JACKSONVILLE – The year has been long. Really long.
That has been true for pretty much everyone around the Jaguars, and perhaps particularly so for rookie safety Andre Cisco.
So, yes – after preparing for the draft, recovering from a serious injury and pushing for playing time in a difficult season that's also the longest in NFL history – Cisco said this week he certainly is feeling the effects of that year these days.
"Tired is definitely a good word … exhausted at this point," Cisco said with a laugh.
Cisco, a third-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft, joined senior writer John Oehser on this week's 2021 Week 18 O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cost him much of his final collegiate season at Syracuse University in 2020.
"These recent weeks have probably been the best that it has felt," Cisco said. "Over time, it gets better. A lot of people say that second year is the best. I'm looking forward to that, because some people say they feel even better than they did before surgery on that second year.
"That's what I'm looking forward to."
Cisco also discussed the taxing nature of a year that began with offseason rehabilitation and has featured him competing for playing time in a season in which the Jaguars enter Sunday's regular-season finale against the Indianapolis Colts with the NFL's worst record.
"It's obviously a long schedule, long days," he said. "But every time you get on the field, you kind of just feel refreshed. It's been a long year, a long journey from surgery to rehab to the draft to now. But it has been rewarding.
"As tough as some parts have been, I've learned a lot. I've met a lot of great people and I'm here now."
Cisco, who has played in all 16 games this season, played mostly as a reserve through the first 14 games. Since a season-ending injury to veteran starter Rayshawn Jenkins, he has started the last two games.
"The NFL is different for everybody," Cisco said. "I talk to older guys and they tell me about what the NFL should be, but you don't know until you get there. Once you're able to get your own perspective on what it takes to succeed, that's when you can take the next step.
Cisco added, "Once I feel like I've got that green light, that's when I feel like I'll take that step. I think it's coming soon – any moment now."
To hear the entire O-Zone Podcast with Cisco, click HERE or below.