Note to the New York Giants’ Jeremy Shockey :
So much more goes into it than me just lining up and playing. This is my fifth season now. I am not that long-haired rookie from Oklahoma who brawled his way through the season. I’m a fifth-year veteran now. OK, I am always going to be a little off beat, but now I’ve been around the block a few years and have a better understanding of the way the NFL works. Instead of thinking what to do and how to react to certain situations, I respond instinctively, which makes me faster and better.
I know that the game is not just about me catching the ball; it truly takes a group effort. Sometimes, I feel like I am more of a chess player than a football player. For instance, this week I was handed a report on each Colts defensive player. The report included their head-shot photo, their height, weight, age, hometown, their college, whether they are married and have kids, and their tendencies. I even know if they had offseason trouble with the law or with contract negotiations. I am given all the information I need to anticipate what they are going to do, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to take advantage of them.