JACKSONVILLE – Consistency is critical to Chad Muma.
Preparation is, too – and for the Jaguars' rookie linebacker, the concepts are linked. And being ready come gameday absolutely is a priority for the No. 70 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.
"I pride myself on that," he said.
Muma, a third-round selection from the University of Wyoming, recently joined senior writer John Oehser for the O-Zone Podcast. Among the topics: Deciding to leave Wyoming with a year of eligibility remaining and playing football at a high level after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13.
"It's about managing it and making sure I'm always staying on top of it," Muma said of diabetes. "That's been something I live with daily. But if you're extremely disciplined with it, everything's all right with it."
Muma checks his blood sugar after each quarter during games, injecting insulin if his blood sugar gets too high and drinking Gatorade if it gets too low. He said he does the same during practices, and said setting an example for young athletes in a similar situation is important to him.
"The first thing I did [upon being diagnosed] was search NFL players with Type 1 diabetes," he said. "[Former Chicago Bears] quarterback] Jay Cutler was the one that came up. I was a big [Denver] Broncos fan and he was with Denver when he got diagnosed. That was kind of it, but I knew it was possible.
"I think it's kind of being that voice for the younger athletes – not only football, but athletes in general – that have Type 1 diabetes and let them know, 'Don't let this disease keep them from going out and achieving all their aspirations and goals.'"
On the field, Muma has been described by Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson and General Manager Trent Baalke as a "green-dot" linebacker – i.e., the player on the defensive responsible for calling the defense during games.
"That goes back to a pride thing of knowing what I'm doing out there and being able to communicate to everyone on the defense and talk to everyone," he said. "That's something I pride myself being described as. I pride myself on being able to pick up on things, but more specifically, everyone around me.
"You can't be on some days and off the other days. It's always constant, 100 percent of the time. That's the mindset I take to everything."
View the entire O-Zone Podcast with Muma below. For additional O-Zone Podcast coverage, click here.