Undrafted free agents at any position face an uphill climb to make an NFL roster. Add in the fact this offseason was unlike any in NFL history and the uphill climb becomes more like a mountain. But Oklahoma rookie running back Mossis Madu is dealing with the cards he was dealt, and hoping for the best.
Madu, when he was told he was mentioned in Saturday night’s press conference by head coach Raheem Morris, seemed pleasantly surprised.
“That is cool,” Madu said. “I am glad he even knows my name to tell you the truth. I mean - I don’t know - I am just really blessed [and] really lucky. There are a lot of guys out there who would love to be doing what I am doing right now and I just have a really good chance to make the team.”
He is also thankful that Tampa Bay has given him a shot regardless of the odds facing him.
“Yes it really does,” Madu said. “It makes you want to go out there and play even harder. I really like it in Tampa Bay. The system around here is good and everybody is fun to be around so I am going out there and try to play hard.”
The 6-foot, 197-pound running back hopes to stay on the team’s roster by impressing with his play on special teams, and is expecting the opportunity to play more when the Buccaneers face the Washington Redskins on Thursday night.
“I need to show a lot more special teams,” Madu said. “I didn’t really get to shine on special teams so when I get out there I am really going to work my butt off to try to shine on special teams.”
The toughest adjustment since coming to the NFL from college is learning the playbook.
“Playbook,” Madu said. “I came from Oklahoma [and] I was there for five years so I knew the playbook like it wasn’t anything. Coming in here I learned whole new plays and it was hard for me. It wasn’t hard, but it was just a little different.”
Last week against the Dolphins he had two rushing attempts for a total of just five yards. However, he did have two receptions for a total 21 yards, including one that went for a gain of 19 yards.
The rookie running back joked with the media about needing to get used to the different level of play in the NFL as opposed to college.
“It is all I expected [it to be],”Madu said. “I am sore as heck from two carries and two catches. I will get used to it.”
Only being able to control what he does when given the opportunity, Madu has one goal in mind for Thursday’s Redskins matchup.
“Just have as much fun as I can,” Madu said. “I have been playing football my whole life and nothing has changed. So if I go out there and try to stress this or that too much I am not going to play to my potential. I am going to go out there with a smile on my face and have fun.”
Mark Cook contributed to this report