Getting the opportunity to be on the field during a game the past few weeks has been incredibly exciting. I mean, how much better than that can things get?
It was a last-minute decision by the coaches each week I was active, or that is what they told me. I guess it isn't that surprising that the decision isn't made until a few hours before game time. They want to keep their options open as far as players are concerned.
For me, it was both an easy and a difficult transition. It was easy because this is something I have wanted for so long. The adrenaline was pumping and I felt really ready to go out there, both mentally and physically. The difficult part in the beginning was the speed of the plays. It's a lot quicker out there than it seems to be from the sideline.
As I think other rookies have told you, everything is so much more intense in a regular-season game. It's the same difference between college and the pros. Hits are a lot harder. Everybody's job is on the line, so you can be sure they are going to want to show the coaches their best work.
For me, anticipation was a big part of things as well. I felt I needed to be up mentally all of the time, never knowing for sure when I would get the call to play. It's not that I am relaxing more now that I have played, but more that my confidence level has gone up some. I've been there, and I know I can do the work.
It was fun to go to Toronto for the last game. Although none of us had much down time to look around the city, it was definitely a good experience to be in another country. I guess the NFL is hoping that fans develop in Canada as well as here. The flight was easy, so we had time to relax before game day. That makes a big difference when you have time to rest and prepare.
I don't think we took Buffalo at all for granted. They are a good team, and sometimes a team that really needs a win will be harder to play than a team with a better record.
I particularly enjoyed being in the mix on the special-teams play. I think that, unlike some teams in the league, the Bears make special teams a huge part of their game plan. We feel that focus and do everything we can to make things go well.
Getting the game against Buffalo right after bye week was good timing. You're always a lot fresher after a little time off. The players that were tired or injured had the chance to rest. All of us could relax and get ready to focus on the game.
I felt comfortable running around out there. My conditioning was good. And when I was not in the game, it was helpful to watch our cornerbacks doing their thing. With Zack Bowman injured, there is more pressure on all of us at that position to produce and to play well.
It's different when you are active. You watch what the vets do, then you can go out there and do some of those moves yourself. That's a great way for a rookie to learn. I particularly enjoyed Charles Tillman's interception near the end of the game. I'd love to make a play like that.
The Vikings are coming up this weekend in a home game for us at Soldier Field. It'll be great to be out there in front of our fans again. Although there were a lot of Bears fans that went to Toronto to watch us, it's always fun to have that huge noise level when we play in Chicago.
Minnesota has had its ups and downs this season, just as we have. I've watched them on television quite a bit, and I'm interested in seeing their game film here at Halas Hall. We all know that Brett Favre and his receivers are really good, but the other thing I noticed is the high quality of their special-teams play. They are fast, and they hit hard. We're definitely going to have a challenge going on out there.
I'm optimistic and confident. This team is playing well, and I think the communication on each side of the ball has improved from week to week. We all understand that this is the beginning of the most important time of the football season. November and December are when you want the wins and the positive momentum to carry the team into the playoffs.
It will be a new experience for me playing so long into the year, but I feel rested and ready to go. I'm working on speed, acceleration, agility and timing. I feel that I can contribute to this team. Really, the only thing I am not looking forward to is the change that's coming in the weather. I'm from Florida. The vets that are from the south tell me they can't wait to see me shivering and shaking on the field. I think I'll be so excited just to be playing that I won't really notice the cold.
But I could be wrong on that.
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BR Rookie Diary: Moore, 4th Entry
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