Last Sunday's game in Detroit might not have been what some people expected to see, but to the players it was a demonstration of adjustments that can be made and the good results that can come from that.
Detroit was using its third-string quarterback, so although we had studied its offensive moves, we didn't have much film on what Drew Stanton would be doing in that situation. We started a little slow and were caught a few times on some of their running and passing schemes, and the game went into the half with more points on the board than we had expected from the Lions.
I've been asked if coach Lovie Smith was really angry in the locker room at the half. I guess I'd say that he was more firm than furious. He gave very clear directives as far as the adjustments he wanted to see. As a defense, we understood that it was our job to get back into the game and shut down the Lions. We increased our tempo on defense and altered some coverage. That worked well.
In retrospect, it was almost two completely different games between the first and second halves of play. During the first half, we just couldn't get it done. In the second half, the game turned around for us and we regained positive momentum. Our record now stands at 9-3, and we're ready to turn our attention to the Patriots, who we will face this coming weekend at Soldier Field.
I watched the Patriots-Jets game on Monday night. It's clear that New England is at the top of its game right now. I think most of us had expected to see a much closer game than the way it turned out. Tom Brady was really sharp all of the time. His offense had it going in both the running and passing games.
I spent most of my time studying his receivers. They run strong routes and seem to be able to escape some tough defense. The challenge that I see is Brady's mobility and his ability to disguise the schemes. You never know where he's going to be throwing the ball. As you can imagine, we will be spending a lot of our time in the film room this week studying for this game.
The forecast for game day is not particularly good, with snow and a strong wind predicted. We'll have to be prepared not only for the Patriots' regular offensive schemes, but whatever alterations they make to allow for that weather. Turnovers and takeaways could be a significant factor in the outcome.
Personally, I have been inactive for the past few games. I was asked how frustrating that might be. Really, it's fine. I'd definitely like to be out there on game day, but I know my time will come. It took me years of playing football to reach this level. I can be patient until the coaches feel it's time for me to come in. Each day, I'm out there in practice working as if I'll be playing on Sunday. You never know when your name is going to be called. When that happens, the coaches expect you to be ready.
During the games, I am always on the edge of the sideline watching everything. I make mental notes and ask the veterans later if I have any specific questions about what I've seen. When the defense comes off of the field, I listen in on what the players are saying. It helps me understand what's going on.
I study the teams in our division particularly hard. I know we'll be going against them twice during the season, and any information we can get on them is good for us.
The only thing I am probably missing out on is getting accustomed to the increased speed of play during games as opposed to during practice. That's hard to duplicate unless you are in a game situation. But that's something I am confident I'll be able to catch up on once I'm in on a Sunday. I work hard every single day with the goal of becoming better and better and contributing to this team.
What I've learned while being inactive is that you never know for sure if you'll be dressing on Sunday until around noon the day before. Mentally and physically, you always have to be prepared to play. I have been working hard on my conditioning and study equally hard, so I am ready if I get the call. It's just part of the overall rookie experience, so I go along and learn as much as I can during this process.
There are some tough games coming up. The division games are what I see as particularly important to our team, for obvious reasons. Our record within the NFC is very strong right now, and we'd definitely like to keep it that way. We play away against both the Vikings and Packers during the next couple of weeks. While the game against the Patriots is our immediate focus, I see those division games as crucial to our overall success.
We have the division lead now, and that's the position we'd like to stay in as the season winds down.
Joshua Moore and other first-year Bears are putting together their Rookie Diary entries with correspondent Beth Gorr throughout the 2010 season exclusively for BearReport.com.
BR Rookie Diary: Moore, 5th Entry
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