BR Rookie Diary: Jon Bostic

Bear Report goes one-on-one with Bears second-round rookie Jon Bostic as he prepares for his first ever meeting against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Jon Bostic started his first NFL game two weeks ago, and the Washington Redskins rolled up 499 yards and scored 45 points.

It's not fair to blame Bostic for the sub-par performance of Chicago's defense in Week 7. It was a group effort for sure, which includes the coaching staff. Unfortunately for Bostic and the rest of his defensive teammates, things don't get any easier tonight when the Bears head into Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers.

Bostic sits down with Bear Report to discuss the biggest game of his NFL career.

"It was great to have a week for some rest and relaxation, although as a rookie I never had football very far from my mind. Next on the schedule is the trip to Green Bay. I'm really excited about that and ready to enjoy my time up there and savor the experience.

"It was good to have the chance to stop and look back a little during the week off. A year ago I never thought I would be where I am today. It has gone so fast that my head is reeling."

Are you where you want to be at this point in the season?

"My short answer would be no. The minute I think I've accomplished all my goals and am good enough to do well here is the minute things won't go well. I'm always striving to be better every single day. What I am doing now isn't good enough. I'll improve in the future, but to me it's an ongoing process."

What's the overall effect of players rotating in and out of the lineup due to starters going down with injuries?

"It's sort of a double situation, I guess is how I'd describe it. Of course if you lose Lance Briggs or Jay Cutler there will be a result. Things will not proceed as they did with those two on the field.

"It can be startling when you lose a veteran. It goes through your mind immediately that you need to step up now. It's a shock in a way when that first happens. Pretty quickly though, you adjust and move on from there. For my part I'm trying to be ready by improving every day.

"However, since the first day I arrived here the coaches have talked about next man up. It's the Bears philosophy. They told me that the first day I came in here. You never know when somebody is going to go down. Any of us on the roster must be ready at all times to step in should our number be called. It's part of the job description here at Halas Hall.

"I don't think that puts too much pressure on rookies at all. It's not as if somebody is handing you the job if a starter goes down. You have to prove that you are the guy to fill the spot.

"Naturally, communication is somewhat different as different guys come in but we practice together all the time at Halas Hall. What we are working on all of the time is making sure that no matter who is in, we understand each other and can support each other. That's pretty basic in learning how the pro game is played and being successful in that role. The vets are so important to us rookie. They are coaching us up all of the time. Even now that Lance is down, he's coaching us. We use the older players' wisdom and experience to improve our play in individual games."

Off the field, what changes when a rookie is called into action?

"They tend to get more media attention. Some guys enjoy it, some shy away from it. I guess I'm kind of in the middle. I'm happy to talk to anyone who wants to talk to me, but if a big group of reporters comes by my locker, it can get intimidating. One on one is the most comfortable situation at this point in my career.

"There is a lot of buzz over the upcoming game. Anytime you are playing on Monday Night Football, people are going to take notice. As a player you are very aware that your family and friends will be tuning in. That's fun but it puts extra pressure in terms of wanting to do well. Nobody wants to look bad on a Monday night. But I'm sure once the first snap happens, it will be back to business as usual. If you are playing the Green Bay Packers, that is your sole focus.

"I know the fans here are really into this game. We've been educated by the vets as far as the importance of the contest. I'm imagining that it will be like the big college rivalry games but much more intense. I played in the SEC and things can get pretty wild there when you are in a big game. I'm expecting much of the same on Monday.

"Green Bay has some injuries just as we do, but they are tough and fast. It should be fun because good teams facing each other is what the pro game is all about. Personally, I can't wait to get up there and get started."


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.

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