The turf felt strange to me that night for no reason that I could think of. I had trouble getting the traction I was after. Sometimes that happens, and you never really know why. My traction just wasn't there. It was as if I were playing in mud. But that's something I have to be prepared for. I can't let that be a crutch. It may be that the grass is a different type than I am accustomed to, and it's just something that I'll acclimate to over time.
What I'll do next time is make more solid cuts, take more steps. I am used to throwing my body around, but that didn't work as effectively as I wanted it to this time.
The game overall was a good one, although I certainly wasn't satisfied with what I did. I felt I could have played a lot better. I am accustomed to producing, and Saturday that wasn't happening. You can be sure that I'll spend time this week reviewing film and finding out what I can do to improve my play.
As far as playing at Soldier Field, I have to admit that it's a pretty impressive place. It's fun to play there. We certainly played before some large and enthusiastic crowds at NIU, but this is another level completely. I can't even imagine what it will be like once the season begins.
It's definitely good to be back from camp and to have the opportunity to settle in. Having a home game makes a tremendous difference to players in terms of the amount of rest you are able to get. There's the chance to get into a routine in familiar surroundings, which is always a good thing. The more relaxed you are before a game, the more rested you'll be. The result of that usually is you are going to be playing better.
Physically, I feel good. My conditioning program is going well. Remember I was used on almost every offensive play in my college career, so being in just for a quarter is a real change. It's definitely not tiring.
My goal over time will be to get increased time on the field, but I realize that is something that has to be earned. I know I have the energy for that, though.
We have the next game later this coming week. I don't think that will be a problem for anybody on the team. The physical effort spent in a game or in practice through the week isn't that different. But it's hard to know for sure until I experience that.
I spent the time of the game when I wasn't on the field standing on the sideline just watching the plays unfold. You can learn a lot by observing. I was concentrating on what the Bears veterans were doing, both on offense and defense and on how the 49ers defense worked. We were well prepared by the coaches, as there was nothing on the 49ers defense I hadn't expected to see.
This week will be a shortened week of practice to get ready for Thursday night's game. We had Sunday off, and then we're back at Halas Hall on Monday. I'm looking forward to getting the chance to work with the coaches and correct the mistakes I made tonight.
The important thing for me is that when I do make mistakes, I just think about them very briefly and then put them aside and move on. Otherwise, they'll stay with me and ruin my concentration. That's particularly true with a quick turnaround time like we have this coming week.