As we enter the last week of the preseason, I can’t help but feel rejuvenated. I’m really focused on having a great year and I’m pleased with the direction of this franchise.
Les Snead our GM and Coach Fisher have brought in a lot of talent through free agency and the draft. I feel like guys are looking forward to the opportunity to turn things around as part of this franchise. It’s not just a few people here. Everyone has accepted and embraced the task at hand. It feels good to have everyone on board in pursuit of the same mission.
I think everyone in the city is very excited about the hire of Coach Fisher and the possibilities. He’s a proven winner in this league and after 17 years in Tennessee he has a winning record. The city and the franchise are very excited and optimistic about what he’s capable of.
Before we started camp, I had a chance to talk to a few people young and old that played for Coach Fisher and everything I heard about him was very positive. Everyone said I would love to play for him and I haven’t been letdown yet.
He’s a one of a kind coach. He’s a breath of fresh air for me and I’m happy to have a chance to play for him. He has a very chill, laid back demeanor but he’s very confident. He did a good job of breaking up the monotony of what training camp can be.
He does things to keep us on our toes and keep us interested in the day-to-day and what he might throw at us. For example, on the last day of camp, we had our rookies do a little relay/shuttle dizzy bat race. They had to put their head on the bottom of the bat, keep it on the ground do 20 circles, then pick up a fumble and run into the end zone. Things like that bring some laughs and build camaraderie. It breaks the repetitiveness of a long training camp.
Football can sometimes become very stressful, especially due to people fighting for jobs, outside pressures and trying to measure up to what people expect you should be. But Coach Fisher has a quiet confident demeanor about him that just rubs off on everyone. It’s pretty infectious.
On the flip side we have coach Schottenheimer, our offensive coordinator, and he’s a real contrast to Coach Fisher. Coach Schotty is very energetic, very vocal and demanding of his offense. He has certain way that he wants it to look and run and he expects it to be done that way. It’s good because he knows when to compliment guys for doing things and he’s quickly learned when guys aren’t giving their all or if they have more that they can give. He does a good job of balancing that and communicating how he wants things done.
I think it’s important in any work setting or team setting to have contrasting personalities like we have in Coach Fisher and Coach Schotty to balance things out. When you’re putting together a roster of 53-men, you need to be able to communicate and get through to guys so everyone can do their job to the best of their ability.
As a team we’ve come together well. The offensive line is doing a great job of communicating, especially in the running game. Our receivers are growing together as a good young group. We have Danny Amendola back and you can tell we missed him.
It’s good to have him back out there because I know he worked really hard last year and started off with a great game against Philly but ended up with an elbow injury that ended his season early. To have him out there and see him flying around is great. Danny and Sam have a great relationship and they’re very potent 1-2 punch. Danny is a gutsy kind of receiver that always seems to get open. He’s quick and a great route runner.
We were able to add Steve Smith in free agency and he brings some playoff experience to the team. As a veteran guy, he can help to lead some of these young guys and teach them how to be pros. On the field, I’ve noticed he has great body control. He’s very poised and a great route runner as well.
I really believe that every good team does probably four or five things very well and you make that your foundation and then build off those things. I think we’ve done a good job of that this preseason. You establish something that you like to do to the point where it can’t be stopped. Then, once you establish yourself with those five or six plays, you branch off with play action or deep passes that all look the same in similar formations so a team doesn’t know what’s coming.
I feel pretty comfortable with this group and what we’ve been able to put together so far. I think it’s only going to get better over time.