Friday, September 06, 2013

Getting Cut and Joining the Practice Squad

     Walking down the hall I felt as if I was in a daze... a dream even, and I couldn't believe I was walking down the halls maybe for the last time as I was about to be cut.  It was the day after the final preseason game and the cutting process had begun in order to get down to the 53 man roster.  We were nervously sitting around and Rock, the strength coach, was again roaming the locker room and grabbing players one by one to take the long walk to get cut.  I was confident in the work I had put in since May on both defense and special teams.  Along with depth and injuries I thought I might be safe, but just like that I was grabbed and walking down the long hall to the offices.  Coach Fisher pulled me into his office and told me I was not going to be a part of the 53 and the reasons for doing so.  Next coach Cecil did the same and offered me some advice.  I was escorted to turn in my playbook, sign some paperwork, and collect my belongings before heading out the door for what could have been my last time.  Before I knew it I was headed home and uncertain of what would happen next or if I would have a job at all.

     All I could do now is sit back and wait to hear my fate.  I had to wait two days and on Sunday would find out if I had landed on another team through waivers or would join a practice squad.  I had received some interest from other teams and was nervously waiting to see if I would be claimed.  It would be good to get on a roster, but starting with new coaches and a new system on week 1 would be difficult.  The practice squad would be good if you have an opportunity to move up and mature, but there is a chance you get lost in the shuffle and bumped off to be unemployed.  I was going through all the possibilities in my head, but ultimately the decision was out of my hands.  There were so many emotions lingering about what I just went through and things that could happen that I was just ready to know my future.  After what seemed like the longest hours of Sunday at noon, I got the call to come join the St Louis Ram's practice squad.  It was a weird feeling walking into the facility of the team that just let me go and hearing congratulations on the practice squad.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed that I ended up on practice squad.  This is because I have such high expectations of myself and worked hard to make the team which was my goal.  I am simply not satisfied with the result and I will continue to work my hardest in order to prove myself and stick on an active roster.  But don't get me wrong, I am happy to still be a part of the Rams organization and look forward to working my way up and staying ready for whenever my number is called.  I am extremely blessed and thankful to have this opportunity to still play football!

-Student of the Game