How much fun was the Detroit game? I loved every single minute. Being out there on the field getting the job done was a wonderful experience. It just doesn't get any better than that.
This season has been a tremendous learning experience for me. I find that with each game I'm in, I get more relaxed, more confident. As a rookie it takes a while to feel comfortable in the situation of an NFL game. You tend to think about things too much and that makes you slow and ineffective.
What I've been doing is studying myself in the game film each week to see what I can improve. The more I work on each aspect of technique, the more natural doing things the correct way becomes. That makes me faster. The vets have been a real help with me on this as well. Telling me what I am doing right, what I need to correct. Constructive criticism like that is always welcome.
My body feels good and I'm comfortable mentally. I'm grateful for the increased playing time and I want to show the coaches that I deserve to be out there.
We're in a race to the playoffs right now so every game is important. To have been able to come out and make a statement against Detroit, well that was extremely important to our success as a team.
One think I saw last Sunday that I've never seen on the field before was a very obvious sense of frustration on the part of the Lions players. When we'd get a good stop, they'd get angrier and angrier. You could see the frustration building just by looking in their eyes. I think the more that they lost control emotionally, the quicker they lost control of the game. By the third quarter, it got crazy. Hard hits, helmets getting ripped off, chop blocks, consecutive penalties, all that was going on. The fights that broke out were the result of that. Just a bunch of guys who were not happy with the way things were turning out for them got everybody over the edge. It was their way of trying to change things, of regaining their momentum, I guess. Unfortunately for Detroit, it didn't work.
I was on the field near the Lions bench when all this started happening, guys out there pulling at each other, fists flying. Believe me, I had no desire to be a part of that because I didn't want to be ejected from the game. What I did try to do was to pull the guys apart. The only problem with that is the guys on the team who are fighting your team with just see another Bears uniform and they strike out against you. Luckily the players and coaches finally got everybody calmed down and the game was able to continue.
It was a great feeling in the locker room on Sunday night. There was a sense of achievement. We knew we'd put in 100 percent. I thought about it most of that night and all of Monday. A game like that doesn't happen that often so it's important to enjoy every moment.
What we want to avoid is any kind of a letdown this coming weekend against the Chargers. On paper they might not seem to be much of a challenge for us, but I've seen their film. The offense is explosive. You let any of their receivers get away from you and you're in trouble. Rivers is an accomplished quarterback, cool in the pocket. He knows what's going on out there.
We've been talking about this in practice. It's easy to get full of yourself after a big win. If that happens, you tend to go down hard the next week just because you get careless. We need every win from here on out through the season, so we are not going to allow any letdown to happen.
Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.