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A Week in the NFL: Patrick Kerney Speaks


On Wednesday, the team begins preparing for the specific opponent it will face that week. Most of Kerney's time is spent at the team facilities.

Up at 6:30 on Wednesday go, just go to meetings until I think it's about 10:30, then I'll lift [weights] from 10:30 to 11:15.


What happens at the meetings?

That's preparation -- introductions to your opponent for that week to try to figure out their tendencies, come up with your game plan and start to watch them on film and familiarize yourself with the other team. We'll go to those meetings and then we'll go ... [lift] before practice, practice from 11:20 to 1 or 1:20, somewhere in there.

Do you practice in pads?

It changes. At the beginning of the season we were in shoulder pads and shorts a lot, and as the season went on we did less of that. Then we got the week off so we were back in pads last week.

We never live tackle. It's two-hand touch below the waist. That sort of confirms to the coaches that if you're there in position to dive and wrap up legs you'd make the tackle.

Usually, even if we have our pads on we usually shed them half way through practice. You know our staff is very cognizant of when to keep us fresh not only for this week's game but fresh for December and January.

So far, there's been a lot less actual practicing and hitting than I expected.

If you're hitting hard every Wednesday and Thursday plus playing games on Sunday, there's a lot of evidence in the past of teams that start off strong with that type of schedule and then come late November and December and they just totally fizzle out.

Everyone at this level knows how to hit, you know obviously there's fundamental stress but those types of drills that people familiarize themselves with from movies from high school and college football movies, a lot of that is just testing kids to see if they're just flat-out scared of contact. Sort of a way to filter out kids who might be better suited doing other things. Once you get to this level you're pretty well aware ... the guys you have don't mind running into other people. So there's no sense in doing those old meat-head drills and risk hurting guys who the organization has invested a great deal of money in.

After practice I finish up with another 15 to 20 minutes of lifting, then into the ice tub again.

Is your skin like a raisin at this point?

It's funny because even on 85-, 90-degree days you'll get in the hot tub for 10 minutes and come out and you'll have to go outside in a sweat shirt and sweat pants because your core temperature is so cold. So ice tub again and we go eat lunch, then we're back in meetings at 2:30 to watch that practice and review that. Talk a little bit more game plan and then we're done. If you're dinged up at all you're back in treatment one more time after meetings. And I'm usually home by about 5:00.

[Then] you know maybe stretch a little bit, relax, study your play book, watch a little [game] film at home. The funny thing is being a professional athlete when I'm not at work, one of the harder parts of my job is having to sit still. Because you know most of us are pretty energetic guys. But if you're ... someone who doesn't want to be losing weight you're forced to sit in a chair motionless, quietly consuming calories as much as you can, which is sort of the opposite of the rest of America. They would love, love that opportunity.

Do football players watch football?

I usually don't watch other football. You know if I tune into other football games I end up just studying, not enjoying the game and rather studying too much, so I just kind of relax, you know I have four sisters so I try to keep up with them in the evenings which can be hard because three of the four of them have children, so they're busy as well.