Player Profile: Mark Anderson

Although Mark Anderson has been with the Bears for less than two months, the defensive end from the University of Alabama already looks at home in Chicago. Get up close and personal with the fifth round pick.

How are you enjoying life with the Bears so far: I'm thrilled. It's hard for me to realize that this has all come true. It's something I've been waiting for and hoping for all my life. I want to justify the team's faith in me by working hard and getting better.

When did you start playing football: Early on in grade school, probably third grade. I played flag football for three years then went on from there. In sixth grade I was a tackle. It was something that I was pretty good at right away.

Did you have any role models while you were growing up: Just my family. They made sure I stayed straight and didn't get a swelled head.

When did you first think you might have a future at this level: Maybe the end of my sophomore year or the beginning of junior year. I had a real good season and was getting some attention from scouts. I hoped that if I could continue like that, I'd have a good chance. But you never really are sure until you get that draft day telephone call.

What was the draft like for you: Long and tiring. I hated waiting but once I was selected, things were fine. I was happy that I went to the Bears. They have one of the top defenses anywhere and I think I can fit in here.

How does it feel to already have your contract situation settled: Great, it's a weight off of my shoulders that frees me to just think about the football. It wasn't anything we rushed into, but things came together at the right time. I feel the negotiations went well.

Any particular plans for your signing bonus: Not yet. Save as much as I can and help out my family. There are a lot of things coming up though, like finding a place to live. I was a financial planning major which should come in handy. That's a field I might like to go into anyway once my football career is over. But the best case would be only to work then if I really wanted to, not because I had to.

Any concerns about playing in cold weather: None. Although I went to Alabama, I played in Oklahoma as a kid so I'm used to cold.

What was your first job: Odds and ends kind of things that most high school kids do.

What was your first car: A Ford Contour-a great ride. It was blue.

What's your favorite breakfast cereal: Those little alphabet things with sugar on them. What are they called? ABCs?

Your favorite TV show: That would be Martin.

What type of music do you like: Hip Hop.

Do you have any advice for young players looking to get to the NFL eventually: Pay attention to the little things both in life and in football because details matter. Work hard all the time. Never give up and stay focused. And remember, confidence in yourself can take you a long way.

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