Arizona Cardinals LB Schofield ready to meet expectations
Entering his third year out of Wisconsin, the linebacker knows the team needs him to become a consistently effective player.
The 25-year-old wants the exact same thing for himself.
"I really had to focus on what was important to me," he told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf. "This is a business, you're not guaranteed to be here and this is something that I love to do, this is something that I want to do.
"And in order to do that there are sacrifices I had to make."
Schofield said he put his musical aspirations to the side so he could devote all his attention to becoming a dominant football player. The linebacker was a fourth-round pick in 2010, but slid that far only because of a torn ACL suffered during the week of the Senior Bowl.
But now, fully healthy and entering training camp as a projected starter, Schofield plans on improving on the 4.5 sacks he tallied last season.
"I have some very high goals for myself," he said. "I know there are high expectations for myself from the outside world, but the position that I'm in to actually be a starter in the NFL coming into camp, I don't take that lightly."
That's not to say Schofield is taking his starting job for granted, as he's practicing as if a job is on the line.
"Just the other day, for the first time, I made my first error in practice," he said. "I've been mistake-free through camp so far, and I'm just trying to be that guy everyone wants me to be."
"I didn't like that too much in the media, I felt like people thought I was stupid," he said. "I'm not at all. I'm a very, very intelligent person."
That led to meeting with the coaches and going over everything from practice plays to game plays, which then led to more snaps for Schofield.
That's what happens when a young player gets better.
"I feel like I've taken some very big strides from last year," Schofield said, adding his study habits as well as his play have improved. "Just being the player that I was last year to where I'm at now I think I'm a lot more focused and everything's easy."
If things are easy for the linebacker on Sundays, look out.
"As long as I can stay healthy I know that I will make plays and I will make things happen," he said. "I trained so hard -- I trained the whole offseason for this moment.
"It's time for me to cash in, it's time for me to reap what I've sewed."
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