January 1, 2008

Washington Diary: Playing with pain

Five-star defensive end R.J. Washington of Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge has agreed to do a diary for Rivals.com about his experiences leading up to and following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The game will be played at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 5 and broadcasted live on NBC. Players reported to San Antonio on Sunday, and they will begin practices on Monday. Washington will share his thoughts from San Antonio with Rivals.com each day.

My knee was still sore from yesterday but you have to play through it. You can't cry and ask for the trainer every time you have a nick.

This morning I'll admit I was kind of walking through practice. I mean it just felt like it was a walk-through. I took my helmet off. There are some times when you put your hand down and you just feel like standing up.

Also sometimes it helps the offense. There was one play, it was a redo, when they run the same play. Some people take advantage, but the offense is trying to run a play. If you run out and bat the ball down they aren't getting a good look.

You have to try and everything, I try and BS, but every time I do, something bad happens. I mean even Stephen choked me! I ran up and they were calling the play dead, because they fumbled or something. I was looking so I knew the play was dead, but Stephen didn't hear it. I was looking and knew the play was dead, but Stephen starts pushing me down field and I'm like 'Stephen stop, it's dead!' and he was like 'oh, my bad'.

Today I was still getting into the flow of things, me and Matt Kalil went back and forth, like a heavyweight fight. He pancaked me one time, because I got a little off balance. I got past him the second time, and we just keep going back and forth and back and forth. It's good because it makes him better and it makes me better. You get used to it, you can't win everything. Losing is just part of winning. You have to take the good with the bad.

I've pretty much figured out one play doesn't mean anything; I used to think one good play meant something. I'd think I'm set for the game, and now everyone would be thinking about that one play. You have one play against the guys down here and they'll get mad. I mean other guys get mad, but they can't do anything about it cause they aren't as good. These guys, they get mad and they truck you.

Our practices have been tough. I was working twists and I've been hit so many times it's ridiculous. One time I twisted inside and Matt came with me and hit me in the head and Shugarts punched me in the chest. Our tackle got free but I got messed up.

There are a lot of rumors going around between the teams. I think sometimes people just say stuff to be saying it. I heard that their coaches just came in and started cussing them out, I asked them about it and they were like 'that didn't happen'. They heard we were just titty-bumping, and we didn't have any contact and I was like 'that didn't happen'.

I like all of our coaches; they don't need to teach us as much, we're here for a reason. They all know that we should know, should, I'm not saying we do. They know here is what you're doing and to go ahead and fix it. Coach (Steve) Dean cracks me up, I'm not going to lie.

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