It was really good to get the bye week for all of us. In my case, my body wasn't particularly beaten up, but my mind definitely needed a rest. I spent most of the free time just relaxing and seeing friends and family. I did watch a little football, but not much. The main purpose for me was to get a change of pace for even a little while and to get the opportunity to take care of whatever needed to be attended to.
Going into the second half of the season, it's more of a game-by-game focus. Where during the earlier part of this season we were looking for a way to build momentum, right now we are focusing on each game as it comes up.
Going to Oakland should be quite an experience. I've certainly heard a lot about what happens there between their fans and the opposing players. That stadium is definitely the Raiders' house, and the fans won't let you forget that.
I feel pretty well prepared for that kind of a reception since the recent experience against the Eagles. Those are some enthusiastic fans, that's for sure. They don't like having players from other teams do well at the Eagles' home field, and the fans won't hesitate to tell you that. So from what I hear from our veterans, I'm expecting more of the same this coming weekend.
When I played at NIU, we traveled all over the country and there were plenty of memorable experiences in other stadiums during that time, so this isn't all brand new. As a player, you have to block it out and get on with your play. There just isn't any other way to handle the situation.
RB Garrett Wolfe
M. Spencer Green/AP Images
The game plan is in place, and that's what we'll be working on for the rest of this week. Oakland has a reputation as being strong against the pass, so I think we'll be focusing more this week on our running game.
Does it bother me when I hear the fans and media saying unfavorable things about this aspect of our game? Sure it does, but I try to make a policy of not paying attention and staying as far away as I can from analysis of our games by anybody who isn't actually playing with the team right now. Each of us gives 100% both during the week and on game day. We do everything that we can to be effective and successful. I am confident about that.
I went back to DeKalb on Tuesday night for an autograph event. It was a lot of fun, and it was the first time I'd been back there since graduating in June. I didn't have time to see any of the players, but I did reconnect with a lot of the fans. It means a lot that they continue to follow my career and to be so supportive. I'll never forget where I came from, and trips like that are important as far as reconnecting with my roots. I've watched a couple of NIU's games on TV and I was at Soldier Field for the game against Iowa, but I just hadn't had the time to return to the campus.
My hope for the upcoming week is that I will have the opportunity to get in for a few plays. It was difficult to be inactive last game, but I'd never question the coaches' decisions. They are the ones who are in charge here, and when they feel that I am ready to go in, that will happen. What I try to do is to make the best of any situation no matter what it might be and try to improve my skills in the process.
I'm working hard on the scout squad giving our starters a look at what they might see in Oakland. It's a good way for me to learn, and I feel that I can make a positive contribution to the team.
- Comparing Urlacher to Butkus and Singletary
- "New" Soldier Field vs. "Old" Soldier Field
- Reliving the 61-7 win over Green Bay in 1980
- An excerpt from Cindi Dammann's Tailgating Tales
- Getting to know LB Jamar Williams
All of that plus much more in the latest issue of ...
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