Episode 2 of "Roy Mbaeteka: Journey to the NFL" is now available on the Giants YouTube channel.
The three-part docuseries is following the 6-foot-9, 320-pound offensive tackle as he takes his next steps 5,000 miles from his Nigerian home, where he was discovered by Giants legend Osi Umenyiora. The second installment begins with the first day of pads at training camp, an annual rite of passage for NFL players. But it took on even greater significance for Mbaeteka, who strapped up for the first time in his life.
"Everything up to this point has been 'take it easy, learn this, learn that,'" Mbaeteka said in the episode. "I think I'm ready to get the pads so I can start to learn to make decisions on the fly because it's one thing when you're learning things from the board where's there's Xs and Os. It's different when you're actually out there making that decision quick and applying those techniques that you've been practicing on. Now you're studying for people, and these people are coming to take your face off."
View photos of offensive tackle Roy Mbaeteka, who was discovered by Giants legend Osi Umenyiora.
"People need to keep this in perspective: Roy has put on football pads I believe four times," offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said leading up to the preseason opener against the Patriots. "Roy is about to play in his first competition against somebody other than his own teammates. … He gives you everything that he has every day. And that's all you can ask for from the guys. I can't imagine what's going on in his head. What, he's been in the country four, five months? I can't even fathom exactly what he's getting done."
The Giants mic'd up Mbaeteka along the way, including his first experience against a live opponent in a game. On the road in New England, Mbaeteka played left tackle on the game-winning drive, which wouldn't have been possible without international players. Mbaeteka blocked for Austrian running back Sandro Platzgummer, a fellow member of the NFL's International Pathway Program, who ran three times for 21 yards deep into Patriots territory with four seconds remaining in the game. It set up a 24-yard field goal for kicker Graham Gano and holder Jamie Gillan, who were both born in Scotland.
"Roy Mbaeteka: Journey to the NFL" will conclude later this summer with Episode 3, which focuses on his adjustment to a new life.