I can officially say that I hate playing in New York. I’ve only won once there and that stadium has not been good to us since I came to the Skins five years ago. I really thought the game could have gone either way and we had opportunities to win it. Taking nothing from the Giants because they are a good team but we always seem to find a way to beat ourselves when playing them. It only takes about 3 to 5 plays in a game to get you beat and they had those plays fall their way to get it done.
Even though we’re faced with a loss early in the season, we must learn from it and then move on. I guess the best way to look at things is that last season we started off with a loss to the Giants and ended up 6-2 the first half of the season. So I say to everyone: don’t get down because there is a lot of football left this season. One game doesn’t make or break a season and a season is based on a collection of all 16 games. We have 15 left so let’s take it one play at a time and one game at a time and pile up some victories. 15 and 1 doesn’t sound too bad. Hopefully we can turn things around this week and get back on track. As far as myself, I felt real good out there playing after a year off. I guess the game comes easy when you have been in a defense for 10 years of your career.
The Rams are a team that is hungry for a win just like we are. I am pretty sure they will come in with a lot of confidence since we were their first victory last year. In order to beat them we must stay focused and determined to get things turned around. The Rams have good players and can be explosive at any moment. We must handle our business this week and do all the little things in order to come out of this one on top. The best thing is that we play at home in front of our diehard fans who will have the stadium rocking. There is nothing like playing in FedEx and having that home field advantage. The 12th man must come out and be loud in this one. The louder the 12th man is, it makes it that much easier for the defense to be dominating. So be loud and let’s rock FedEx like never before!
I would like to take this time to address something that I often get asked about. People come up to me all the time and ask me about being released by the Redskins and then signing back. The bottom line is that my contract with the Skins was done so I was really never released. There were some things done on the tail end of my contract that helped the salary cap situation but I was a free agent as soon as the last second ticked off of the last game of last season. After my injury, the organization said they wanted me back so all we had to do was come to terms on everything. When I said that I didn’t want to end my career on an injury, I was serious but I was faced with ending my career or helping my son DaVaris, who is an outstanding athlete, reach his dreams. Well my son didn’t want me to quit football on an injury and I didn’t want to end my career that way and I decided to come back and give it a shot on winning a championship. I actually feel like I could play until I’m 40 because I feel there is not another athlete out there that takes care of himself the way I do. So as long as the Redskins will have me, I’m going to keep giving them the best that I can.
Monday night, my wife Leslie and I had a opportunity to go have dinner with a special young lady’s family. The young lady’s name is Lauren Griffin and she has a beautiful family in her dad David, mom Lisa and sister Kim. We made contact when her dad sent me a message on my Facebook page and told me that she had followed the progress of my injury and I inspired her to work hard and come back to compete in her sport again. Lauren attends George Mason University in Fairfax and she is a member of the rowing team.
A year ago, Lauren was in a terrible car accident where she was ejected and faced serious injuries to her neck, spine and ribs which also resulted in a punctured lung. The reason Lauren is special to me is that she also had to go through the rehab process but also deal with people telling her that she would never be able to come back and do her sport of rowing again. Upon hearing her story, she became my inspiration because the injuries I had could never compare with what she had to go through. I was delighted that I could inspire her to push herself and get back but we both know that blessings come from above and this was all God’s work.
When you are faced with not being able to do the daily things that you love and have to rely on other people to do everything that used to be so easy for you to do, it really makes you appreciate those things once you are full strength and able to do them again. Lauren loves to row and I love football. I am so happy to be back playing the game that I love and now I can tell you that Lauren is also back and glad to be a part of her rowing team at George Mason. I am so proud of you Lauren for pushing through and putting in the hard work that you did. I know about the hours and hours of rehab put in and basically starting from scratch to get back to doing something that you love and care about. I will use your courage in all walks of my life and you will inspire people in ways you never thought you could. I’m proud of the fact that I inspired you but even more, I’m proud that I have crossed paths with your beautiful family and had the opportunity to come to your home and meet all of you.
When you get injured, people always say that something good will come out of it and I really think that something good just happened to both of us. They told you that you would never row again and they told me that I couldn’t come back and play football again. What do they know and who are they? They certainly don’t have the name God. He had a different plan for the both of us so I say on behalf of us both, thank you Jesus.
Now to the Kanye West situation. I think people make mistakes and we cannot be quick to judge. Even he feels the pain after doing something so bad to a young lady that really didn’t deserve it. We all need to pray for Kanye because he has issues to deal with that we just might not know about. Obviously there was something wrong. It was nice of Beyonce to bring her back on stage after that happened and it showed a lot of class by her. I also think it showed a lot of class for Kanye to address the situation and want to apologize to Taylor in person. Some people take action before realizing the consequences of their actions. He will have to first heal himself and then heal the way people view him. I guess we have to take a wait-and-see approach on this one. Stay tuned.
Hail to the Redskins!
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Phillip Daniels