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Ex-Spiders’ star Sidbury getting adjusted with Falcons


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By John O'Connor

Published: September 17, 2009

Former University of Richmond defensive end Lawrence Sidbury played in his first NFL game Sunday. Sidbury was on two Atlanta Falcons' special teams and got in for a few defensive plays in a 19-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Sidbury, from Cheltenham, Md., was the Falcons' fourth-round choice in the 2009 NFL Draft. He had 11.5 sacks last season for the Spiders' team that captured the Football Championship Subdivision title. The 6-3, 265-pounder also earned his degree in computer science and worked as a math tutor to high school students preparing for the state's Standards of Learning tests.

Sidbury, 23, took time Tuesday morning to reflect on his acclimation to the NFL.

How would you describe your adjustment to the NFL?

I guess the biggest thing is I never realized how much I didn't know. There's so much more detail. You've got to be a lot more situation-conscious. The people who you go against in practice are a lot better so [to distinguish yourself], you have to be that much better. Trying to get adjusted and trying to learn new things all while getting ready to play in a game, it can be difficult.

Is football still fun, or is it more of a business now?

It's still fun. You get out there and play. It's still just football outside of everything else.

Was there a moment that it hit you: 'I'm in the NFL'?

Probably my first preseason game [at Detroit], I think I felt like that. Even on the plane ride, I was thinking, 'Man, I'm about to go play in an NFL game.' The night before the game I was really nervous. I didn't sleep a lot. When I went out of the locker room, I really didn't realize what I was going to do. But during warm-ups, I kind of got a little comfortable.

Former UR head coach Jim Reid recruited you for the Spiders and is now the outside linebackers coach for the Miami Dolphins. Did you get a chance to see him after the game?

I didn't see him. I looked for him. He may have been up in the booth.

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