It's been great finally having the opportunity to be out there during games. I feel that every rep builds skills and provides experience. As a rookie, it's so important to get actual playing time. Watching from the sideline works to a certain extent as far as learning the system goes, but it's only when you are playing that you fully understand what is going on.
Physically, I feel extremely comfortable. I have no aftereffects from my injuries, and I feel I am at 100 percent. My stamina is fine. I know that there was some concern about whether or not I would be able to return at the same level I had before, but I was extremely careful to follow my conditioning program while I was unable to play. I don't think I lost any speed at all.
I'm spending quite a bit of time working on my acceleration and my agility. At the safety position, it's really important to be able to move quickly and accurately. I spend extra time after practice each day one on one with defensive backs coach Jon Hoke and any of the vets who have the time to help out. That's something I really appreciate.
At this stage in the season, some of that new rookie feeling is beginning to disappear. I've been around long enough to understand how things work and to become acclimated to the NFL. It's no longer distracting to look around on the field and see some big star I'd only seen before on TV. Now, it's just another player to me. I think that, as a young player, reaching that point is important. If you spend too much time being thrilled about who you are playing against, it isn't going to work out that well for you in the end.
The Minnesota game went pretty much the way we thought it would go. It wasn't easy, but as the game went on, I think our communication improved on all sides of the ball. From what I saw during the game and later on film, our timing was good and there was a balance between offense, defense and special teams. Everybody contributed. That will give us positive momentum going to Miami for the Thursday night game.
I was asked today if I noticed that we have increased support from the fans now that we have started winning again. Honestly, I would say that we don't spend a lot of time wondering what anybody is thinking about us.
Don't get me wrong. We greatly appreciate our fans and love it when they make noise for us at Soldier Field. It's just that, during games, and even during practice week, we are so concentrated on what we need to execute, on what we need to learn and on implementing the game plan, it's all we have time for. You can only think about one thing at a time, right? The rest will take care of itself. But the more fans who are behind us, the better. Everybody would agree on that.
The players are enjoying the success this team is having now. We are united and focused. The vets tell us that is the way you want to be during these last few months of the season.
We are all on the same page mentally. The bye week increased that feeling. We had time to relax and discuss things among ourselves. That could be one of the reasons communication is so good among our players right now.
I've been asked what I think my greatest contribution to the team is at this point in the season. I'd say that my energy and enthusiasm are what I bring to the Bears. I love this team. I really enjoy playing in the NFL. I'll do anything I can to help make good things happen. I'm happy with the way I'm being utilized and feel things will only get better from here.
We have a big game coming up Thursday. Since it's nationally televised, we know that our friends, as well as the other players in the NFL, will be watching. That's definitely added pressure. But I see that as a positive, not a negative.
We are working on the game plan right now. Since it is a short week, we are resting when we can. I don't think fatigue will be a problem, though. If you want to win enough, you ignore the fact that you might be tired. We are ready to go.
It's been a while since the team played in Miami for the Super Bowl. We are looking forward to this game, and we are looking forward to the rest of our schedule. There are challenges ahead, but it should be a lot of fun.
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BR Rookie Diary: Wright, 5th Entry
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