Player Diary

Roosevelt Williams on his first weeks as a professional.

How long have you been playing football?

"Since I was five. I've always liked the game. I love competition."

During those early years, were there any coaches you felt had a particularly strong influence on you?

"Actually, I'd say the one who helped me the most was Coach Wilkes of Savannah State. He took the time to teach me how to do my best work defensively and on special teams."

What about your experiences at Tuskegee University?

"That was the place I was able to fine-tune my skills. I knew that I would be going in the NFL draft. I got a lot of great experience and some fine coaching at Tuskegee."

During your college years, had you ever considered playing with the Bears?

"Not really. There are so many teams out there it's hard to guess who will end up drafting you. But I have to say that I couldn't be happier. I'm thrilled to be here in Chicago."

Will you still be saying that in late December? You don't have much, if any, playing experience in cold weather, do you?

"I'll be too busy watching the offense to worry about the weather. Whatever comes, comes. All I want to do is to win. It doesn't matter how cold it gets."

We'll talk about that again later in the season. Now that you are on an NFL squad, has your training routine changed at all?

"Well, of course the competition is a lot more intense at this level. I'm definitely paying more attention. Training harder. I've always worked to keep in shape off-season. I'll definitely continue doing that now. This time I'll be working more closely with my fitness coach."

What about the difference between the speed of the game in college and in the NFL?

"Well, of course I haven't been in a game situation yet, but I can see that there is a big difference. Guys here are bigger, faster. That's why they're pros."

How do you measure up?

"Well. I've always liked competition. That's where I thrive. It motivates me to get better. My goal is clear: I want to be a starter."

What does your family think about all of this?

"They're excited of course. They are used to seeing me play ball, but not at this level. My younger brother plays football. This is great for him. We'll have a lot to talk about next time I go back home."

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