With Rashad Johnson
First, let me start off by saying I think I'm really in the prime of my career. Coming off the past two seasons that I had in Arizona, and accomplishing the things that I was able to do there, I feel like I'm in a position in my career to really take advantage of the coming years.
With that being said, eight years after my rookie season, there were definitely some things I've learned along the way, so looking back here are three things I would tell my rookie self.
- Save Your Money**
If I could go back, the first thing I would say to my younger self is to save as much money as you can. I have to admit, I may have taken one too many trips -- Miami, Vegas, Los Angeles -- you know, just random things you do with your buddies to enjoy your time off. In hindsight, if you've been to one place you've been to them all.
I wish I had thought about eight years down the road, wanting to start a family, buying a house, and other things you just don't think about when you're a kid. You look back at certain things, and it was just a fleeting moment you were able to enjoy, but now you're thinking about a lifetime investment.
*2. Learn to say no. *
Be prepared ― there's going to be a lot of people asking you for favors. Whether it's tickets to a game or doing speaking engagements, you're going to have to learn to just say no and focus your time on football. Flying here, going there, saying yes to this and that ― before you know it, things add up to more than you bargained for. It's a tough adjustment already coming from college to the NFL, and you have to take as much time as you can to just focus on football and not the outside influences, so get comfortable with using the word, "no."
*3. Lastly, just enjoy it. *
It goes by fast. As a rookie, you think you're young, you think you have plenty of time, and you can just party it up the first couple years then grab it late in your career, but in reality it all goes by faster than you think. You have to make sure you cherish the moments you have as a rookie, because before you know it, you'll be looking at what you're going to do next ― football will be done, and you'll never be able to get those moments back.
TitansOnline.com looks at the NFL career of former Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson. (AP Photos)