Bobby Gray

Well, we're back from Atlanta and the record's 2-0. Frankly, I didn't know just what to expect when the Falcons were coming down the field towards the end of the game and they were getting ready to kick that final field goal.

It's an awful feeling because there just isn't that much you can do about it. Either the ball goes through the uprights and the Falcons win, or it doesn't and the Bears end up with the game. Let me tell you, we were all pretty relieved when the Falcons kicker missed.

The defense was on the field more than we had expected during the first half. I spent most of my time on special teams. Michael Vick has earned his reputation. He is fast, smart and mobile. He's got some good receivers, too.

I felt that our defense got stronger as the game went on, as we became more familiar with exactly how the Falcons were playing. The Falcons offense got fewer rushing and passing yards during the second half. We never really changed anything at halftime. We just went with our original game plan. But things definitely got better for us as the game progressed.

There were some injuries to key players last week. That's never a good thing. But as a team, I think we feel that there is always somebody who can step up and do the job that needs to be done. It's never good to have some of these veterans out and injured, but there are a lot of very good players ready to fill the positions.

I enjoy special teams. That's where most of my playing time is right now. It's a good place for rookies to learn exactly how things work in the NFL. The only thing I wish is that I would be the field more in situations that don't call for special team players. It can be hard to get into the flow of the game when you are in for a few plays, then out again and watching from the sidelines. I always am trying to be a better player and the best way to do that is to be on the field as much as possible.

I've heard that the way rookies are used depends on the team. Some coaches like a baptism by fire approach where the rookie is in the game play after play until he gets things right. Other coaches insert the rookies every now and then, but mostly keep them working on special teams until they have proven themselves.

That's what the Bears do. You aren't going to get all that much game time here until you know the schemes and are working to the best of your ability. I'll just have to keep at it until they feel that I'm ready. I don't mind it too much. I've always believed that hard work plus natural ability will get me where I want to be.

Crowd noise was definitely a factor at the Georgia Dome. Man, that place is unbelievable. We used speakers with crowd noise along our practice field a few days before going to Atlanta. That helped somewhat, but the game situation was still pretty difficult. You have to be able to hear what your teammates are saying at all times. I can't tell you how important that is.

We knew coming into the game that this was Atlanta's first home game of the season. The fans were revved up and believe me they were loud. There is an energy in the crowd that builds and builds. You want to get them out of the game as quickly as possible.

The mood of our team was positive after Sunday's victory. It is always good to be 2-0. Next, we have New Orleans with another good offense. It's too early in the week to know exactly what we'll be doing to prepare for that game. I'm sure there will be plenty of films to watch and defensive patterns to work on.

I'm feeling pretty good about things, but I still have some moves to work on. I want to increase my speed for one thing. I want to be able to read the plays a little better. It always bothers me if I feel there ever is a point when I am not playing up to my ability. The coaches say to be patient that this will come with time. I sure hope so. I know that I can contribute to this time, and I'd like to do just that as quickly as possible.

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