It's nice to be back after the bye week and get ready to play some more football. I needed that time to regroup my thoughts a little after the San Francisco game. My results against the 49ers certainly weren't what I was expecting. I just wasn't playing up to my usual level. It bothered me quite a bit for a while.
But now that's over and its time to move on. That's probably is one of the most important things that I have learned so far about being a professional football player. You're going to make mistakes every now and then. The important thing is build from what you did do right and move on from there.
It was great to have the opportunity to see the new stadium last week. It was just unbelievable. Of course, I never saw the facilities of the old Soldier Field but I certainly have heard the veteran players talking about it. The stories range from no hot water in the showers to post-game interviews were held in a tent that was outside the locker room.
I just can't say enough about the new place. The facility is great and the locker room is fantastic. There are treatment rooms right next to the lockers. The equipment area is huge. The area is big and there is plenty of space to move around.
The turf is one of the nicest I've ever seen as far as a surface for playing football. The grass is very thick and it's easy to find traction. Actually, the new field is quite similar to what is here at Halas Hall. It's good to be playing on the type of ground that we are accustomed to. That is the advantage of a home field. I know that quite a few of the players last year weren't too happy about the artificial surface in Champaign so I guess we are all pretty lucky to be here now.
I think that the fans will be able to make a definite contribution to games in the new Soldier Field. Just look at the way the interior of the stadium is set up. The seats are close to the action. The oval shape of the interior and the angles of the rows should make noise a big factor.
We are working very hard to prepare for Green Bay. Of course I have never played in a Bears /Packers game, but I've certainly heard a lot about Green Bay. That is one of the classic rivalries in sports.
We are watching a lot of game film this week. As a rookie, the more I can learn ahead of time the better. Personally, I am working on refining my special teams techniques.
Lots of things can change the momentum when you are out there on the field. The fans often overlook outstanding special teams play, but it can make a real difference in the outcome of a game. I think that my strengths are my speed and my ability to read plays and I plan to contribute in any way I can.
I'm really excited playing this first game for the hometown fans here in Chicago. We've been on the road since the season began. The fact that it is a nationally televised Monday Night Game just adds to the anticipation. Just about every high school and college player has grown up watching football on Monday nights. It's a tradition. To actually be in one of those games will be an incredible thrill.