I enjoyed the opportunity to kick in a dome where the temperature is always the same and there's no wind. I made the longest field goal of my career so far. It was called back because of a penalty, but just having it go through was a tremendous confidence booster.
During the week I kept loose by doing some kicking in our indoor facility. Next week, Brad and I will be going outside more to get the feel of those conditions. We've come to the conclusion that it isn't really necessary to go down to Soldier Field the week before a game just to test out those conditions. There's plenty of time for that on game day.
What we will do though is to spend a lot of time out on the practice field at Halas Hall working on our cold weather techniques. Nothing we'd find at Soldier Field could be any worse that what we kick in outside of the Payton Center.
It's great to be on a team that is heading into the playoffs. I never imagined that would happen to me a year ago. Having been with the Patriots in training camp has been a real help for me. I talk to Adam Vinatieri at least once a week just to learn from his experience. He's been in the league for a while and really knows a lot that can help me.
He said to me "just enjoy it kid, this will be the ride of your life". He's getting ready to go against Jacksonville. I asked him whether there was any extra pressure on kickers in these situations. His answer was that for us, it's just another game.
No matter who we play next weekend we'll be ready for anybody. For me personally, all I need to be able to do is to get the ball deep on kickoffs and through the uprights field goals. It doesn't much matter which team I'm kicking against.
I'm very excited and ready to go. It will be hard to wait until we get our game. The adrenaline gets pumping and you just want to play.
The bye week is a big boost for all of us. It's a chance to get away from football for just a few days. But that time off helps us rest and get back into things with new perspective. I'm going home to relax. It will be good to see my family and friends since we didn't get to spend the holidays together.
It's been quite a season for the Bears, one that nobody outside of this organization predicted would happen. There's a real satisfaction or all of us in having accomplished so much when nobody expected so little from us.
I've learned a lot that will serve me well next year. This experience has been incredibly valuable and should only increase with the playoff run.
The player perspective was a summary of an interview between Robbie Gould and Bear Report staff writer Beth Gorr.