Ben Garland couldn’t be more prepared. The former Air Force defensive tackle spent three seasons on the other side of the line, absorbing the blows in practice from an offense known for its rushing attack and cut blocks.
“Every single day,” he recalled. “I loved it. I remember days we had no pads on and they would still cut. It’s just helmets out there. I told them, ‘This would be like a game. That’s what I want to see.’ ”