When I look back on my rookie season I won't reflect on my personal stats, even if I did it would only take me thirty seconds, instead, I will look back fondly on the giants I played with. The legendary players who carried this Miami squad to a Championship victory who I will idolize and respect for the rest of my playing days. Playing for a guy like Wheaties has been a real treat, he's a guy who you want to run through a brick wall for.
Wheaties came to me, a complete scrub of a wideout, and asked if I would be comfortable with taking a lesser role if he were to trade for another wide receiver. I gained a lot of respect for him at that moment, he went out of his way to make me feel like I was a part of the future and that I was valued in my current role. I didn't have to think twice, I told him yes on the spot, I want to win and Asipi deserved a better option than me. I knew I had to get better and it wasn't going to happen overnight, I needed time to add strength and speed and learn my routes.
Playing with players like Kowalski, Redman and Hood as a rookie was really an ideal situation for a rookie like myself. I learned more in the past several months then I did in my entire college career. I don't think my time at Michigan prepared for professional football at all; I felt like it was so natural there and I didn't have to worry about my opponents so much, I just used my size and strength to push guys around.
Kowalski was a true professional and seeing him rack up a league-leading 19 touchdowns was awe-inspiring, I want to be that kind of dominant one day. Watching a guy like that showed me that I have to work harder, a lot harder if I want to get to that next level and I hope to take a big step this upcoming season. Losing Asipi to retirement makes for an interesting dynamic next season, will his replacement have more or less rapport with me?
I guess I should circle back to the beginning, my most memorable part of this season will be our Championship run and eventual victory. My first game will always be special, my first touchdown will, of course, be forever in my heart but winning a ring in my first season is an amazing feat and one that likely will not be trumped. I didn't catch a single pass in either of our playoff games, I didn't record a tackle and I don't even know if I was listed on the game sheet truth be told but I loved it all the same. Watching Larkin nail that tying field goal in the two minutes sent my blood racing. Watching him line up for a forty-one yarder in overtime... I don't even know if my heart was beating at that point. Time stood still for me, there was no noise, I couldn't feel anything and I definitely wasn't breathing as he launched that thing through the uprights and crowned us, Champions!