Inside linebacker Dennis Gardeck saw increased responsibility at practice on Friday, filling in for the injured Haason Reddick with the first team.
He didn’t feel worn out, and in order to prove it to his teammates, Gardeck did a backflip on the field in the middle of practice.
“They were questioning if I was tired or not,” Gardeck said. “‘I’ve got enough juice for a backflip, so I should be good.’ Then I was reminded that we only have a couple of inside (linebackers), and I can’t do stuff like that.”
Gardeck gave himself a perfect grade on the attempt.
“Landed it,” Gardeck said. “Stuck it. I would say it was a perfect ‘10.’”
Safety Budda Baker got a lot of attention for springing onto his feet after tackles the past two years. Gardeck said he thought about doing a backflip in warmups as a rookie but didn’t want to chance an injury.
Gardeck first started flipping in high school. His wrestling coach was a former cheerleader and helped him try it for the first time.
“He spotted me, and it’s really just that initial fear of being upside down,” Gardeck said. “Once you get over that, it’s kind of like riding a bike.”