Two Teams in the running

I'm back at the training facility in Atlanta after a busy week. The NFL tryout was held at Northwestern University March 13. I got into Chicago Wednesday night and had a chance to catch up with Brian. Then, I went to Northwestern on Thursday morning.

The tryout was pretty much what I had expected it to be. There were scouts there from 21 pro teams. All of us had specific slots for our workouts. My time was from 9-11 a.m.

I did my usual routine including bench press, the 40,the standing broad jump, and the vertical. Usually this event is held outdoors, but this time it was inside due to the inclement weather. That's probably just as well because when it's really cold outside, it can slow down your time when you're running.

I felt comfortable with my performance. The time I have put in with Chip Smith at Competitive Edge Sports has really prepared me to handle anything the scouts asked for.

I'm going to go into the draft as a fullback. My weight is now around 245-250, which is right where it should be. At that position it's important to have the bulk, but still to be quite mobile. The feedback that my agent and I are getting now from this tryout has been quite good, which is pretty exciting.

While I was at Northwestern, I did meet with the scout from the Patriots. In last week's diary, I mentioned that the Patriots had contacted my agent and seemed interested in me. I think that the interest is continuing. My position is one they need right now as they just lost a full back to Jacksonville.

There is one more big tryout left and that's the one at Halas Hall in mid April. I'm surprised that this one is so close in time to the NFL draft, but that seems to be the way they want it. At that time I will get my chance with the Bears, which is something I have been looking forward to. Again, I am confident in my abilities. I feel that I am in good shape and that I have something to offer, so we'll see what happens after they get a look at me.

One thing that concerns many potential rookies at these events is the playing surface in various NFL stadiums. Most of us are hoping to go with a team that uses real grass. There have been a disturbing number of what we feel are turf related injuries to pro players during the past few seasons. Anybody who follows the Bears is certainly well aware of this. A young player wants to keep his physical skills as long as possible.

Well, it's back to the training routine once again to get ready for the last tryout. Then it's time to watch and wait. It's just about 4 weeks until the draft now. That seems like a very long time or a short time depending on how you look at it. I'm more excited every day. I'm doing the best I can do and I'm hoping for good results.

Beth Gorr contributed to this article.

To view Casey Urlacher's official site, "click here."


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