By Nick Eason (Contact)
Published August 5, 2008
Sunday was family day.
All my teammates’ families were in town for practice and a cookout afterwards. All of my family is back in Georgia.
As far as practice goes. It was a successful day. We had the opportunity to have "live goalline!" Basically, we were allowed to tackle the ball carrier. And the defense won.
I’m filling in for our all-pro defensive lineman Casey Hampton, who is on the physically unable to perform list. I did my job! The offense did not score once!
Monday was a "no bones Monday.” We had two long practices. Our mental toughness is definitely being tested at this point in training camp. We have had about 15 practices. The body is starting to feel a little fatigued. My legs feel like I have ankle weights on them 24/7. My shoulders, arms and feet are hurting like crazy.
The thing that keeps me going is self motivation. This is not an easy job. I know some of you might be thinking "you get paid well." But my body takes a beating day in and day out. You have to love the game of football. It’s a very violent sport where only the strong survive.
Monday night, I told myself that I wasn’t going to eat after 8:30, but I listened to the voices in my head saying "go get a turkey sandwich." I just had a turkey sandwich on wheat with mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Sounds great, doesn’t it? My stomach is very satisfied!
The fans are still coming strong. They’re here for every practice that they can attend. Gotta love those Steelers fans! They show a lot of dedication.
I haven’t talked to my grandparents lately. They live in Lyons, Ga. They are one of the reasons why I have made it this far. My mother gave birth to me at a young age, but continued her education. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. While my mom was away at school, my grandparents became "moma and daddy."
My grandparents worked very hard to provide for me. There were so many times when my grandmother worked extra side jobs to earn money so that I never wanted for anything. They taught me how to work for everything I wanted or needed. They were great, dedicated grandparents. I never asked for much because I knew a lot of times that they just really didn’t have the money.
I really appreciate every sacrifice they every made for me. That’s what’s wrong with a lot of our youth today. It’s parenting.
The biggest joy for me being in the NFL is being able to give back to my grandparents and to the community. For those of you who don’t know, I have made community appearances in Warren, Boardman, Campbell, Struthers, Lowellville and Youngstown. I guess you’re wondering how in the heck did a Georgia boy who plays for the Steelers get hooked up with Vindy?
Well I will reveal that later!
Well, more practices are coming up. They’re going to be brutal just like the rest. Everyday is a "no bones" day to me. Four more days until we face the Eagles. I’m pumped!