Brandon Harris rookie diary: Anticipation building

EDITOR'S NOTE: Texans cornerback Brandon Harris, drafted in the second round (60th overall) out of Miami (Fla.), is chronicling his rookie season with periodic diary entries for

Last week was an exciting week but a sad week, also. I had a chance to finish off the preseason. We went on the road, two road games. Went to San Francisco, came back for a short week, played at Minnesota. That Minnesota game was exciting. I had a chance to take a lot of snaps, get a lot of experience and just play a lot. It was also exciting because I grew up as a child being a Vikings fan, rooting for guys like Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre. Even when Randy Moss and Cris Carter were there, that was always my favorite team. So being able to play in that stadium and that atmosphere, it was really exciting.

Then, after the game, the reality set in: There’s a 53-man roster, and not a lot of guys are going to be here. I had to witness a lot of my friends that I had built relationships with since I’d been here, a lot of rookie guys coming in trying to make the team, get released. That was the wakeup call for me that the NFL is a business. It’s not like college. Guys are not transferring on their own. They’re fighting for their jobs. I was talking to guys who have families, who have kids, some are married, and they’re dependant upon the income. When they get released, they’re back at square one. They have nothing. That was kind of the part that made me take it as a blessing and not take anything for granted. You have to come every day prepared to perform. I don’t want to lose my job.

After getting through that, it’s very exciting right now. Playing against Indianapolis, obviously, one of the big division rivals, I’ve been hearing so much about the atmosphere for this game. Guys are saying how much different it is from the preseason, just the fans and the atmosphere of the stadium and how it comes alive. I’m very excited to get out there on Sunday and witness that part of it, just to go through the gameday routine again for the first regular0season game. I have my family flying in – my mom, my dad, my brother are coming in tomorrow morning. That’s going to be huge for me. It’s going to be my first time getting them out here and getting to hang out with them since I left home after the lockout was lifted. So I’m excited to get together with them and spend some time with my family and have them come watch the game.

The anticipation around the team is huge. There seems to be something special going on here, and I’m happy to be a part of it. I told the coaches anything that I can do to help this football team, I’m willing to play my role. I’m willing to step in and do whatever I have to do, whether it’s taking three or four snaps a game, running down on special teams or whatever I have to do to get on the field and make an impact as a player. I know coming in as a rookie, you just find somewhere you fit in. Even in practice, making guys better by making sure you go hard every day. I’m making sure guys are ready to perform, and when my number is called, I’ll be ready. But the anticipation around the team is huge. We think we can do some special things, and we’ve been showing that through camp and the preseason.

The fans have been great through this whole experience. We had tremendous fan support in college at Miami, but here it’s awesome all the time. Even on practice days like today, you’re driving down the street and see people holding up Texans signs and Texans flags. I was at the red light the other day, and I saw this guy was just standing there with a bunch of autographed footballs, just standing there waiting on Texans players to drive by, pull over and sign his football. So there’s a huge amount of dedication from a fan standpoint. It’s taken me by surprise a little bit, and I’ve been excited to see that build up every week.

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus