He actually happens to be a decent friend of mine. I met him through my roommate in college. He’s a great guy, I talked to him before the game.
But anyway, we went down there and I think we got caught up in the preseason kinda deal again, and it just didn’t work out. I think our offense was running well, we just had a couple of…any time you turn the ball over four times in a game, especially on the road you’re going to lose in the National Football League. The offenses just know how to take advantage of that opportunity, the short field or whatever it may be.
Mario Williams, I think he was a little bit more highly criticized last year for his play, and he was really trying to stand out as a number one draft pick. He had two sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. From that point on, they milked the clock well, they had one of those 11-minute drives that actually took all the air out of our sails. That’s just kind of how the day went for us.
It’s tough losing a player like Justin Medlock. The reality is not everyone is going to make it. You know, you make friends with these guys and all of a sudden they’re gone. It’s weird now, because you can’t call him. Some of my best friends are gone, like Marc Boerigter and Shawn Barber, who I saw in Houston on Sunday. You get really close. But you have to work so hard because you can’t feel like you’re on eggshells. It becomes an obsession. That’s why coaches work so many hours.
This is now my third training camp and that’s how the NFL operates. One of the things my dad told me, in his Pittsburgh days he learned early in college, you get second and third opportunities. Somebody else comes in for you, they don’t do very well, then you go back in. In the National Football League, it’s different, because if you can’t do it, they’re going to go out and find somebody the next day to fill your spot. If you wore 85, somebody else has 85 on that very next day.
Basically what happened today was that. Preseason was good in a sense that Justin was missing some field goals, but it was only preseason, and those are forgiven. But once you get to the season, you have an offense that goes down and drives down on a good Houston Texans team, 76 yards down the field, and you come up short on getting points on a 30-yard field goal, something’s kind of got to give.
I think he was making strides to get better, he had kind of gotten a little bit better mentally, but that’s just how it kind of fell into place. He was pushing it left and we can’t have that again. If we do that again in Chicago, we go down and it’s a close game, especially with how we’re playing right now…there’s going to be close games. When you have a good defense like us, and an offense that can move the ball, you’ve got to have a great field goal kicker, and that’s something that had to be changed.
My perspective on the new guy, Dave Rayner, I know him pretty good, he was my roommate for the Indianapolis combine in ’05 before I got drafted up here to Kansas City. He’s kicked in a lot of places that are tough places to kick. He was from Michigan State and that’s a lot of tough weather to kick in. You’re kicking obviously at Michigan, you’re kicking at Notre Dame, which is high grass, which is always hard on a field goal kicker. This past year he kicked for Green Bay, which is one place I’m very thankful I’m not at, because it has to be hard kicking in that kind of weather, but he’s a great kicker.
He made a very good impression on a lot of coaches obviously when he was drafted. He went to Indianapolis in ’05 and kicked off for them and now he’s getting an opportunity here. What coach Priefer told me was that when they brought him in, we had six kickers in on Monday, and then we decided to bring in Dave Rayner on a Tuesday to work him out. I think he had the best workout of them all. He has a great kickoff leg, which lasts throughout the season.
You watch some of the balls he hit in Green Bay last year, and he’s getting inside the five and hitting the goal line and one yard deep in November and December in Green Bay, and that’s something that we really need for our coverage units. I think he’s going to be a good addition. He’s one of those guys that he doesn’t have that typical kicker mentality. He’s like “Look. I’m the guy, I’m gonna make sure that I always put my coverage units in a good situation.” He’s got a great personality and good character as well.
I'll talk with you next Tuesday.
Colquitt’s Coffin Corner appears every Tuesday during the regular season exclusively at Warpaintillustrated.com.