Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.
Lousaka Polite’s wait was much shorter this season.
The Falcons signed Polite, a fullback, on Saturday after losing rookie Bradie Ewing for the season with a knee injury. The deal came nearly three weeks after the start of training camp.
Polite didn’t join the Patriots last season until the final week of the regular season, getting a call in late December. He played in the final game as well as three postseason games, including Super Bowl XLVI.
“It used to be but this is my ninth year,” Polite told the AJC when asked if the offseason was difficult waiting for a call from a team. “You know how to keep your temperament at a certain level and not panic. Last year, I learned that you have to stay ready. I signed with the Patriots in Week 17. If you can sit out 16 weeks and get a call on Christmas Day, you know how to keep focused and not let the distractions from outsiders asking when you are going to get picked up [get in the way]. You have to keep that aside and focus on the task at hand and that’s staying in shape and staying ready for your call. That’s all that really matters.”
Polite, who is wearing No. 45, is getting a crash course in the Falcons playbook in hopes to be ready for their next exhibition game, Thursday against the Bengals at the Georgia Dome. He was able to practice on Sunday because the team was not in pads. He will not be able to participate today because pads will be worn. Under the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement, players have a three-day acclimation period before they can participate in a padded practice.
“It took a while to ingest some of this offense but it’s coming along pretty well,” Polite said. “I like what I’m doing so far. I just have to keep it up.
“Luckily, I have been around enough offenses that some things make sense. At the same time, some of the terminology carries over and you might get mixed up. You really have to drill it with repetition.”
Polite, who played his college football at Pittsburgh, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys in 2004. He spent three seasons with the Cowboys. He has also played with the Bears, Dolphins and Patriots, who released him in March. For his career, Polite has 95 carries for 296 yards and one touchdown.
Polite is competing with Mike Cox and Lee Meisner at fullback in camp.
“It’s about executing and earning a job,” Polite said. “I didn’t come here in the beginning. There are no guarantees in this league. I’ve been cut many a time. I’m coming in here trying to get a job.”
- Chris Vivlamore
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