Player Perspective: Robbie Gould

With a 29-yard field goal and a missed extra point, rookie kicker Robbie Gould didn't have his best game against the Steelers. But Gould remains optimistic about his progress and the team's playoff prospects. Gould makes no excuses for kicking in the snow and talks about the stretch run.

I have no excuse for what happened on that point after attempt. It really wasn't the weather. I went to Penn State so I've played in worse conditions than what we had on Sunday. Something just went wrong with the kick. That's all I can say about it.

The motion was good and the ball felt fine when it left my foot, but it just veered away and there wasn't much that I could do about it. I hate to miss. Any kicker will say the same thing. But it's the kind of thing that will happen every now and then, but hopefully pretty rarely.

I have a routine I use to mentally move on, though. I put the problem completely out of my mind and just go on from that point. There's no sense in worrying about what went wrong if you can't do anything about it.

The game is over and we didn't win, but there's still plenty of the season left. I plan to connect on any attempt I have against the Falcons. I'll do whatever I need to do to help us get that win. I think the rest of the players on the team feel the same way. We didn't play the way we wanted last weekend, but it's time to move on and prepare for Atlanta.

I want to spend most of this coming week just working on my technique. I'm a rookie and I have so much still to learn. I never take anything for granted and I know that success comes from hard work. If that means putting in extra time then that's what I'll do. I understand that the team is counting on me and I have no intention of letting them down.

There is definite pressure on all of us for wins at this point of the season. How could it be otherwise? The playoffs are just a few weeks away and there's only one way to reach the postseason.

We're well aware of the Vikings coming up behind us. They've got a six-game winning string going and they're playing well. It isn't the kind of a thing that you let yourself think about all that much, and we certainly aren't talking about it in the locker room, but the knowledge is there and it does put some pressure on everybody.

We try to take things game by game. There's more than enough work just to prepare for an upcoming opponent without taking the time to look too far up the road as far as who you will be facing in a few weeks. We still have Atlanta and then Green Bay. How things shake out during the next few weeks will dictate the importance of the New Years game up in Minnesota.

In the meantime, I'm trying to relax mentally as much as possible. I have tremendous support from my friends and family, which is something I really appreciate. They're always emailing or calling just to check and see how things are. That makes a difference in any players' comfort level, particularly when you come in as a rookie.

As soon as I arrived at Halas Hall, Cedric Benson, Mark Bradley, and the other new players sought me out to be sure that I felt welcome here. We're friends and we hang out together. The veterans also welcomed me to the team. That bonding is a very important of the process when you are acclimating to the NFL.

I'm always taken somewhat by surprise when fans recognize me. I'm not a huge guy or particularly noticeable otherwise but they seem to find me when I'm shopping or I'm at the movies. I suspect that's because I've been on some of the ESPN shows recently. It's always a good experience. These are nice people who offer encouragement and kind words. I can tell how much the Bears mean to the City of Chicago and how much they want us to win. It helps as a player to understand these things.

My buddies always kid me about becoming what they call ‘the big NFL player' but seriously, I respect their jobs as much as they respect mine. They've worked hard to get where they are right now and while they might not be on Sports Center, their jobs have as much value as anything I've ever done. Remember, it wasn't that long ago when I was working in the construction industry.

For now, my focus is on staying loose. We have a tough game against the Falcons but I think we can get back on track. Playing at home is a big advantage and we're counting on the support of the fans in Soldier Field. Come out and make noise.

The player perspective was a summary of an interview between Robbie Gould and Bear Report staff writer Beth Gorr.

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