*Rookie sixth-round draft choice Korey Hall just completed his first NFL training camp, and Packers.com has been chronicling his thoughts and experiences in this training camp diary.
Hall was a linebacker at Boise State but has been converted to fullback by the Packers. He's also a regular on all the special teams units, where he excelled as a college player.
In this sixth and final installment, Hall discusses winning the starting job at a brand new position, grinding through the lengthy training camp and preseason games, and looking forward to the official start of his NFL career on Sunday, Sept. 9.*
Every time I think about being the starting fullback, it's definitely surprising. Six months ago, I would never have imagined that I'm in the position I am now. But I'm kind of getting used to the idea of it, so that's nice.
I don't know exactly what the coaches saw that they liked. I just tried to do things that had been working for me before in college. That's all I know how to do. I try to stay healthy and be coachable and be tough, and the whole camp the coaches were talking about wanting tough, smart football players, and that's something I tried to be. I think I still have a lot of work to go, but I'll keep doing a lot of the same things I did through camp and hopefully stay healthy throughout the season.
Especially in the last week or two, I've started to feel more like a fullback. When I first got here, it was definitely a steep learning curve all the way through camp, and now I'm getting to the point where I pretty much understand all the plays. Now it's just a matter of focusing on my technique and footwork and all the small things that can make you better. That's the point I'm at right now.
The toughest part is just NFL camp. It's long, it's rough, and I've heard our camp isn't as rough as some. The fact that you're away from all your friends and family and you're putting in full days of the same stuff, just learning and playing football and getting banged up each day, it's just a matter of staying tough during camp. There are a lot of times you get to the point where you're tired and sore and you don't want to do it anymore, and you just have to keep grinding. That's probably been the toughest part.
Looking back on camp and the preseason games, there are a lot of moments that stick out in my mind, good and bad. There are plays in games where I've had pass protection and I've picked up the right guy when they're sending a complicated blitz. But then there's also plays, like the other day in practice, where I ran a flat route and dropped a ball that hit me in the hands. It's a routine play for us and we do it every day, and it reminds you how you have to keep getting better each day, and that you have to keep practicing and sharpening your skills, so you don't make those types of mistakes in a game.
It's hard to say what it will be like to run out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field next Sunday. It's definitely a big deal for me because it's been a goal of mine for a long time now, to play in the NFL. Originally I thought I'd be doing that at linebacker, and I think the main thing is I've accomplished my goal. I'm going to have a chance to play in the NFL and hopefully have a great career. I think whenever you can accomplish a goal that size, and there are people who thought that might not be possible for me, it makes me feel really good to have been able to do that.
I think the biggest thing for me right now is to take everything one day at a time, one game at a time, and that's how I've been throughout camp and that's been working. Like I said, I have a long way to go, and each week I learn so much. I need to keep doing that, and don't ever flat-line. Just keep trying to learn as much as I can about the position, and I'm going to try to watch some of the veterans on the team and see how they're doing things, and also try to stay healthy throughout the season.