Former Los Altos star Shaun Cody, left, hopes to keep working on Sundays.
The National Football League, as a business, can be quite cruel.
There are no provisionals in the NFL. The best players play, and those who don’t fit that criteria, must look elsewhere.
Former Los Altos High School star Shaun Cody finds himself right in the middle of that world. Cody, who after earning All-America status at USC and being regarded enough for the Detroit Lions to select him in the second-round of the 2005 NFL Draft, is now playing with his roster spot on the line this exhibition season.
It’s a system that Cody truly understands.
“I don’t take it as pressure,” Cody told Detroitlions.com. “I just take it as a chance to compete for a spot. I know we’ve got a lot of defensive tackles and the reality is you can only keep so many. All you can do is go out and compete.
“If you put pressure on yourself, that’s when guys tend to worry about it. You can’t lose sleep over it, but go out there and compete. If you’re the guy for the spot and they think you can perform and play to what they want you to, that’s the only thing you can hope for.”
Cody, who played in all 16 games, starting two his rookie year in 2005 and 15 games last season, has played in all of the team’s three exhibition games, recording four tackles. Cody, who is listed as the team’s No. 2 nose tackle, gets his last chance to state his case when the Lions travel to Buffalo to face the Bills on Thursday.
“I need to go out there and produce,” Cody said. “I know I’ve had a good camp up to this point and now it’s just time to prove it. That’s when you’ve got to prove it. It doesn’t matter what you do in practice. In the end, it’s what you can put on tape and what you can show on film.”