Players on NFL bubble look to avoid knock from dreaded 'Turk’
You're sitting in your dorm room dreading the knock on the door that may or may not come. The most chilling words you can hear if that knock does come are ... "coach wants to see you, bring your playbook.”
We call that guy who gives you the bad news the “Turk” and back in ‘78 he paid me a visit in my Widener dorm room. At 6:45 a.m. that day my NFL dream was shattered because of that nightmarish visit.
Denny Franks was my roommate back then and we laugh at the moment now, but at the time a couple of grown men, special teams tough guys, shed a lot of tears. Without a doubt it was a bittersweet moment as one of us got a stay of execution of sorts while at the same time losing your best friend as a teammate.
When we heard the knock we both looked at each other hoping it was the other guy The Turk was seeking.
The Turk looked at me with sad eyes and reluctantly took me to see Coach Vermeil who was more broken up than to me have to give me the bad news (Coach brought me back 3 games into the season ... but that’s another story).
At the Eagles practice the other day Billy Davis, the new defensive coordinator, and I were cracking up over my getting axed in '78 as it was his dad, Bill Davis, who was The Turk back then. It wasn’t a great day in the Davis household when they heard I was cut and they found out it was their dad who did the knocking. I had formed quite a bond with their family and Billy was 10 or something. His dad and I are still very close friends and he told me Billy and the rest of the family didn’t talk to him for two weeks.
Billy was a ball boy for us back then I have to say I how proud and happy I am for him that he is with us now as an Eagle again! He bleeds Eagle green like all of fans here do.
Between now and August 31st a lot of guys around the NFL will be sweating it out as they sit on the “bubble” before the final cut down to 53 players. That’s about 22 players per team who are living their dream to play in the NFL -- men who gave it everything they had only to be told they don’t have what it takes. Marginal guys like me trying to fit in, playing a role with a fierce passion, and trying to make an impact to make an NFL roster.
For many of them their savior will be their fierce play on the bomb squads, like it was for me. These men will be nervously sitting on the edge of their bed hoping the knock never comes signaling a visit from the dreaded Turk and those chilling words ... “bring your playbook!”