Former Cougar seeks NFL spot
Offensive lineman Dustin Dickinson played on the UH football team for four years. Though he went undrafted in 2000, Dickinson was picked up as a free agent by the Seahawks and is going through training camp in Seattle.
The Daily Cougar: How do you like the training camp? Dickinson: It’s great. The Daily Cougar: How long have you been in Seattle now? Dickinson: Two weeks. The Daily Cougar: How’s the weather? Is it hot like down here or is it kind of nice? Dickinson: Actually, it’s cold. I think today was like 55 (degrees). I could see my breath during practice. It’s crazy as far as the weather goes. It’s June 3 and I can see my breath. It’s probably 100 degrees down there.
The Daily Cougar: How’s practice going? Dickinson: It’s going pretty good. It’s hard learning a new system because it’s not anything like what Coach Briles ran. But all the coaches are really nice and work with me and all the players are great too, so no problems whatsoever. The Daily Cougar: What kind of differences do you see in the systems? Dickinson: We do a lot more pulling the guards, where Coach Briles’ offense was a real spread offense and you had the ball flying around everywhere.
The Daily Cougar: Are you living with other people from the team? Dickinson: Right now they’re putting up all the rookies in a hotel in a little town outside of Seattle called Bellevue. The Daily Cougar: How are you and the other rookies getting along? Do you see each other a lot or just in practice? Dickinson: We spend a lot of time together, not only meetings, but also we’re all in the same hotel, so we see each other all the time on the field and off. There’s a really good camaraderie there.
The Daily Cougar: How does it feel to be a rookie again, to kind of start over and be on a new team? Dickinson: It’s great, but at the same time it’s kind of hard because it’s always hard to go through a big change like that. But it’s nice to be able to go through that transition and be where I am. It’s kind of bittersweet. You’re heading off to become an NFL member, but at the same time, you’re a small fish in a big pond.
The Daily Cougar: What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make? How often do you talk to your family? Dickinson: The biggest adjustment, I guess, is being away from my family. Since I graduated in December, we were able to hang out quite a bit and get close again. And before, when I was in Houston, the good thing was if I got homesick I could pop in the car and five hours later I’m back home and now I’m all the way across the country. That’s a little different, but we talk. I talk to my mom or my dad pretty much every day on the phone. It’s always hard, but it’s kind of (part) of this business, to create new friends and new relationships.
The Daily Cougar: You’re going to be there for another two weeks? Dickinson: Yes, this is mini-camp. We go again next Monday to Thursday. After that all the vets will leave. The rookies have Friday off and then we have workouts Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the following week. Then we fly to Ohio on Wednesday to see the NFL Hall of Fame and then Thursday I come back to Texas. The Daily Cougar: How long do you get to stay here? Dickinson: I have a month and a week off. July 22 – I believe it is when we report back. That’s depending if I get through camp or not, so I’m just trying to get through this one. You just try not to get too ahead of yourself, you know?