Since signing during training camp, linebacker Gerald Hodges has slowly worked his way into significant playing time. The veteran, who came into the league with the Vikings in 2013 and who has also played for the 49ers and Saints, sees himself as a hard-nosed linebacker. When he went to Minnesota, he styled his hair close-cropped.
"It just works with my mentality in football," he said. "A hard-nosed haircut."
But closer inspection sees a small outlier in Hodges' hair, a small tail growing out of the base of his skull in the back. That part of his style (which you can see in the picture below) is something he just started growing out. It's not about hair, per se. It's about teaching himself a life lesson.
"That's just working with my patience, learning how to be patient with myself," Hodges said. "Most people wouldn't see it when I first started (growing it) and if they did they thought it was funny. But I knew that, if I was patient enough, I knew what the outcome would look like."
The self-help has made a difference, Hodges insists. He has found himself becoming more patient, which is "helping me on the field, helping me in life."
How long will he let it grow? "As long as it can go," Hodges said. "Wish you guys would have seen it from the start."