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Watching and waiting
Posted: Monday March 01, 1999 02:00 PM
Click here if you have a question for Anthony Poindexter. He'll answer a question or two in each week's diary entry.
Lots of top prospects skip the 40-yard dash and other drills at the NFL combine because they're afraid a bad showing will hurt their chances in the NFL Draft. I didn't get to work out in Indianapolis last weekend, but I wish I could have.
I had a great time interviewing with teams and meeting other defensive backs in this year's draft. While they ran and leaped and tackled, I had to watch from the sidelines, as I did for the last month of football season last year.
In the seventh game of my senior year, in a 23-13 win over N.C. State, I tore three ligaments in my left knee -- the ACL, PCL and LCL. You don't hear all three of those in the same sentence too often.
I've been working toward getting back on the field ever since, and I've spent the last month in San Francisco, rehabbing with the same trainer who supervised Jerry Rice's comeback last year. I've been working hard -- I want to show everyone how far along I've come.
Training in California has been a good change of venue for me. It's nice and laid-back here -- this is my first time to the state. I'm working out five days a week for a total of eight four-hour sessions. I have two sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and one on Tuesday and Thursday. It's most definitely a time-consuming thing.
On Thursday, I got to do some light jogging for the first time. In the month that I've been here, I've seen real improvements in my knee and my quad. The whole time since the injury, though, I've known I could make it back. Look at the NFL and there are a lot of player that went down like I did and they're leading full careers right now.
You can't really imagine how hard the work is in rehab -- that's been the toughest part. The injury really didn't hurt that bad when it happens, and it was nothing compared to what the therapy can feel like.
I do a little treadmill, a little stairs, some time on the bike. There's a lot of work re-training my leg on flexing and extending with different machines.
I had heard a lot about the combine -- my roommate last year, Germane Crowell, was a second-round pick of the Detroit Lions. As much as you hear about the draft, you really don't know what to expect until you're there.
Even though I couldn't work out, for most of the weekend I was grouped with the rest of the defensive backs. It's almost like a meat market -- my number was "DB38." It was tough watching the other guys in workouts, wondering if they're getting an edge on me with what they were showing teams. I had to sit there and just bank on my game film -- I think that's strong enough to let them know what I can do.
The medical tests were naturally a big part of my weekend. The team doctors all want to see how my knee is coming along, which is understandable. It was a lot of pushing and prodding and answering questions, but I think it went well.
It was interesting getting to sit down with all these coaches you've watched on television, thinking, "I might get a job from this man." My flight back went through St. Louis, and I wound up sitting with the Chiefs' new coach, Gunther Cunningham. It was a weird coincidence -- we had just talked the day before, and we got to talk more on the plane.
Once I got back to California, I went right back to rehab -- I still have a lot of work to do. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do any kind of workouts for teams before the draft, but my focus is on being ready for next season. I don't want to do anything to risk another injury -- my goal is to be able to be there ready to go when camps open in preseason.
Virginia defensive back Anthony Poindexter is projected as a first-round pick in April's NFL Draft. Check back for his weekly diary entries every Saturday at CNNSI.com.
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