Things are still very much in the air in regard to my situation with the Bucs. I would like to be back, especially with Dashon Goldson coming in and signing. I want to play with somebody that I consider a brother. I've known him for a very long time, and we're close.
I told him about Tampa. It's not to say that Tampa didn't do their job as far as going out and getting him and paying him, and all that stuff. But of course, when he's going over his options, he's going to ask me about Tampa. I told him it would be a great place for him to continue his career and continue his success as a football player. And obviously, it would help the team.
For one, the team is getting a tough football player. He's a hard-hitting safety. We call him "The Hawk" because he can go get the ball. He's a ball hawk and if someone is coming across that middle, he's going to wipe you out. He's a very exciting player, he's an extremely hard worker and he's a smart guy.
He obviously puts his time in the film room, and he knows his responsibility as far as being the captain out there playing safety, making sure people are lined up. He's played at a super high level for a long time now. He went to back-to-back Pro Bowls. He's a good player. And I'm not just saying that because he's my boy.
I'm really hoping I get a chance to play with him. I've been training with him again this offseason at Athletic Gaines in Los Angeles for the last few weeks and we're having a good time with it.
Training this year has been a little different for me as I bounce back from last season and the various injuries I was dealing with. I've been doing a lot of rehab and full body maintenance type things early on, the type of things that will get your body refreshed before you start training real hard.
Through I trained hard last offseason, I battled back pain in training camp and in the regular season. Then I had the Achilles injury that caused me to miss time. But through training, therapy and treatment, I'm back into a position to be able play a full year.
That's something I've never had a problem doing in the past. In four of my five seasons before I got to Tampa, I played every game or close to it.
Right now, I feel good. I've taken the time out to rehab and get in a comfortable place. I will continue doing that through the offseason. While I'm training, I'm still getting treatment, doing therapy and all that type of stuff. I'll be in great shape for the season. I'm focused on not only getting back into game shape after some time off, but also being more explosive, being quicker and more agile.
For this coming year, I want to get back to what makes me the player that I am. Being multi-dimensional. Able to play inside and outside. Making plays both in the passing game and the running game. And I want to get back to being that veteran who is an asset to the team.
When I'm healthy for the whole season, you're talking about a player who can go out there and make big plays. I'm a player that can consistently make those plays like I did against the Giants last year. A player that can consistently have games like the one I had against the Chiefs.
Your decision-making process is different when you're dealing with physical issues, injury-wise. I might not be able to break on that ball as hard to go make a play on it. I'm thinking, "Let me break on it and make sure it doesn't break out to a huge play. Let me not go for the pick on this one because I don't have the explosion in my Achilles. Let me just go for the break up."
The difference in this game is millimeters and milliseconds. So when you have those little things, nagging injuries, things change and you have to make different decisions. This year I expect to play with a lot more bounce, a lot more energy, look a lot more youthful.
That's what they brought me in for, and frankly, that's what I know I can do. They brought me in because they know I can do it, and I hope they still have that confidence in me. I would like to be back, and will continue to express that until something happens where I'm not a Buccaneer.