs. I went to Dutchtown, he went to Catholic High, and that was a big rivalry in the area.
My senior year we actually beat him pretty bad. I was a senior and he was a junior, and we actually beat them like 42-7. I kind of got the last laugh. But they have a great athletic program, so most of my years in high school they had the upper hand on us. But that year we beat them pretty bad. It was always back and forth, but he always played running back and I always played O-line, so never got a chance to go up against each other.
Now we're a part of another big rivalry in the NFL, so that's kind of funny. I'm going to try to catch him before the game and after the game, try to get my jersey sent to him, try to get his if he's down. He's a great back, but we've got to take of him this week.
Going on the road and winning in New England, that gives us a lot of confidence. And we feel like we can play with any team. We feel like we showed that against Tennessee, we showed that against Pittsburgh, and now they're undefeated. We've just got to show it this week. We need to continue what we did last week, do better on the offensive side of the ball and I feel like we can compete and get a win.
It definitely will be sweet if we can end the streak vs. Kansas City, but we understand we've got to see them twice a year, so if we get this win Sunday, we've got to get ready for them again. It's going to be a good matchup and I look forward to the challenge. They've got some great players, great guys up front on defense. So it's going to be a big challenge for me, a big challenge for the group, and we look forward to it.