Kevin Dorsey stayed calm.
Through the two best weeks of his career, the Green Bay Packers' receiver has seen years of hard work finally start to pay off. A toe injury that kept him on injured reserve in 2013 is behind him. Last week, Dorsey had his first career reception, a 4-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers out of the backfield.
He has reason to be excited, and Dorsey is. Still, with a temperament that's never too high or too low, the former seventh-round draft pick is focused on business. Dorsey talked about his journey these past several months and where he'd like to build from here.
You get drafted last year, then you have to wait through an injury. What's this journey been like?
Dorsey: It's definitely been a blessing, and I'd say more or less it's been fun. Just going out there every single day, I've just been having fun and just playing and putting in a lot of hard work to get my foot back strong. I've been working on a lot of route-running things, because obviously your foot is going to deal with that directly. It's definitely a fun journey.
How much did that first catch mean to you?
Dorsey: Actually, more people were probably, I guess, maybe more excited or knowledgeable about it than myself. I was kind of just zoned out and into the game, and I didn't really think about it until after. It's unique, too, if you think about it because the first one was coming out of the backfield. You're not necessarily lining up in a traditional receiver position, so it's definitely something you'll remember. But when it first happened, I honestly didn't even think about it.
Was your phone blowing up in the locker room?
Dorsey: No, not really. I usually keep to my family, and my close knit of friends. I don't have an entourage, as some people would say. It's just my family, my close family, and a few cousins. Nothing crazy.
You did have that quiet moment to think about your journey. What did you think about in that moment?
Dorsey: Just, it's a long time coming. You get here, you work years to get to this level, and in the first year you kind of have it taken away. To finally work your butt off, and to finally come back, even if this is just one opportunity, it's still a blessing.
How much was your patience tested in the past year-and-a-half?
Dorsey: Oh, it was definitely tested. I mean, that's for every player, because one of the few guarantees in this game is you're going to get injured at some point. Everybody is a little different as far as the timeframe, when it happens. It's nice to kind of get it out of the way early in, and hopefully it's the last. But, like I said, it's been a long time coming. It's definitely a blessing to be here.
What was the low point for you last season?
Dorsey: Just from the beginning. Like I said, you worked your butt off years to finally get here, and you finally get there and it's right there in front of you, you can almost reach out and taste it. Then, to have it pulled away. But they say everything happens for a reason. God has a plan and a purpose. It wasn't my time. I guess I'd rather go through it again, because I have this opportunity now.
When you started the season on the practice squad, did you wonder whether you were going to get your opportunity?
Dorsey: Well, for me, I never look at any outside sources. I look at myself first. Actually, I don't even look at the outside sources at all. I just look at me. I said to myself, "Well, if I'm not where I want to be, it's because of me. If there was a play that was needed to be made, maybe I didn't make it, or maybe I didn't execute to the best of my abilities." When that happened, I just got back to it, started working harder in the weight room, started doing stuff on my own on the side, just every single day to make sure I could get myself to where I wanted to be.
When you got that call, and found out you were going to be signed to the 53-man roster, how much joy did you have?
Dorsey: For me, I never get too high, and I never get too low. I've definitely learned that through life. You'll always have ups and downs, so I try to keep my emotions at one level. I knew at some point, it should happen. I've been putting work in. So I just figured the more I keep putting work in, maybe the sooner it will happen. It could've been in Week 4, it could've been in Week 12. You never know. You've still got to put the work in to get that opportunity in the first place.
Still, for the hard work to pay off, how sweet did it feel?
Dorsey: It was definitely exciting. Just because I've been putting in the extra work. You think back to the times you were putting in the extra work, when you were in the weight room by yourself or something, or you come out and you go do some routes somewhere else by yourself, just to kind of work on things. You think back to those times and say, "Well, they were actually worth it. Good thing I got up and did it." But it's definitely something you think back on when you get to that moment. You say, "Yeah, it was definitely worth every piece of sweat."
You've been playing special teams right away. You got a lot of first-team special teams reps in training camp. How beneficial were they?
Dorsey: The good thing is it kept me ... I was already familiar with the playbook. It was easy to jump back into it. The calls were pretty much the same. Obviously, in preseason, you don't run some of the finer-tuned calls that you use for certain teams or what schemes they may use, but it definitely wasn't too hard to get back into it having played it already at a fast pace and a high level. So, it's just learning the new intangibles that you may necessarily need for this particular game, or this opponent, and just go from there.
Do you look at special teams as your avenue to sticking on the field more and showing your worth?
Dorsey: It's definitely an avenue to get on the field. You play receiver, and obviously you want to play receiver, but you have to play special teams, too. We've got great receivers in front of myself. You've got Jordy, you've got Randall. It's great to have people to look up to and just model yourself after them. Whenever your time comes, you just have to step up and make the play.
— firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood