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Paysinger Takes On NYC


"It's not like what a lot of people think," said the rookie linebacker. "There are a lot of fast cars, high life and everything like that. But it's just another high school like everybody else's. It's just in a good location."

Maybe the 90210 zip code has more in common with an NFL training camp than previously thought.

Regardless of where he's from, Paysinger definitely took some giant leaps over the past week. Because of a sidelined Michael Boley during Tuesday's practice, Paysinger got bumped up to play with the first-team defense.

"Truthfully, I felt nervous," Paysinger said. "The first couple plays I was nervous because you're running with the one's, you're running with players like Osi (Umenyiora) and (Justin) Tuck that you've watched on film for years. I remember watching them back when I was in high school, back when I was in college. And the fact that they're in the huddle with me making calls and treating me as an equal, that was tremendous."

That followed up Saturday's preseason game at Carolina, which was more than just a professional debut for the undrafted weakside linebacker out of the University ofOregon.

Amazingly enough, it was also the first NFL game he'd been to.

"I don't know why or how that's even possible," Paysinger said. "But just walking out there, just seeing the Panthers' helmets, seeing the New York Giants helmet, it was real that it's actually here. I was nervous at first, but once we worked into it after warm-ups and everything, it felt right to be there."

Paysinger held his own on the third-team and made two tackles in the fourth quarter.

Nerves aside, he is no stranger to the bright lights.

Paysinger played in 52 straight games with the Ducks, including the undefeated road to the BCS championship game against Auburn in his senior year. From the other side of the country, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound Paysinger brings a philosophy forged by his college coach Chip Kelly.

"It's just taking care of the little things," Paysinger said. "Once you take care of the little things, the bigger things tend to handle themselves. That's what Chip Kelly preached when we were out there. Every day he would ask us questions like, 'Did you make your beds in the morning?' or 'Did you touch the O in the front of the stadium every morning?' So I'm bringing that here – just taking care of the little things, whether you're on special teams or running with the three's, the two's or the one's. You want to do the little things because that's ultimately a better chance to get you on the team."

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