For Kelvin Sheppard his NFL dream was finally realized Thursday night against the Lions. By the end of the game he was the team’s leading tackler and had a pass breakup to his credit.
“It felt good,” said Sheppard of his NFL debut after missing the first three preseason games with a hamstring injury. “It’s a difference compared to the past two weeks just practicing going against your own teammates. It’s not the same. Being able to line up across from guys in another jersey that you don’t know, having a game plan for those guys and just going out there and doing what I love to do. This game was what I was working for my whole life to actually step on an NFL field in a game, so I just have to take whatever happened and move forward from it.”
For Sheppard the instincts came right back not long after he got on the field.
“After the first hit, it’s like, ‘Okay it’s just football. Let’s not make it more than what it is,’” he said. “But at the same time respect the game.”
What Sheppard has appreciated the most is the support he’s received from those that have years of NFL games under their belt.
“I have great coaches, great teammates, the veterans here Andra Davis, Nick Barnett, I don’t think they missed a play,” said Sheppard. “Whenever I was on the field it was like, ‘Yeah Shep you could’ve got there a little quicker, but way to be physical.’ Just hearing things like that gives you a ton of confidence knowing that you’re not out there by yourself. Good teammates, good coaches that are there for you.”
So for a first go of it, Sheppard wasn’t satisfied, but believes Thursday night was something he can build upon.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “You can always improve, but with it being my first game I felt pretty good.”
Tags: Andra Davis, Kelvin Sheppard, Nick Barnett
Posted in Inside the Bills