With the fourth and final preseason game just days away, NFL teams were forced to reduce their rosters to 75 men yesterday.
In Foxborough, the Patriots entered the day with 80 players. For the players on the bubble, the day was surely rough.
Even guys in no danger of being cut this season remember what that feeling was like.
“It’s tough,” guard Stephen Neal said. “You sit there and another cut day goes by. My first time I played in the third game, didn’t make it to the fourth game. Then the next few years it’s like, ‘Man, that day is coming.’ So you just kind of wait for that phone to ring and if it doesn’t you’re a happy man.”
Linebacker Jerod Mayo doesn’t have to worry about his job, but he has friends he’s pulling for.
“It’s stressful,” Mayo said. “It’s a stressful time. I remember my rookie year, becoming friends with Gary Guyton, and I remember the stress that he was going through as far as wondering. We were together the whole day, just to see how it was.”
As a backup quarterback in his second season, Brian Hoyer realizes his job isn’t completely safe. He said he hasn’t let that affect the way he plays on the field.
“My little brother just had his first game at varsity football at my high school, and I said, ‘The one thing I can tell you is just go out there and have fun,’” he said. “‘It’s a game.’”