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
“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
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
“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.