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I did pretty well on the conditioning test. I won't say really good because it was pretty intense, but it went well and I passed it. Whoo! I am definitely glad I did and I'm glad to have that over with. I know the guys who didn't pass were said to have to do it again until they did pass, and I can tell you that I would not want to have to do that again. Not for another year when training camp starts next season.
Overall everything on my first day was good. Check-in went well, I had heard a lot of stories about dorms and bad beds and what not, but I've been blessed because we are at a really nice hotel during training camp. (Rookie defensive end) Kyle Moore is my roommate and I'm happy about that. We roomed together before during the OTAs. He and I have had a good friendship from the first time we met, so that will make training camp easier to have a friend for a roommate.
My first practice went really well. I did well. The team looks really good, and that impressed me right away. The offensive line is phenomenal. There are a lot of good veterans there that are extremely intelligent. There are really some great players on that o-line, and I am happy that I get to go against them. It will only make me better to practice against guys of that caliber.
Of course you notice the increased speed in the NFL, and that is well known. Right along with it, but not as well known, is the jump in strength of your opponents. You have to bring everything to practice here. You can't be just a power guy, and you got to have power and speed, or do something exceptional to make up for anything that lacks. Every time I go against one of these guys I'm reminded of that.
Even though we have pads on now and are hitting, we are pretty much working on the same things as in OTAs. You have to change your technique a little bit with the contact. With the pads on though you can lower your head and get physical, which something I love to do. That changes some of the scrimmaging because we add in the physical side, where in OTAs it was just hands and feet. I'm trying to get back into it having not hit live since Senior Bowl, but I think it is going well.
Here in Tampa Bay I'm playing two-gaps mostly. As a Longhorn I was mostly a one-technique. Playing two-gaps and some three technique is going well. At Texas I didn't do very much of that at all. When I first came here I didn't really know anything about it, but now I see that it is just the norm in his scheme and really around the league.
Chris Hovan has been very helpful for me, Ryan Sims too, and all the guys in my room. Jimmy Wilkerson has been very helpful as well. It was great to see it because you hear a lot of stories where young guys come in and some veterans give them a hard time. Maybe some guys are worried that the young guys will take their spots. These guys have actually been helping me out a lot, and I'm very grateful for that. I'm very blessed to land with a team where the guys look out for each other and the team above everything else.
Overall, there were some solid plays made by the defense today. I had a couple of good hits today. I want to keep building on that, and keep getting better with my team.