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Samuda Has A Year To Remember

Posted Feb 4, 2013

Hometown product took advantage of rookie camp invite.

Back in May less than a week after the 2012 NFL Draft, Josh Samuda was happy just to have gotten an invite to the Miami Dolphins’ rookie mini-camp. By season’s end, he had 16 games under his belt.

Having played his high school football at nearby Hollywood Hills, Samuda dreamed of playing in the stadium that was right around the corner from his elementary school. Thanks to his hard work throughout training camp and the preseason, he realized that dream in the preseason opener when he got on the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and again two weeks later against the Atlanta Falcons.

Samuda wound up as the backup behind starting center Mike Pouncey and actually took a couple of snaps on the road at the Indianapolis Colts on November 4th. Pouncey hurt his knee at the end of a run by Daniel Thomas and left the field to be examined, so Samuda filled in until the end of the third quarter. When the season wrapped up on December 30th at the New England Patriots, he had a greater appreciation for how far he had come since closing out his college career at UMass.

“It’s been a long trip, being where I was at and not having really any looks from any other teams,” said Samuda, who was signed as an undrafted free agent on May 4th. “So just to be able to come in and work for the coaches and show them that I had some talent and could play here really paid off. I’m just grateful that I’m fortunate and there are a lot of people that would love to be in my shoes.”

To have the chance to learn from a Pro Bowl-caliber center in Pouncey and from a veteran guard in Richie Incognito that just played in his first Pro Bowl meant a lot to Samuda. Just watching them in practice and in games rubbed off on the 6-foot-3, 315-pound lineman who didn’t play football until his junior year in high school.

Samuda also soaked in everything he could from offensive line coach Jim Turner and saw immediate results, much the same as third-year right guard John Jerry. The emphasis that Turner placed on proper conditioning and technique rubbed off on the English-born Samuda.

“Coach Turner is one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around,” Samuda said. “He knows how to treat guys and he’s a very good coach. He’s always teaching us technique and never gets away from that. He has a fun time with us and that’s how we come to work. We don’t come to work stressed out because Coach Turner helps us every day just being able to come to work and focus.”

Headed into his first NFL offseason, Samuda has a clear vision of what he wants to do to ensure his spot on the 2013 roster and perhaps even increase his playing time.

“The one thing I’m concerned about is just getting in better shape,” Samuda said. “I want to get in better shape, get stronger and look at more film. That’s all I can think of.”

Actually, that’s much more that what Samuda was thinking about last year at this time.