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What A Team Does Extra Is A Sign Of How Good They Will Be

COLUMN ARCHIVE

July 6, 2000

I hope that everyone had a good and safe Fourth of July... I know I did!

This week our team is really doing the extra little things to get ready for the start of the season. For example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday our team goes out and does 7-on-7 passing. This is a drill where the offense goes against the defense but there are no offensive or defensive Linemen. The only guys that are playing are the "skilled position" players. We have been putting in extra work in terms of, after guys have been playing for an hour and half, we are staying longer so that we can polish our skills. In the past it was rare to see players stay after and put in extra time. Now QB's, wide receivers and defensive backs are staying and working hard on their one-on-one skills. Another example of our team working hard by doing a little extra is, while most people took a day off on July 4th, the team did not. We worked out in the morning and by no means was it a light workout. In fact, it was probably the hardest one we have done yet.

I tend to find that a lot of fans want to know why we are doing these extra little things to get better. Well, I believe it is because they are beneficial both physically and most important mentally. During a season everything doesn't always go our way and when it doesn't, that's when a team with great character and chemistry rise up and persevere against all the obstacles that are in their way. You may ask what allows a team to do this? It the "extras" - all those little things you did as a team in the off-season. When a new challenge is facing the team in a game they can look back and say "hey, we have been and pushed through tougher situations than this together, so we can do this." This cohesiveness between players is what allows great teams to not panic in hostile situations, but rather sit back, relax, and work together as a team to get the job done.

Now its time for the Q and A with the Athlete of the week Marques Anderson.

Q. How hard is it to play in football pads?
A. I feel that for a beginner they may seem awkward and heavy, but for me I have played football so long that they feel very natural and I have no difficulty playing in them.

Q. How do you prepare mentally for games?
A. I really get focused when I put DMX or Jay-Z in my CD player listen to it at high volume. I also try to keep the same regimen when I put my pads on.

Q. Who do you model yourself after?
A. I don't model myself after anybody that plays football, but my dad is my inspiration because no matter what I do on or off the field, my dad is going to love me.

Q. What do you do in your spare time?
A. I try to get as much rest as I can because as student athletes we do not get that much free time. I also like to go to the beach and bodysurf. At night I like to go to clubs with my friends and have a good time.

Q. What is your true feeling about two-a-days also know as "hell week"?
A. They are damn hard and they really work your body both physically and mentally. I think they are rewarding too because to play this game you must be tough minded as well as physically strong.


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