Wolfe Rookie Diary: 14th Entry

In this installment of his Rookie Diary, Garrett Wolfe writes about Devin Hester's effect on the field position game, all the criticism surrounding Cedric Benson, and how much fun he's having despite not getting a lot of playing time.

In a perfect world, we'd like to have every bounce go our way. But sometimes, just getting a win like the one we had last weekend over the Eagles is good enough to keep us going for a while. It's not as difficult psychologically as you might think when a team has a tough loss as we did against the Vikings, so long as there is something good that follows.

Ideally you want only the ups in a season, but sometimes there are downs. And as long as you can stay calm mentally, things generally turn out well. The only thing that really matters is the thing you've done lately, which in our case was a win.

I think the key to success on the football field is: Always believe you can win. I know some people wrote us off last weekend when we were behind, there were no timeouts left, and there was about 1:54 left on the clock, but nobody on the team felt that way. We felt that there was plenty of time to work things out. A couple of passes, some run plays, and we'd be good. And that's exactly how things turned out.

It was a great feeling beating the Eagles in their home stadium. It's going there against the odds and having things turn out right. That's something you never get tired of.

Having Devin Hester out there makes a tremendous difference. Really, for our opponent, whomever that might be any given week, it's a lose-lose situation. What are they going to do? Kick to him and take the chance that he won't be able to return the ball for a score? Or is it better that they kick it out on the 40 and avoid Hester altogether? Believe me, it's fine with us whichever way they want to go. Great field position or the possibility of a score. I don't see any downside there.

If you go back and look at the game film, you'll see that the Eagles chose the option of kicking short and keeping Devin away from the ball. Well, maybe he didn't get the chance to produce any big runbacks, but it put us in fine position. Just having him on the field gives us so many options because the defense never knows for sure whether he'll be catching the ball, running, or just acting as a decoy. The more options you have on offense, the better your situation is going to be.

I played kick return for a few games in college and, believe me, that position is hard. To have a player do what Devin has been able to do in those situations is so impressive. We're lucky to have him on our side.

I felt that our running game was strong. It does bother me quite a bit though when I read media reports after any of our games and see this person or that person feels Cedric Benson wasn't good enough or didn't do enough or something like that. I understand that it is often the reporter's job to create controversy but, to me, that is unfair.

RB Garrett Wolfe
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Generally, I try to avoid reading those articles. I think most players on this team do that as well because it's just not productive. But when you happen to read something or hear something like that which is so negative, it's very frustrating. I'm not saying every reporter writes negatives about the team, but quite a few do and it can be difficult to take at times.

They haven't seen what I've seen or watched Cedric in practice day after day working his hardest to do a great job. I have tremendous admiration for Cedric and for Adrian Peterson, as well. They are strong players, skilled players, and people who give everything they have to every down they are on the field. To say otherwise simply is not reporting things as those of us on the team have seen.

I'm definitely looking forward to the upcoming game against Detroit. Going into a bye week with a win is so important. You have that time off from football, but you definitely keep thinking about it. It's always better when your thoughts are positive.

Detroit has the tougher game on Sunday as I see it. I think it is more difficult to play a team that you have beaten already in a season than to face a team that you've lost to. I say this because the team that has won before has added pressure to repeat. The team that has lost has some extra motivation to set things right. It's pressure as well, but in a different way.

My role in practice this week will be similar to what it was last week. I style my moves as closely as I can to the way that the star running back from the opponent plays. This was quite successful last week when I played as Brian Westbrook. It gave our defense an edge to be familiar with moves he might be making during a game. I'm not going to tell you whom I'm playing this week, but you'll probably be able to figure that out once the game starts.

I've been asked by fans if it is frustrating not to be in an actual game more. My answer would be a definite no. I get great satisfaction in contributing to the team in this way right now.

Sure I'd like to be out there on game day in the future, but for now – while I'm still learning the system – this is a good role for me. And I have to say that it really is a lot of fun. I'm learning different styles of play and trying to get things past our defense. What's not to like about that?

Most of all, I feel I am making a positive contribution while living the life I've dreamed of for a very long time. I'm always surprised and somewhat amazed when I'm handed a paycheck every week. It seems strange to get paid for something I'd gladly do for free.

Garrett Wolfe writes his Rookie Diary with longtime correspondent Beth Gorr every week exclusively for BearReport.com.

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All of that plus much more in the latest issue of ...

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