Want to be entertained and inspired while watching NFL games?
Then watch Miami Dolphins receiver Mack Hollins – No. 86 on the field, and soon to be No. 1 in your heart – many football insiders do some of the hardest work in the sport.
There are many difficult tasks associated with this brutal game that America is plagued with.
Offensive linemen typically play every snap of a game, wrestle in the trenches and engage 300-pound men in every game.
In a quarterback everything is on his shoulders, and everyone plays behind him. He is an extension of his coach on the field, with enough sense of offense to avoid conflict.
Cornerbacks have the most thankless job in professional sports because the rules are stacked against them, and all it takes is a bad game – a blown assignment – and that can result in potential disaster.
But there is a punt-team role called “Gunner”, an assignment that only warriors like Hollins can handle because it is a task not for the meek.
A gunner is a player who lines up near the sideline on the punt, often 5–10 times in a game, with the task of moving downfield as quickly as possible to eventually tackle the punt returner. The main challenge of being a gunner is usually to have at least one defender in your way.
And if the player is one of the best in their craft like Hollins, game plans are made for them, and usually two players try to jam him, drive him out of bounds, and ideally give him Gatorade. push into the table as well as snap each particular team.
This is why playing gunner in the NFL is like engaging in a street fight while on the run.
“Imagine getting on the treadmill and turning it up to the fastest speed possible and you have to make it for five or six seconds. Then imagine two of your friends trying to knock you off the treadmill the whole time and you Stay there,” said Hollins, describing the role of Gunner. “Then once you get to the end, you have to stop someone walking in the opposite direction who is at a standstill, who Can cut in any direction and also be stable. [have to] Tackle. It’s tough but it’s the stuff I love.”
Hollins admitted that Gunners representative is his favorite sport in football. He keeps it right there with a scoring touchdown. He is aware enough to admit his hustle on special teams that has allowed him to forge a five-year NFL career.
Gunners usually play the game like their career depends on it, as it usually does. So it is a job usually conducted by end-of-roster players. But good guys, Hollins and Walt Akens types, can play in the NFL for half a dozen years.
And teams usually panic when something happens to their gunners.
With cornerback Elijah Campbell likely to be hampered by a toe injury that limited his practice participation this week, the Dolphins called Jamal Perry from the practice squad, primarily for him to play the gunner opposite Hollins. to fill.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores learned the intricacies that come with being a gunner while serving as a special team assistant in New England. It was his first coaching job in the NFL in 2008, and that’s when he discovered the physicality needed to be successful as a gunner.
“It’s probably the hardest thing in sport because to call it a sport, a specific sport,” Flores said. “You have to be tough mentally, tough physically. You have to be strong. You have to be fast. And it’s hard… only the strong survive.”
And this explains why Hollins, who led the team with seven special teams, gained so much respect in Miami’s locker rooms that he was named captain of a team before the season began, despite the offense But did not play a significant role.
Dolphins players and coaches claim that Hollins’ high-energy style and positive vibe are infectious. And his attack-per-day, -assignment-challenge mentality is inspiring.
Give him a chance, and maybe Hollins can even inspire you to change your outlook on life.
“Soon I’ll Be In A Box Covered With Dirt. So If I Live My Life Like ‘Oh It’ [life] sucks, ‘Okay then get in the dirt first. You can also live your life and make the most of it,” said Hollins, who has caught 10 passes for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns this season. “Yeah, you’re gonna have [expletive] Times. everybody has [expletive] Times. but there are some who have [bad] Time and again they run out of time and they don’t have time.
“So you won’t have time, or find a way to have a good time?” He continued. “I’d rather find a way to have a good time. That might sound weird. Like why is your outlook on life like you might be dead? Because I have so much time left. Why not enjoy it take?”