Hell yeah, I love the spotlight.
Who wouldn't love the spotlight? When the spotlight's on you and you're in the game and you're making plays, they're looking at you. I love the spotlight.
We're going to the Black Hole. Denver vs. the Raiders. The first rivalry game of the season.
As a football player, you love these kinds of games, this kind of momentum build for the season.
The excitement definitely builds, but it's a building block, and it's slow for me. I can't speak for other guys, but for me I would definitely say as it gets closer, my body starts to amp up. It starts to amp up, but at the same time my heart is calm. Your body is amped but your heart is calm. At the end of the day, you've still got to go through the practice days and things of that sort.
It don't get old. It don't get old because if football is important to you, every game and every practice is exciting. We could complain and say we don't want to do this, but if football is important to you, each and every game, each and every week, no matter what day the game's on, it's exciting. It's exciting to go out there and put the pads on and go between the white lines and kill somebody.
Football is important to me. I've trained for this. This is probably the longest I've trained since the season ended last year. I started January 20th, went slow, then kicked it up after the recovery in the first three or four weeks. But once the middle of February came, I kind of ramped it up.
I told myself this year, Man, you know this year has to be my most important year yet. And then after that, the next one has to be even more important. Each and every game is important. Each and every practice is important. Each and every year is important.
By eliminating a negative thought process, I come in every day with a smile on my face. I come in every day with positive energy and it allows you to come each and every day wanting to accomplish something.
Everybody did what I did. Everybody trained so hard this year, from what I've seen. I think everybody definitely put in a lot of work this year, and I think coaching hire was a big change. Coach came in and said, You guys need to be together. And by saying that, multiple guys showed up to other guys' charity events, dinners, local events, community events. No matter what it was, other guys supported other guys. And those little things, whether you believe it or not, matter in games.
On "Monday Night Football" in the fourth quarter and if Will Parks needs to get the pick, I've got to show up and get the pick. Those things kind of intertwine. You might not know it at the end, but as Coach said, The little things matter.
That's been the biggest one that I've heard thus far from him: The little things matter. It's crazy, because I said that at the beginning of the year, and once he came in and emphasized that, I knew that I was on the right track as far as what he wanted in his players. He wants you to account for little things.
Football don't lie to you. That's another thing I've learned from Coach: Football don't lie to you. You've got to beat that team on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and then by Sunday you've already beat them — you've just got to go out there and perform.
For the past few years, the winning hasn't been there. We've had our spurts, had our moments where we win three or four games in a row, and then we'll tank it again. That ends here. That ends now. Coach said it ends now. We have a good team. New players come in each and every year, so somebody — everybody — is valuable in some way, shape or form. Everybody is an asset to another person in some way, shape or form. You've got to use it to the best of your ability, because each and every game requires a certain focus, a certain consistency, a certain way to approach it.
We've got a Monday game, and on Saturday I'm there. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to get it. My brain starts to kick in. My brain's starting to think about all the different things I have to do on that Monday.
I've trained so hard for that. I've studied so hard for that. I've asked for that from God. I want the hard down each and every down, because that makes legendary players.
I love for guys to say, Hey, man, who wants the hard down? Will Parks wants the hard down.