Last weekís game was a tough loss. We lost to a team I felt like we should have beat. They are an NFL team so they canít be overlooked or underestimated. I give them credit; they came out and played well. Thatís about as good as Iíve ever seen the Rams look. Part of it might be because we didnít play as good as we can. Individually I feel like I played well and they didnít really block me very successfully all day. I went up against their first round pick from a year ago, Jason Smith, the #2 overall selection, and I played very well against him. Obviously, individual success means nothing if the team doesnít get the W. Hopefully this next week is a different story.
The big return to Philadelphia.
Donovan is a great player and a great guy. I truly hope the fans in Philly show him the respect he deserves. I canít wait to play them. They have a very good offense and the team is on a roll right now. Michael Vick is playing very well. He has incredible speed and Iíve seen him make some incredible throws on film. I think itís going to be a very fun challenge and a great game to be a part of.
I have received a few different messages from fans on Facebook who have said that they think I am in a much better system for me personally now, referring to the 3-4. I have had some fans say they think I would be better in the 4-3. Iíve got to be honest, I can be successful in any defense, whether it be the 3-4, 4-3, 1-10 or 9-2, it doesnít matter. Itís amazing to me, because Iíve played in the 4-3 my whole life. When I was coming out in the draft, it was said that I was quick enough to play outside and strong enough to play inside. Then all of a sudden, I had one of the St. Louis coaches telling me this past offseason I was too slow to play outside and too tall to play inside.
Let me translate that for you. Basically they didnít know what they had and they didnít know how to use me. Itís amazing to me because my rookie year I literally played every position on the d-line, not just throughout the year, but within the series of games. I didnít know what position I was playing until I saw who ran on the field, then I would figure out what position I was that play and then Iíd have about 7 or 8 seconds to figure out what I was supposed to do on that particular play based on the position I was playing that particular play. It didnít bother me. I actually enjoyed it. I could be left nose, right nose, left 3-tech, right 3-tech, left end or right end. I actually played all those positions in one drive vs. San Francisco.
It just makes me laugh, because I am very blessed to have the ability to play all the positions on the d-line in any defense you want to put me in. I must admit, it is nice here with the Redskins because they are allowing me to focus on one position and letting me get really good at that one position. While jumping all over the place in St. Louis may have been fun, it never really let me get good at any one thing.
I was reminded last week that people in St. Louis think I am, or was a bust. I was reminded of the day after I was traded to the Redskins. I had flown out to D.C., met with the coaches here, then flew back to St. Louis. My wife was trying to hide the paper from me. When I found it, I discovered why. A writer named Bryan Burwell there in St. Louis completely ripped me apart in the paper. A man I had run into at the movies a few months before, and he was oh, so polite to my face. I was also told by one of my friends about a guy on the radio named Carriker (not related to me, I donít know his first name or even if I spelled his last name correctly), who was ripping me, too. Iím sure there were more people than just those two jumping on the bandwagon as well.
My first two years there I was the starting nose guard, not the starting 3-technique as some people think, and thatís where most of my snaps came from when I wasnít hopping positions from play-to-play. I was reminded how people complained I didnít make enough plays. How many plays does a starting nose guard actually get the chance to make? Most people understand that the nose takes on double teams so the linebackers can run around and make plays. I played the nose position very well my first year and a half. Then I heard people say I was injury prone. I discussed that in my blog last week. I look back on it now and I donít get that either.
Like I said last week, I took more plays than any other d-lineman on our team my first two years (which I actually think is a big reason for most of my past injuries, just all the excess banging on my body, especially since I take care of my body as well as anybody I know). Then my second year I played with a lot of injuries I shouldnít have. In retrospect my play suffered because I was hurt. I should have been more selfish and said ďIím going take 2-3 weeks off and get healthy, then Iíll come back and play.Ē I guaranteed I would have come back and played even better than my rookie year. I was playing better than that prior to the injury. But that would have left us with only two d-tackles (one of whom was a good player but had been in the league 14 years and couldnít take a bunch of plays every day) in a 4-3 scheme. In my mind that didnít seem right, so instead of taking a couple weeks off I played. I didnít start every game because of the injury, but I only missed one actual game. Looking back on it now maybe I should have looked out for myself first. I never understood why we went into the season, to practice and play games with only 3 defensive tackles on the entire roster.
The only real time I missed for injury was last year when I was put on IR. Like nobody has ever been put on I.R. before or something. Iím going throw something out there. I am not a bust nor was I ever a bust. I played a position a 6í6Ē tall man should never play (nose guard). I played that position well, played through injuries to help my team when I shouldnít have, and honestly I feel like I got punished for it and then got put on I.R. Iíve proven Iím a good player when Iím healthy and Iíve proven Iíll go out and play for the good of team even when Iím not healthy. Iíve also proven I can come back from injury quickly and stronger than ever. In my opinion, in my first year and half in St. Louis I did not make the most plays of the defensive linemen being the nose guard but I still think I was the most valuable defensive lineman because I played on every defensive personnel grouping we had and I played every d-line position we had and I played them well, until injuries affected me.
Youíll have to forgive me. I was reminded of all this last week. It blows my mind how people who donít know the true story or have all the facts, but just because they have a computer in front of them, can put anything they want down, whether itís true or not. Iíve read where people have said that I played in the 3-4 at St. Louis, which is not true, and where people have said I played in the 3-4 at Nebraska, which is not true either. Iím pretty sure people can count to 3 vs. 4, and should be able to get that right.
Now I will be honest, there were times during my career there, especially my second year, when I was pushing through pain and my play definitely could have been better. A lot of guys play with injuries and that should be no excuse. I can always get better and always improve. As a competitor you are always striving to become the best you can possibly be. I accept my portion of the responsibility for what happened in St. Louis. I just felt like I gave a lot for the three years I was there, was not appreciated, and then got kicked in the face on my way out the door.
My final thought about the Rams is actually a funny one. I talked to Rock Gullickson, the strength coach there for about a year, before I was traded, trying to get him to order heavier dumbbells for the weight room. They only had up to 140 lb dumbbells. I was talking to him forever trying to get him to order heavier ones. Then they finally came. They go all the way up to 180 lbs. When they came in, Rock dubbed it the ďCarriker Section.Ē From the 140ís up to the 180 lb dumbbells. I chuckle when I think about it now, because I seriously doubt if theyíre getting any use now. The wasted money they spent on those and the ďCarriker SectionĒ are just sitting there unused. Those dumbbells could be there forever. Other people in St. Louis will remember me for various reasons, but I will always laugh and chuckle when I think of the ďCarriker Section.Ē LOL
I just had to get that off my chest. That being said, St. Louis is now behind me. I have forgiven and moved on. I am very happy and the Rams no longer matter. They are the least of all to me. All that matters now and all I want to talk about is the Redskins. I am in a 3-4 system, which I am definitely good at. I am on a team I love playing for. These are the best teammates Iíve had since being in the NFL. Their wives are also great to my wife and itís awesome for me to finally have NFL fans who are loud and care about football. I feel like the Redskins and Adam Carriker are a great fit. The past is behind me and a great future lies ahead for the Redskins and myself.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.