Life in the NFL
Still searching for first good game of the year
I HOPE none of you saw the game this past weekend against the San Diego Chargers because it was brutal, and I am just talking about the game from my personal perspective. It is always tough to lose a game, even to a truly great team like the Chargers, but I personally played terrible. I think it was clearly one of my worst performances ever. We are a good team that has fallen on hard times, but we all need to do our part to get the TEAM out of this slump. I most certainly did not do mine this weekend. My opponents completely shut me down and made it difficult for me to be effective.
Whether it is a team or an individual athlete, we all have slumps. All the great athletes and teams throughout history have gone through hard times finding their game. It is a part of being an athlete. It is a part of life. As a team we have lost two tough games. As a player, I have played two terrible games. But both as a player and as a team, we will certainly rebound and look to do so against Miami this weekend.
Miami is a tough team with a great offense. They have two great QBs in Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington. Daunte could have easily won the NFL's MVP honors a couple of seasons ago if Peyton Manning hadn't had the ridiculous season that he did. Daunte may have been catching flack from the media, but he is a very dangerous player to put behind center because he can make plays in so many different ways.
Miami also has great depth at running back behind second-year player Ronnie Brown, and a solid group up front to allow everyone on offense to make plays.
Defensively they possess some of the best players at their positions, including Jason Taylor at DE and Zach Thomas at LB, two Pro Bowlers. Even though you hate to play against a guy like him, it is going to be good to see Kevin Carter again. Kevin was here in Tennessee when I first got here and helped me develop my game as a professional. He has been playing this game at a high level for 12 years now, so you can imagine how helpful he was to a rookie like me coming in to the NFL.
As it is every Sunday, it is going to be a tough game this weekend at Miami, but we hope to rebound as a team, and I hope to rebound as a player. I especially hope to rebound since I have developed an incentive program, through the Travis LaBoy Foundation, that will donate $500 for every sack I get to selected autistic programs my charity works with. Not only is an astounding 1 in 500 children born with autism, but there is no effective medical treatment available for autism, and a lack of direct services to treat the disease. The worst part of this disorder is that there is a societal and cultural stigma placed against people with autism. It is a disease that needs our help and, in addition to my other efforts for the disease, my sack incentive program is another way for me to help. I encourage all of you to visit my Web site to learn more about this program and my foundation, and to participate however you see fit. Simply log on to www.travislaboy.com for more information.
Before I leave you, I want to address comments I read in regards to comments I made in my last column. In no way did I mean any disrespect toward coach Jerry Glanville and the way he is running the defense at Hawaii. Coach Glanville is a great coach and there is a reason why he has been coaching for so long. Hawaii and Hawaii football are very fortunate to have two coaches with NFL head-coaching experience running the offense and defense respectively. Coach Jones has done a phenomenal job with the Warriors, and to bring in another great football mind in Coach Glanville, only makes that program better. And as we all saw, they looked great against UNLV. Grice-Mullins and Bess had big games again. Samson and crew paved the way for Nate to have a big game rushing. The defense looked solid, and Colt looks better and better every game. Even though the team is filled with great players, it is the coaching staff that gets them performing at such high levels.
Next week I will give you the scoop from Miami and let you in on what it is truly like for an NFL athlete on the road. Hopefully I will have to make my first $500 donation after this week, but I will keep you all posted.
Former UH lineman Travis LaBoy is chronicling his season with the Tennessee Titans for the Star-Bulletin