Wednesday, October 11, 2000
Wednesday we came in a little upset at ourselves, thinking that we let one slip away against Baltimore. It really hurt because we felt we controlled the game and we just turned the ball over. That was still on our minds a little bit. When the first team meeting came around, all of that had to go. We had to start to think about Tennessee. The big hype about them beating us three times last year; we just had to let that go. We were trying not to put any pressure on ourselves about that because last year was last year. This year is a new year. We came in feeling pretty good. We got our scouting reports and saw some tape on them on Wednesday. We saw that they were vulnerable to some things that we do well and if we can get it started and do those things well we could beat these guys; even on the road, knowing that it was going to be tough. Wednesday we went out to practice and felt good about the game plan. The things we saw on film to take advantage of, we went out and worked on those things.
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Thursday's practice was real crisp. We were sitting there knowing that we were going to have an extra day of practice and we worked on more of our first-down stuff. We worked on our first-down stuff and we even got to work on our third-down stuff, as well. Thursday night was a real chill night for me. I just sat around the house trying to stay positive. I see the newscast saying this, that and the other, and I just flipped through the television. Everybody was talking about our play and I just cut it off. I don't want to hear it, so I watched "Any Given Sunday." Every week, whether we win or lose, my next-door neighbor gives me some cookies, and if I see her, she'll say, "Keep going" and "We still believe." I have some great neighbors. They believe in us. My neighbor across the street tells me, "You guys will come out of the funk sooner or later. Just keep working." It's good to have neighbors like that.
Friday, October 13, 2000
Friday was a short day. We were going to have two Fridays because of the Monday night game. We picked up on our third-down plays and more red-area situations. We also worked on coming out in our minus-yard-line area. We had that situation in the AFC championship game, so we practiced that. Friday's practice was awesome. Honestly, it was very awesome. When we were walking off the field, it was, like, wow! Everybody felt great about it. We were ready to go. We felt, like, if we did our thing and controlled the ball, cutting down on the mistakes, we were going to win. Friday night, I went over to the "House of Soul" and ate some smothered pork chops. I'm the kind of guy who really relaxes because I have to have energy on Sunday. That was my day on Friday.
Saturday, October 14, 2000
Saturday was like another Friday for us and we had a nice practice. We were ready to go. Just bouncing off that Friday practice, we had a great Saturday practice. A good practice is when you're flying around. Everybody is crisp. Everybody is alert; on their assignments; making catches. Everybody is running to the ball. It's a great competition between the defense and the offense. We were feeling positive and wanted to redeem ourselves because we let one get away from us on Sunday night.
Sunday, October 15, 2000
On the flight to Nashville, I started looking at the movie, but the next thing I knew I was snoring. I was out. We were watching "Shanghai Noon" and I had been wanting to see that movie, but five minutes into the movie, after eating the Popeye's chicken that the rookies bring, I was out. The next thing I know, it was time for us to land in Nashville. A usual ride on the plane is listening to some tunes or playing card. Once we get to the hotel, we have some free time, but I didn't explore the hotel that much. I went down to the coffee shop and got some hot chocolate. The Opryland Hotel was a little too much for me to see in the short time that we were there, so I observed from my window and it was a nice hotel. I watched a little football. I saw Dallas vs. New York. I love to play the game, but during the season I don't like to watch it. You hear different people talking about what this person should have done and sometimes you don't know what that player is thinking. If I'm looking at a game, I turn the volume down.
Monday, October 16, 2000
Monday night was exciting. It was a nationally-televised game and everybody was there. Everybody was there in Nashville, who was somebody. It was a great atmosphere. You have to give those fans credit. They came to support their team and it was fun. You live to play in those types of scenes. It's like a gladiator movie. You get crowds like that and it brings something out of you. We moved the ball and we had some turnovers, but if I have to do it all over again, I would do it the same way. I'm upset because I'm a better player than that. I don't fumble the ball! I don't do that. It hurts me more than what people will ever know. We moved the ball up and down field, but we could not keep any consistency in our game, to put together some positive plays. We get back on track with hard work; determination and the will to win. We have to want to win. We have to believe that we are going to win. We have to know we're going to win when we step out on that field. I think if everybody realizes that and believes that, regardless of our four-game slump, we have to come out of it. It's nothing to get back on a winning streak. We got on a four-game slide and we can get on a nine-game winning streak. All we need to do is start with one win. That's why they play games each Sunday, and we have another chance to start that winning streak, and I say why not now?