Coming from a mid-major school and being drafted in the seventh round, Washington Redskins cornerback E.J. Biggers knows that he needs to make the most of every opportunity.
Now in his sixth NFL season – and his second with the Redskins – Biggers says his mindset is to "never take a day off."
"You just have to always be ready to work every single day," the Western Michigan product said. "It's business, no matter what round you were drafted in. When you're here, you're here. Just be ready to work all the time.
Biggers said "whatever the team, coaches, this organization needs, you've just got to be willing to do that and try to do everything you can to do your job."
"The average length of career in this league isn't very long, so you're just trying to beat the odds at all times," Biggers said. "Nothing is guaranteed at this level."
With a full season with the Redskins under his belt, Biggers said he feels a lot more comfortable in defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's scheme.
"It feels good," Biggers said. "Learning the ins and outs of the defense and knowing what everybody else has to do isn't easy. ... Last season, it was like game planning and scheme-wise and knowing what I have to do, but now the defensive line, linebackers – I know what everybody is going to do. It's just very comfortable being in my second year."
One way Biggers gets himself ready for games is by following a routine that he knows will get him mentally prepared.
That is both individually and with a tightly-knit defensive backs unit.
"You try to have a routine because at the end of the day, you want to do the same things that's made you successful and got you to this point," he said. "When I got here, we do a pregame chant -- that was the first time we did it as a group.
"That's the first time I ever did a chant or something before a game. You always break it down as a group, but that was something I really liked. It really gets us fired up and locks you in as a group when you're about to take the field – let's play for each other, let's go play for this team and this defense."
As the season progresses, Biggers said he wants to continue to feed off strong performances from his teammates, and hopefully generate some turnovers, as well.
"Everybody's just feeding off each other and playing a lot faster," Biggers said. "When Perry Riley Jr. screams up the field and makes a great play, it feeds off on everybody else. It helps me in my reads even quicker and having Ryan Clark here, it makes it more fun.
"We're just all playing off each other and we're just trying to gain on the good things we did last year."