Rout, serious injury dampen spirits

Chargers rookie DB Drayton Florence reflects on the team's return to the loss column and Tim Dwight's medical scare.

Updated: November 18, 2003, 12:30 PM ET
By Drayton Florence | Special to ESPN.com

Editor's note: Defensive back Drayton Florence, taken in the second round of this year's NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, will chronicle his rookie experiences in a weekly diary for ESPN.com.

Drayton Florence
Florence
When I first joined the Chargers and began my rookie season, several veterans told me that life in the NFL, especially the first year in the league, had many peaks and valleys. I personally experienced this the last two weeks.

Two Sundays ago, we were sky high after our victory against the Vikings. We played great. This past Sunday we suffered a setback against the Denver Broncos.

Everything we did right against the Vikings, we didn't do against the Broncos. I don't have to say how disappointing it was for all of us. We didn't execute, we made mistakes and most of all, we didn't make plays.

It's tough because we had a chance to put together a winning streak and gain ground on Denver and Kansas City. It was a blown opportunity for us, but we can't dwell on it. We've got to put it behind us, work hard this week and get ready for our game against Cincinnati.

One of the bright spots for us was the play of Donnie Edwards. He was all over the field. He didn't quit, played hard every play and made 18 tackles. It was the type of performance that rubbed off on me and showed me that you never should quit playing. I think I play hard every play and when you see one of your teammates continuing to play hard while your team is behind, it makes you want to do the same. As I said, I play hard every snap and after I've been in the league for a while, I want people to recognize that I play hard every play, just like Donnie did on Sunday.

We had one major injury. Our punt returner and wide receiver Tim Dwight suffered a collapsed lung during the game. T.D. had to stay overnight in a Denver hospital and should return to San Diego sometime in the next couple of days. T.D.'s injury was a terrible ending to a terrible day.

It's life in the NFL. It can be great and it can be tough. To be a success you have to want to get better, hang in there during the tough times and put the work in to get better. Speaking for me, I'll do whatever it takes and put in as much work as necessary to get better and I believe there are 52 other guys in our locker room who will do the same.

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