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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Losing streak stays on mind

By Drayton Florence
Special to ESPN.com

Editor's note: Defensive back Drayton Florence, taken in the second round of this year's NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, will chronicle his rookie experiences in a weekly diary for ESPN.com.

Drayton Florence
Florence
Even though we had our bye week this past Sunday, my mind wasn't far from football.

The week was different from any so far for me because besides not playing on Sunday, we practiced on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Instead of game planning, we worked on fundamentals. I mean we really worked on the little things we need to do better. The practices were spirited and I feel like we accomplished quite a bit.

Then instead of preparing to play on the weekend, most of us went our separate ways. I think it did us a lot of good to get away from practicing and playing for a couple of days and reflect on things we need to improve on in order to help the team win. I know I did and I'm sure all my teammates did as well.

My days off were spent catching up with some friends, running errands and doing things I haven't been able to get to because of my commitments to the team. While I was away from the football field, I caught myself thinking about things I can do better as a player. I was driving my car during the weekend and I thought about something one of the coaches told me in practice last week.

When I was growing up I heard the great players say they got into the habit of thinking about football and what it took to become a better player. I made it part of my routine a few years ago. Even when I'm not playing, I'm always thinking about things I can work on to improve as a player, which will help the team win. All I care about is winning.

I actually got to watch a little football this weekend. I saw a couple of college games and a few NFL games. I don't look at football any differently since I became an NFL player. I still watch it the same way I did when I was at Tuskegee. I watch the games and always try to pick up things I can take to the field with me that will help me do my job better.

So as you can see, even though we didn't play this weekend, football was still a huge part of my life. I wished we could've played, but since I don't make the NFL schedule I had no say in the matter.

It's kind of like the predicament we're in as a team: We don't like the fact we're 0-5, but we are and there's nothing we can do now about the five previous games. That's in the past and we can't dwell on the losses. We're not happy, but we can't spend time thinking about what we didn't do, we just have to work hard to improve and cut down on our mistakes.

Right now our only goal is to break through and get our first win.