By Gordon Hill 6AM wake up. You brush your teeth, wash your face, and you were on your way. In the hotel lobby you were greeted by security as they took roll call for breakfast. The food options were endless. Vastly different from what we had at Sacred Heart. I never like to eat much before practice so I’d stick with a little eggs and potatoes. We sit outside of the hotel lobby and wait for a shuttle. A black Chevy Tahoe approaches. We get in. Usually about seven of us. Antonio Gates is to the right of me. On the two minute drive, everyone is silent. Sports talk radio slightly breaks the silence as they talk about us. We get out and walk into the facility, greeting the receptionist along the way. Check the schedule for today’s practice. Oh cool, we have 1 on 1’s today. Fans are invited to practice today. That’s different for me. Get ready for the 7:45AM special teams meeting. Denzel is sitting in the seat in front of me, trying to stay awake. Stuckey is to the left of me. Coach Auk brings his energy to the meeting like always. He usually tells a joke that isn’t funny - which makes it funny. Danny is being Danny. It's time to lift. Coach Bud gracefully tells us what we have on the agenda for the day. Stretch. Lift. Agility. Abs. Next, we’re off to position meetings. Greg is to the left of me. Today’s adjustments go in. Very minimal install. Any Questions? No….Alright, get ready for practice. Chi Chi and I go over the new adjustments. Mueller tells a joke before we hit the field. We all laugh. Time to hit the field. Run a lap. Get ready for team stretch. The whistle blows. Stretch Lines. Time for Indi (Individual). Ball drills. Tacking Drills. You know, the usual. Whistle blows. seven on seven. I pay attention as Weddle makes a great play on the ball. I’m now in. The call is “Home”. Incomplete pass. Whistle blows again. One on Ones. The fans are nearly on the field as they watch and cheer. Verrett vs. Allen. You have to love that match up. Whistle blows. Team period. Eleven on eleven. Rivers audibles. Te’o audibles. It’s a mind game. Play action to Gordon. He hits Floyd on a sixteen yard comeback. The last whistle blows and we bring it in. Coach gives his synopsis of the day. Back to stretch lines. Yes, purple Gatorade please. Autograph session. We didn’t do this at SHU (Sacred Heart University). Thirty minute sauna. Fifteen minute ice bath. Shower. Lunch time. Fish or grilled chicken is the go to. Don’t forget the fruit. Convo’s with B Flo about life. Back on the shuttle. Review practice on the iPad. Maybe a quick episode of Entourage. Or a nap. Back in the Tahoe. Front seat this time. Greet the receptionist again. Get ready for film. Don’t crack your sunflower seeds in film. Eric doesn’t like that. Mager, did you refill the candy cabinet? Film continues. There’s some good and some bad. That’s why we practice. Get ready for walk through. Fitted and bucket hats flood the field. Teach period. Mental reps. Its all important. Whistle blows. Dinner to go. Its game three of the NBA Finals. A couple of us head out to watch the game. Back to the hotel. My roommate is up watching Netflix. Bloodline to be exact. For me, lights out. Repeat.
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