What goes through an NFL player’s mind before first preseason game?
After several weeks of hitting each other, the Seahawks get their first shot at someone else Thursday night in the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos.
So what goes through a player’s mind when they line up against an opponent for the first time?
Former Seahawks standout Marcus Trufant says it depends on whether you’re a veteran just getting ready for the regular season or a rookie fighting to earn a coveted spot on the roster.
Trufant, co-host of The Barbershop with Gee Scott and Terry Holliman on 710Sports.com, says he had a “love-hate” relationship with the preseason. He says veterans look forward to a little “taste” of what’s to come, but are mostly focused on getting in and out without getting hurt.
“You just want to touch the water a little bit, you don’t want to go swimming the whole time,” he says. “I want to go against somebody else, I want to be able to take somebody to the ground, I want to be able to get nasty for a little bit. But the preseason, you definitely don’t want to get hurt.”
But what about the young guys?
“They’re scared, they’re nervous, they’re praying in their locker because it’s their first taste,” he laughs.
Rookies would often turn to the 10-year-veteran for advice. As for what he’d tell them?
“I tell them it’s the same sport they played when they were young,” he says. “It’s the same ball, it’s the same rules, everything’s the same. So you just have to go out and be the best. You don’t get all nervous, ‘it’s the league, it’s the NFL, so I have to do this, I have to try do extra.’ Just go out there and be you and let the chips fall into place.”