For as many issues as he may have had with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly last season, the 2015 season has had to be the most frustrating year of Brandon Boykin‘s professional career, having had to bide his time on the bench all the while being confident that he could help his team win.
Despite the fact that his sparse public comments have made it pretty easy to read between the lines the level of frustration that he has dealt with while standing on the sidelines on Sundays, he has maintained a level of professionalism about the situation that I think is commendable.
It certainly can’t be easy to be left on the sidelines by a coaching staff that seems unwilling to give you the opportunity to merely show that you can continue to do what you have already shown that you are able to do, only in a different part of the state in which you have already done it.
Through it all, the veteran cornerback has learned to let go of expectations, even as he acknowledged that he was worked in with the first-team defense during practice yesterday on the heels of head coach Mike Tomlin’s comments that they would explore their options in the secondary after Sunday’s loss.
“We’ll see what is going to happen”, he said after practice, which is likely the same thing everybody else is saying. Not until he is on the field will Tomlin’s critics accept the possibility that he is open to playing Boykin.
“Despite everything that has been happening the entire season I have a responsibility as a professional to go about my business and do it the right way”, he said, adding that “whatever happens is going to happen”.
“The thing I learned is to stay in the moment, don’t have expectations, don’t do anything out of the norm for you” is what he gave the media. The comment about letting go of expectations was particularly striking, I found.
He acknowledged that his experience in Pittsburgh has been different, describing it as a “change” and a “transition”, going from being a regular and consistent defensive contributor to a substitute player in case of injury. “It’s a learning experience”, he said, “and this week is no different”.
The fact that he stated outright that “I need to maintain my professionalism” certainly hints at the level of frustration that he has experienced beneath the surface about his inability to get on the field for anything other than special teams.
It’s been tough knowing I am capable of being a great player. I don’t control anything but myself. I don’t have crazy reactions to things when they don’t go my way. You just have to take a step back and be a professional about the situation. The NFL isn’t fair, life isn’t fair. That is one of those lessons in life where I am sure I will be able to grow from it knowing I am better from it on and off the field.