Welcome to the Bay Area
Welcome to the Bay Area

This past week, I have spent time moving, organizing, and acclimating myself to the Bay Area. To say I’m quite the San Francisco tourist would be fitting; I’ve visited Facebook, taken pictures at the Golden Gate Bridge, and walked through the 49ers Museum. Furthermore, I have begun to familiarize myself to new surroundings, organization, staff, and teammates. Year thirteen--It’s hard to believe how fast time flies.

My rookie year seems like it was just yesterday; the New England Patriots organization had given me a chance to show them my skills, and they gave me hope that I could one day receive the opportunity to play for a team in the National Football League. Immediately upon arrival, I absorbed as much as I could possibly soak up to learn all the nuances of becoming an elite, professional football player. I rigorously watched film on other kickers, my teammates’ daily activities, and engaged in conversations on how to become a reliable player in the NFL. I listened intently to coaches and players as they taught me about situational football in every phase of the game.

Soon after, the Chicago Bears called. Each year, I have felt so grateful in my experiences. Seasons have passed, but my desire to learn and grow has remained constant throughout my years in this league. Learning about the game, working hard each day to gain the respect of my teammates and colleagues, and training myself to be accountable each and every day will always be of upmost importance.

Now it’s time to begin another season on a new team. Similar to a student’s first day of school, the initial process is always one that I anticipate. The feelings of starting at a new “school,” {the organization}, meeting other “students,” {my teammates}, and working toward the ultimate goal of the season {winning a Super Bowl} are key circumstances that motivate me in my job each day. Throughout my years in the league, I have learned to embrace the opportunity to become a better player wherever I may play. I am relishing in the process of not only building relationships, but also strengthening my body both physically and mentally. Sometimes we are our toughest critics, but pushing myself to the best of my abilities has only continued to challenge me each year.

So hello, 13th season. Hello, San Francisco. Hello, 49ers fans! Playing for one of the most historic franchises in the NFL is surely an honor. My dreams of simply hoping to play in the NFL has developed into one of genuine gratitude for the recurring opportunity. Vince Lombardi Trophy, let’s bring you to San Francisco this year!