By Anthony Armstrong
The 2012 NFL season had a lot on the line. I was coming off a disappointing 2011 campaign in which my head coach suggested I get into coaching if I can’t get off of press coverage…I’m paraphrasing, but you get it. I had a lot to prove, but ended up getting cut. I couldn’t break my lease, so I just had to pay rent in a place I wasn’t going to be staying.
Next stop, a reunion with Miami. There were a few recognizable faces, but the team was completely different. The locker room had been overhauled, and the offense was this no-huddle, hand signaling system that I had to learn. On my first day in the facility, I spent seven hours studying film and digesting the playbook just so I could be up to speed. Needless to say, it was a challenge.
You’d get the initial call from the sideline, and after the play, you had to find now Bengals head coach, Zac Taylor, who would be giving you the formation and eventual play. Having been in the offense for all of 72-hours, I was struggling.
What I needed was some consistency and stability. I rented an apartment that I swore was a condo because it was in a high-rise building, but I digress. Rented some furniture, grabbed a couple of things from IKEA and I was set.
Just as I was getting into my groove with the team and the offense, we head off to NJ for our “rivalry” game against the Jets. About two hours before kickoff, I find out that I’m not playing. I was taken for a loss but still wanted to support my team.
Quick sidenote: I swear Fergie waved at me. I sure as hell waved back.
After eight weeks in Miami, I was once again a free agent. A townhome in Virginia, and this condopartment in Plantation, Florida. I needed a job. Enter the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gene Smith, the then GM had tried to get me on the team two times prior to this. Once in 2009, after the Dolphins cut me for the first time. I was brought in for a workout, but eventually signed with the Redskins. The second was near the end of that same 2009 season in which he tried to claim me off of waivers.
I was there for a whole week, y’all. I didn’t even get to touch the field for live action, and was a cut because they needed an additional linebacker for special teams. Back down I-95 to my condopartment in the sky. Three teams in about two and a half months. That’s up there with “How to lose a guy in 10 days.”
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