Running Back Elijah Hood
It's been a busy few months for rookie running back Elijah Hood. Today, in his own words, he talks about what life has been life since being drafted, and his excitement for his first NFL training camp.
By Elijah Hood
The past few months; it's just been a blur.
I just feel like I was getting drafted, and now we're at training camp. I've already been through OTAs [Organized Team Activities] and everything, and it's just been a heck of an experience. I'm so happy to be able to be a part of this organization, and this team, and the longer I've been here, the more I understand what kind of organization this is, and what kind of fan base we have here. These are some of the most passionate fans I've ever seen anywhere, and it feels like an honor just to be able to take the field every day with these guys, and have fun, and I'm just going to keep on enjoying it.
The response from the fans has been crazier than I thought it would be, people are like, "hey, you, I know you, you're Elijah Hood!"
And then I laugh, and I'm like, "I'm just a seventh-round draft pick."
These people study this. They watch what's happening religiously. They look through the camp photos that are posted every day. These people are real passionate. I appreciate their support. It's awesome. It's an awesome thing to be a part of.
As far as the actual football goes; when I first got here, I was a little nervous. I didn't know what to expect and everything. That kind of went out the window when I got on the field, and the ball was in my hands. You don't have to think about all this extracurricular stuff; where we are, what we're doing, it's football. I've been playing football since I was seven. It's the sport I love. The game don't change. Now I can just focus on playing ball, working on myself, and trying to make myself the best that I can be, so I can help this team win games.
We've been at pre camp for a few days now, and it's awesome. I couldn't have asked for anything better than to be able to come out here, and get these extra reps that we might not necessarily be able to get when training camp comes. It's just been so helpful. I can already feel my game improving every day.
The vets report to Napa soon, and at that point, it's a competition. Everyone is trying to earn a spot. Everyone is trying to make a name for themselves, so every rep is key. When we're out here now, it's only like one, two deep; reps abound, so it's a lot more relaxed, but when you're only getting, 10, 12 plays of a certain thing in a day, it's a lot different. You have to make the most of that.
They can't keep all of us. That's just the way it is, and with that comes intensity. Guys are hungry. Everyone is hungry. Young guys are hungry. The vets don't want to lose their jobs, and with that comes competition, but that competition is what brings out the best in us, and that's why it's the National Football League, and that's why it's the best of the best, because if you're not performing, the next guy coming in is going to try and take your job.