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#1 Posted : Friday, September 27, 2013 11:44:17 AM(UTC)
An interesting look at a player on the cusp of an NFL roster.. the mind games you play.. and interesting read on CNNSI.


A Game With No Clear End

By Austen Lane

JACKSONVILLE — When writing part one of my crazy football story 10 weeks ago (you may recall What It’s Like to Get Whacked, about being cut from an NFL team), I knew in the back of my mind that part two would be my redemption piece. The first article was about sadness, frustration and disappointment when I was cut out of the blue by the Jaguars in June, a bad fit for coach Gus Bradley’s new defense. The second part would capture my return to glory, a phoenix rising from the ashes of self-doubt and uncertainty and depression into the light, back into my rightful place playing in the NFL.

See, the Kansas City Chiefs had picked me right after the Jaguars fired me, thinking I could be a fit as a fast, pass-rushing type defensive end. And the first game of the regular season, perfectly, was Chiefs-Jags—in Jacksonville. Part two was going to be a story of perseverance, hope and the power of a positive attitude.

Unfortunately, this is not that story.

There is a special time every year when Sundays aren’t just for church and doing work around the house. The special months between September and January feature Sundays when you assemble your friends, drink some beer and, most importantly, watch football. That’s for fans. As a player, Sundays were everything to me. Sunday was the one day a week I could just let it loose and have fun.

These days my Sundays aren’t as amazing as they used to be. Quite honestly, they stink. The smile I woke with every Sunday morning is now replaced with a scowl, much like the one you might come across in a long line at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Post Office. This is my normal Sunday now: alone on the couch in my apartment in Jacksonville, flicking through channels like someone with advanced OCD. I watch parts of games, but even that enjoyment is now corrupted. It’s impossible for me not to key on the defensive ends and nitpick everything they do.

Wausau Paper on the kid..

Iola-Scandinavia graduate Austen Lane regularly checks injury reports and trains in a boxing gym in Jacksonville, Fla., as he awaits his next chance to play in the NFL, he wrote in a story published today on The MMQB website hosted by Sports Illustrated.

His next chance could come soon. The 6-foot-6 defensive end has a workout with an NFL team scheduled for Monday, he wrote. Lane declined to identify the team.

“Don’t want to jinx anything,” he wrote. “But the hope is there.”

As of Thursday, 16 teams listed a defensive end on their injury reports, and eight teams had a defensive end who missed practice or, in the case of the St. Louis Rams, a game. But some teams might be looking to increase depth at a position or to replace an ineffective player instead of an injured player.

Lane spent the preseason with the Kansas City Chiefs. The team released him following the final preseason game, Aug. 29 against the Green Bay Packers. He has played three NFL seasons, all with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who picked him in the fifth round in 2010.

Lane has used writing as an outlet to express the emotions that come with being released by NFL teams. He studied journalism at Murray State and was one of 23 current and former players at a sports journalism and communications boot camp at Bowling Green University in April.

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