I've been playing on special teams. It's a good job that gives a rookie a chance to show what he can do. Generally, I was satisfied with my play. I probably need to work a little more on my speed, but I did feel my reactions begin to kick in just as they did in college. Football, especially at this level, should be a matter of instinct.
You never want to be in a game situation where you are thinking to yourself "where's the ball going? Where's the receiver? Where do I go?" Do that and you're going to get burned. The pro game is just too fast. You always want to show the coaches your best. Being quick and finding the ball is the whole point of why you're out there.
I enjoyed being down in Atlanta because that's the part of the country where many of my relatives are from. It really felt like being home again. Quite a few of them came to the game, which was a very enjoyable thing for me. I've wanted to play in the NFL since I was a kid. Now here I am, in my first game and people who had supported me all along were there to see it. That was amazing.
Quite a few players mentioned having problems with the crowd noise and with the turf. I thought the field was ok. It was necessary to have the right shoes to get a good grip. I used my cleats and they seemed to work well. You never want to slip around because of the danger both of injury to yourself and the chance of not covering the player you are assigned to.
It was hard to hear the calls at times but that was something we worked on during practice last week. Noise is something that you have to get accustomed to. Veteran players have learned how to work around it. As a rookie, that probably is a little harder at first. With more game experience, it should be less of a distraction.
This week at Halas Hall we're concentrating on game films and planning out the defense to be used against New Orleans. The schemes don't really change that much from one week to the next. Of course there are some changes in the plan for each game. You don't want any surprises when you're on the field, so it's good to have as much as you can worked out before the game begins. I really want some playing time so I'm hoping that I'll be out there against the Saints just as much as possible.