Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finding our Rhythm

Credit: St Louis Rams

     After two weeks of coming close but just not getting the win, we came into Indianapolis trying to get back to playing our game and find a way to win.  Well to say the least we came out firing on all cylinders and quickly gained the momentum and confidence that we have been searching for.  That rhythm we have been trying to put together seemed to click and even spilled over into quite a lot of dancing celebrations.  It seemed to be contagious and after the touchdown by Chris Long, the big plays just seemed to roll in.  Everyone seemed to get in on the action and I also got the play I had been looking for... my first NFL tackle!  I was not being blocked by a front line guy so I was free to the off returner, the player who runs in front of the ball carrier.  I saw my opportunity to cross the blockers face, I took my shot, and it paid off!  I didn't even realize I had flipped him until my teammates had told me.  In this business it is all about what you put on the field, and as you start to make plays you gain more respect with both coaches and teammates.  I'm glad to start building that respect and finally have an official stat on my resume.  But the most important stat of the day was the victory and the fun we were having out on the field showed.  We are going into an off week and will get a chance to rest, get back to fundamentals, and prepare to build off of this win.  Until next time!

-Student of the Game

Friday, November 01, 2013

My Road to the NFL: by Benny Cunningham

     My NFL experience has been a roller coaster to say the least.  My senior year of college I ranked in the top ten in the nation in both rushing yards and touchdowns.  But the hype soon came to an end with a season ending knee injury mid way through the season forcing me to think about a life outside of football.  The night of my injury I received a call from Phillip Tanner whom I consider a brother/mentor.  He helped me to stay focused on my dreams and gave me advice because he had suffered a knee injury as well but still earned the opportunity to play in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.

     Once I had my surgery I started my road to recovery with the NFL on my mind and I knew it would be challenging to even earn a chance.  So I did everything possible to give myself an opportunity to prove to the scouts that I could still play.  My days started at 7am and ended at 5pm with me putting all my time into my recovery.  Draft day came and my name wasn't called... at first I felt like my long days were a waste, until I received a call from the St Louis Rams later that day wanting to sign me as an undrafted free agent.  I felt that this opportunity was a blessing from God and all I needed to prove to the world is that my knee was fine and that I could play at this level.

     The first meeting with the team came and seeing so many undrafted players in the room and knowing that the number of spots were limited made every day nerve wrecking.  I had to do everything right and try to separate myself from the group.  As the group decreased my nerves along with the pressure increased.  The day came that the 53 was announced and I had made it, but I didn't get the rush of joy I thought I would because I knew that now I would have to fight to keep my spot.

     The season started and with each game I grew more confident that I could play at this level.  But once again I am faced with an obstacle.  Against the Houston Texans I suffered a high ankle sprain and I am forced to prove once again that an injury cannot keep me from achieving my goal!

Thanks Benny for the guest post.  Be sure to go follow him by clicking below!
Twitter: @BCunningham36
Instagram: BCunningham36

-Student of the Game