Rookie Diary #17: Adibi Misses First Preseason Game With Injury
by, 8/11/04

I had a strained lower back last week. During practice, I sort of strained my lower back real bad, and it went into my lower butt, and it almost felt like a hamstring pull, and thatís what I thought I did, actually. So I went to the trainer and said I think I got my hamstring. He looked over my hamstring, but in the act of doing so he actually figured it was my lower back area. I guess people saw him working on my hamstring, and they figured I had hurt it, but it was actually my lower back area. Last week when I was hitting stuff, I felt a sharp pain in my butt area and that was keeping me from running. So that was the problem with me, and thatís why I really couldnít play against Detroit last Saturday.

I didnít practice at all, but Coach Cowher said heíd try me again when we got to Detroit. I jogged like 100 yards down and jogged back and he told me to go across the field, and he could tell it was getting better, but it wasnít to the point where I could play. It was very disappointing, but I understand. I know I have to show what I can do, thatís the name of the game now. Itís not baseball, you know. In college, they know you were good, but now you gotta prove yourself in the preseason, and especially for rookies. I donít have the luxury of being drafted on the first day, being on the second day I pretty much have to go out there every day and prove myself.

I practiced this Tuesday and I felt a little bit better. The beginning of practice was good, then towards the end I could really feel it, so itís going to take time for it to really go away. But itís getting better and Iím definitely playing this weekend.

We play Saturday night at 7:30. We play the Houston Texas. I donít think itís nationally televised, but I think if you have a satellite or the NFL Network, you may see it a little bit. The only preseason game for us I know that will be nationally televised is next Thursday against Philadelphia.

At first I was very disappointed I was hurt. Things werenít going as I hoped to be, but Iíve just got to take it as it comes. Everything at first was going good, then I pulled my lower back area, so I really have to prove myself in a game now. I need to go out there and just play, show them what I can do and that Iím learning and show them that I can help them on special teams.

Sitting out helped me to see everything a little better, to see what to do on different plays. Before I hurt myself I was making little mental mistakes, making stupid mistakes really, and then when I started knowing what to do, I pulled my lower back. Now I have to show them that I do know my stuff and that I can play and that I do know my position now a lot better than what I did before. I got a lot of what I call mental reps while I was out, and it helped me. I did a lot of mental reps and I know what to do in different situations now. Iíve been making mistakes here and there, but I know exactly whatís going on now.

Iím doing everything now, Iím not 100% physically, but Iím doing all the drills and stuff like that. They brought in another guy named Adrian Ross as soon as Clark Haggans was hurt, and Iím actually working with the third-teamers now, and heís with the twos. The ones are Clark Haggans and Joey Porter, twos are Adrian Ross and Alonzo Jackson, and threes are me and Dedrick Roper.

Iím not sure exactly how much Iím playing, and Iím gonna get a lot of snaps on special teams. I think my personal goal is pretty much just to play the best that I can and play as fast as I can, and try to make as many plays as I can.

Iím actually having fun. Iíve learned the position a lot better now, and I have a lot more fun. Its coming around, honestly.

Next Update: Adibi tells us how this Saturday's game went.

Previous Rookie Diaries With Nathaniel Adibi:

Rookie Diary #16: Training Camp Opens, 8/11/04
Rookie Diary #15: Adibi Signs Contract, 7/23/04
Rookie Diary #14: Adibi Working Out in Richmond, 6/25/04
Rookie Diary #13: Offseason Program Concludes, 6/11/04
Rookie Diary #12: Learning the System, 5/27/04
Rookie Diary #11: Steelers Minicamp, 5/18/04
Rookie Diary #10: Adibi's a Steeler, 4/30/04
Rookie Diary #9: Waiting for Draft Day, 4/23/04
Rookie Diary #8: Adibi Visits the Tennessee Titans, 4/16/04
Rookie Diary #7: The Second Pro Day, 4/2/04
Rookie Diary #6: A Solid Pro Day, 3/24/04
Rookie Diary #5: In Town for Pro Day, 3/17/04
Rookie Diary #4: Adibi's Time in Oakland Winds Down, 3/12/04
Rookie Diary #3: The Aftermath of the Combine, 3/4/04
Rookie Diary #2: Busy Weekend at the Combine for Adibi, 2/26/04
Rookie Diary #1: Adibi Prepares for the NFL Combine, 2/19/04

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