STEPHON GILMORE ROOKIE BLOG: TURNING IT AROUND IN ARIZONA
By STEPHON GILMORE
Things are looking up for us now, after pulling out a victory on Sunday in overtime at Arizona. I know our defensive statistics didn't look good from our two previous games but I thought we turned it around, holding the Cardinals to 150 passing yards. We went out there with the attitude that we had something to prove.
That was a great way for the Bills to end our long stay in the Phoenix area. We were there all week, practicing at Arizona State University in Tempe, because we thought it was better to stay out West after our game at San Francisco, instead of coming home to Buffalo and then going back out again.
The team put us up at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, which made everything convenient. Everything we needed was right there at the resort, and our trip to the practice field probably took only about five minutes.
It also was a chance for me to get to know my teammates better. I spent most of my free time with the other defensive backs, and the only problem we had was that it was really hot, getting up to 95 degrees some of the time.
I spent a lot of the time watching film on Larry Fitzgerald. He obviously has great hands and is big, and I knew I'd have to be physical with him, which is how I always like to play.
The other thing I want to share with readers this week is the story behind some of my tattoos.
On my right arm I have a football and a helmet, and there's also a spot where it looks like I have a machine inside in me. The tattoo is drawn so that it looks like my skin is pulled back, revealing that I have machine-like parts inside. Kind of like a robot.
But the tattoo on my other arm is what gets the most attention. It's a big tree, and it represents my family tree, with the names of all my immediate family members written on limbs -- my mom Linda, my dad Steve, my younger brother, who's also Steve, and my four sisters, Sabrina, Sierra, Scarlet and Savannah. As you can see, almost everybody's name in our family begins with an "S."
My mom is the only oddball, and she also didn't want me to get the tattoo, because she's pretty old school. But I did it to honor my family, and show them respect. We are a big family and we're close.
I'm the oldest child and because both of my parents worked I had to babysit the younger ones on many days. But I didn't mind. I could still work out in the backyard at our house in South Carolina, where we had a basketball court. We'd stay up all night playing out there, until my mom dragged us in.
That family tree tattoo goes from my shoulder to my elbow, and I'm pretty sure that even my mom is okay with it now.
Sunday, we'll be back home and we'll try to keep it going against Tennessee. Send me a shout-out in the comments section, or give me a follow on Twitter @BumpNrunGilmOre.
The NFL Network's Mike Mayock rated Gilmore the second-best CB in the draft, where Buffalo made him the 10th overall pick. The 6-0, 190-pound Gilmore was a three-year starter for South Carolina, and was a first-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report scouting service.