Sterling Shepard Blog: 100 yards in home opener
That game started with me taking a big hit, and it was kind of what I needed to wake me up a little bit. Get hit the first time, catch the ball, and then I can get things going and kind of relax and just get the feel of the game. That’s kind of what I did.
On that first big play, I got the defender on the route pretty good. I did a slant-and-go, sold the slant pretty well and got him to bite on it. Then on the other one, I broke free and I should have scored on that one. But I tried to make another cut and slipped. I wish I could have that one back, but I can’t. On the third-and-short near the two-minute warning, I saw him press up on me. I saw he was about to quick jam me, so I tried to get his hand off me. So I just went over the middle, and that’s one I had to come up with so we could stay on the field.
It’s big to have the trust of Eli in that situation. We practice so much and we go over so many things and repeat it over and over again. So it’s good to have trust, and as a team, we all have trust in each other. That’s what every good quarterback-receiver relationship is built on. He can trust that I’m going to be in the right spot at the right time, I’m going to get open, and I’m going to catch the ball.
Now we have Washington coming to town and we have a chance to start 3-0. Their defense has a physical group of guys. They’ve got some vets in the secondary. They’re ball hawks. They’re all going to go after the ball, so we’ve got to come with our “A” game, but we can find open areas in their zone.
To me, I’ve always just taken rivalries as another game. I try not to get too hyped up about them. In college, we had Texas. You just need to control your emotions. Yes, it’s a big game for everybody, fans get into it, but you’ve just got to kind of calm down and play your game. I’m just going to take Sunday as another game, keep doing what I’m doing, and do my job. We all have got to do our job and that’s how we’re going to come out on top.