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Rookie Blog with LB Mark Herzlich


*Practice Thursday night was a prep for the game. We had (play) cards and we ran some defenses off the cards that we thoughtCarolina might run for the offense. Then the offense did the same for us. Then we finished and had meetings all night. We got back to the hotel, I went to sleep right away. I like to get a real good night's sleep the night before a game. So that way you're fresh two days later.

**Then woke up on Friday, we came over here (to the Timex Performance Center) and had an extended walkthrough with all situations that we would see in the game in terms of special teams and offense/defense. Then we got ready to load the buses. We had some meetings. We went back to the hotel. We got all in our suits and on the bus and headed over to the airport. We got on the airplane; it probably was the biggest airplane I've been on in my entire life. It fit all the dudes traveling plus all the staff and everybody.

**Then we got to Charlotte and went over to the hotel. We had most of our meetings at the facility that morning. We didn't have many meetings that night, so I basically just went up to our room and went to bed again. The next day we woke up. We got to sleep in a little bit. I went and got breakfast, had a couple more meetings for about an hour and a half. Then I went back to the room, took a nap, got ready for the game. I got dressed up in the suit again and got on the bus. I went on the early bus, so I got (to the stadium) around five o'clock maybe.

**I wasn't nervous, it's football. It's something we do, and we have to be professionals about it. There's excitement. I wouldn't say it was scared nerves, but you go through it. There was a long, long, long period between when I got to the stadium and then when we actually played. You have to sit around for a while and wait for everything to start. You've got to just keep your mind right. I try not to get too excited too early because most of it was forcing myself to calm down. Once we went out for stretch and we did some drills, came back in – that's when I got really pumped up, fired up. I ran out on the field and it's just doing your job at that point and having fun and not worrying about mistakes you make. When they happen, just worry about that the next day.

**I played kickoff return so I got a couple reps in the first half. As I was subbed in on punt return and punt in the second quarter, I played all those special teams in the third and fourth quarter. You wait around on defense. You watch every play. You watch your position. You look at the play cards on the bench. So I mean you really play it like you're in the game, but you just don't actually step on the field. Then I got in the game, we knew all the calls, executed the game plan. Then all it is about is just hustling and flying to the ball.

On 2nd and 8 at the Carolina 22-yard line to begin the fourth quarter: RB Mike Goodson right tackle to CAR 22 for no gain (M.Herzlich). FUMBLES (M.Herzlich), ball out of bounds at CAR 22.On that play, we had a bunch set and so I lined up to the bunch. They ran the play outside, I came over, fought off my block and made the tackle. I guess the ball came out, but I think they recovered it right away. The ball came out and then you line up for the next play.

**We got back (to New Jersey) at like 4 a.m. and went right to bed, slept most of the day yesterday to try to get our sleep back. I looked over plays again yesterday, just on my own. Then we got in this morning and watched film on the game and then we installed some new stuff on defense. Now we're getting ready for practice.


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