Sam Brenner began last week as a member of the Miami Dolphins practice squad. Every day, the University of Utah product came to work, went about his business, went home and repeated the process the following day.
Finally (and suddenly), it paid off. With the offensive line riddled with various issues, Brenner got the call from the coaching staff late Saturday. He was getting called up to the active roster for Miami’s game on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, who happen to be his hometown team.
Oh, and he would also be starting.
“Let’s go,” is what Brenner said was the first thought that crossed his mind. “I was just excited because I didn’t really know, it was kind of iffy and then to get the solid, ‘Hey, you’re going to be starting’, I just felt like it was a great, great opportunity to step up.”
And Brenner, along with the rest of the offensive line, did step up, as the unit played well enough to lead the Dolphins to a pivotal 20-16 victory over the Chargers.
“It was a pretty exciting situation to be in,” Brenner told the Finsiders, “especially to get to do it like that, to get to start against my hometown team and just get called up so quick and find out you’re starting right before the game, it was really, really exciting.
“My phone was blowing up after, I don’t think I’ve ever had that many text messages. Everybody back home was super excited. I actually had a couple of my close friends in town that week, so they got to see me play in the game, too, which just made it an even greater experience.”
However, Brenner is far from satisfied and isn’t taking Sunday to be anything more than it truly was—a foot in the door.
“I felt I played a pretty good game,” he said. “I felt that for my first NFL start, that was a good job, but that’s exactly what it was—it was just a start. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse, so I just go out there every day and keep my head down and try to get better every day and improve as a player.”
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