BR Rookie Diary: Wootton, 3rd Entry

In this entry for the 2010 Bear Report Rookie Diary, Corey Wootton writes about when he found out he would be inactive for Week 1 and doing his best to progress as a pro by learning from the sideline.

It was great to get the win last Sunday. I was watching on the sideline with great interest, as you can imagine.

When Detroit had the pass play to the end zone, it seemed to be incomplete. In fact, I was quite surprised when one of the refs first called it as a touchdown. I thought our defense did a really good job shutting the Lions down from that point on. It was important to us to get the win, particularly since it was a home game.

I was inactive last weekend, which is something you come to expect as a rookie. The important part is to watch everything. It's a really good earning experience. I'd listen to the guys talk when they were off the field, then see exactly what they did when they were playing. It's surprising how much you can learn about technique from doing that.

The atmosphere at Soldier Field was different on Sunday from what I'd experienced earlier. There was a real sense of excitement amongst the fans. That makes the entire experience much more interesting for the players, as well. I can't wait to get into a game and find out what it's like on the field for myself.

In terms of my development, I am mostly satisfied with my progress so far. There's always room for improvement, however. I've been refining my technique, working in the weight room and trying to improve my timing. One thing I noticed during the game last weekend is the increased speed of each play, so I know that when I get in there it will be extremely important to have quick reaction time.

The vets continue to help all of the rookies, which really makes a difference in our learning curve. We all feel free to ask them anything. They also take the time to work with us one on one, either before or after practice, if we ask for that. It really builds confidence to know that your teammates are looking out for you.


DE Corey Wootton
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

I found out that I'd be inactive three days before the game. That is helpful in the sense that you don't get your hopes up, then find out at the last minute that you won't be playing. But one of these weeks, I hope to be hearing good news and get the chance to be out there.

One thing I did last weekend was watch the Northwestern-Northern Illinois game. It was fun to see my former teammates out there. The Cats look strong, and I'm hoping they will have a really good season. I've stayed in touch with a lot of the guys. They ask me questions about the NFL, and I check in to see what's up with my old team. That's one of the great things about being with the Bears: I'm still pretty close geographically to where I played college ball. I think it makes the transition a little easier.

We have a road trip game coming up this weekend against Dallas. We've been studying the film, and it's clear that our defense will have a challenge with Tony Romo and his offense. I was really impressed with our effort against Detroit and feel that our guys will put in a strong game. We'll be spending the rest of the week working out schemes and planning strategy.

This will be my first away game during the regular season, and I'm definitely looking forward to it. There should be a loud home-field crowd, and it will be our job to get them out of the game as quickly as possible. The stadium is supposed to be pretty impressive, and it should be interesting to find out exactly what it's like.

Between now and then, I'll be working as hard as I can just trying to get better each and every day.


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Corey Wootton and other first-year Bears are putting together their Rookie Diary entries with correspondent Beth Gorr throughout the 2010 season exclusively for BearReport.com.


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