KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been a good offseason for Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay.
The young defensive player has been having an excellent preseason and training camp and has the makings to become a star in the NFL. When asked about how well he’s set himself up for the season, he said being in a good mental space helps everything.
“When you take care of your mental [health], it puts you in a good position to where everything else handles itself.”
“Come into work in a good mood even if it’s not a perfect day I know how to get myself right.
“It carries over. Next thing you know I’m having good practices. Next thing you know it carries to the games and making plays. Everybody just thinks it’s because of preparation, but really it’s cause it’s all a step each and every day, each and every week to be good mentally.”
Getting baptized and getting closer to God is what Gay said helped him the most.
“Knowing where my foundation is, knowing where my real problems were,” Gay said. “Still not perfect of course, but when I handled that [situation] and told Him I just wanna live right, everything else fell into place and is still falling into place.”
While it is unclear what that “situation” is, Gay may be referring to when he was arrested in January for allegedly breaking a vacuum during an argument with the mother of his child. The woman also accused him of aggressively pushing her into a couch and throwing her phone while she was talking to the police.
Gay pleaded guilty and agreed to mental health counseling as part of the plea agreement with prosecutors in June. In return, the Chiefs linebacker will avoid a trial and any potential jail time.
The 24-year-old said getting his mental health in a good place and keeping positive energy is what helps him succeed on the field.
“We can lose a game, I can get hurt, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what’s on my mind, what’s in my heart. That’s what transitions into big games and big plays being made because I didn’t fall down when bad things happened.
“I carried on.”
As Gay and the defense prepare for Kansas City’s final preseason game, he said he has no clue how long the starters will play.
“However long Coach Reid want us to.”
The Chiefs host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday at 7 p.m.