It was great to get the win in Minnesota last weekend. After all the confusion as far as where the game would be held, even over when it would be held, things came together right on time to get it done. And to end up at the top of our division, that's icing on the cake. A very satisfying feeling for sure.
The field conditions weren't as bad for the players as they might have looked to the viewers watching on television. That's not to say it was pleasant. Any time you are playing in freezing rain, snow and wind, it isn't a lot of fun. But the field surface itself was better than I had expected.
We worked with the equipment crew to be sure we all had the right cleats on, and with a few exceptions everybody kept their footing pretty well.
It made me feel right at home playing in a college stadium. That field was fairly, new so the facilities in general and the locker rooms in particular were state of the art. The turf was similar to what they use at Northwestern.
We went to Evanston to practice there on Saturday just to become familiar with that type of surface. I think the only problem you can run into with artificial surfaces is that they tend to freeze when water hits them, and it's cold. Yes, it was sort of like a skating rink at times, but, as I said, most of the time we were fine.
I mentioned several weeks ago how difficult it was for me to adjust to playing in cold weather. I think I've now had my winter weather experience between playing in the blizzard at Soldier Field against New England the previous week and then fighting through the sleet in Minneapolis. What I've discovered is that the more your head is in the game, the less you are concerned about physical discomfort. You are aware of it, but then you ignore it and get back to your job. Or at least that is the way it works for me.
One question I was asked this week is whether or not I feel the communication on the offensive line is improving. I'd say definitely that it is. If you go back and watch film from each successive game as the season progresses, you'll see that our timing is improving. Our quarterback, Jay Cutler, has more time to make his moves, and we've cut down the number of sacks dramatically. The offense functions as a unit. We watch out for each other, both on and off the field. If that helps our overall progress, then it's all good.
I know there were a lot of reports in the media earlier this year as far as how bad we were and how we'd never get any better. Hopefully, by this point, we've shown there is a learning curve and that we can be effective on the field. I personally feel very comfortable at my position right now. I think I am picking up the pro technique and getting to that ideal place, where as a player you react instead of thinking about things too much.
Although we are nearing the end of December, I am noticing very few effects on my body from the longer pro season. That is what the conditioning program is for. It's particularly important for rookies, as far as helping us preserve ourselves while still being able to work well on the field. I am very careful to rest when I can, and I watch what I eat. Really, I can't do much more than that.
Christmas is coming, and with a game the next day, there won't be a lot of time to celebrate. One thing I am looking forward to is that my family is coming to town. I'm really excited about that. In a way, I am also somewhat embarrassed. If you went to my place right now you'd see no Christmas decorations, no tree and hardly any presents. I've been busy. That's my excuse, although I'm not sure my family will be too pleased about that. I haven't even had time to think about what I'd like for Christmas. I guess I'd say a successful season would be at the top of my list.
We'll have a quiet celebration on the 25th, then probably another one after the game on the 26th. The exact date doesn't matter as much as having the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends.
I'm looking forward to the game against the Jets. There was a long practice session Thursday in our indoor facility. The extra prep was important, as the game is just a few days away. We had to put the last one behind us and refocus on this weekend. The game plan is in place, and we'll be working on that pretty intensely Friday morning. Then there's a little time to relax a bit before heading downtown for the game.
I'd like to wish all the fans a happy holiday season. I hope you get the chance to enjoy this time with your loved ones. And once your celebrating is done, we'll see you at the game Sunday.
J'Marcus Webb 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: Webb, 5th Entry
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