Though Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali is sidelined for the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 1 opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, backup Andy Studebaker is preparing to make the most of his increased playing time.
"You don't know how opportunity is going to come, and I say that quite a bit. That day, a team needed me to step in for an injured player," Studebaker, when asked about the opportunity, said. "You just don't know as a backup what your role is going to be and how it's going to come, but you have to be prepared.
"I think when you prepare hard and practice hard as if it's coming today - your opportunity - then you will be prepared and you'll be able to help the team out."
Studebaker will be filling in for Hali while he serves his one-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, and the five-year pro out of Wheaton expects to bring solid football fundamentals to the gridiron for Kansas City.
"I think as far as expectations, it's pretty simple. They're not asking us as a defense to do anything crazy," Studebaker said. "We just need to play sound football. We do say that quite a bit and probably sound like a broken record, but we just need 11 guys to play sound football, run to the ball and just do our jobs. Personally, just do my job and good things will happen."
When asked what 'sound football' is, Studebaker replied with this:
"Like I said, you can't go in there being someone you're not. For me, I'm going to know my job. I'm going to play as hard as I can. We're going to, as a defense, we're all going to play hard, know what we're doing, communicate effectively and put ourselves in a position to have a chance."